Zaf Bludevich came to work at St. Mike’s in the fall of 1975 as the College’s first full-time athletic trainer. I was attending UVM’s M.Ed. program in student personnel services in higher education and working as a graduate resident assistant in the halls at SMC. The SMC staff was small and there were few young staff members so we naturally became friends with one another. It was as friends that we decided to attend the College’s 1977 Christmas party together. During those years the Christmas party was a night of dining and dancing that brought the entire faculty and staff together for a really great, fun night. Our friendly “date” quickly became more than just a friendship as we found we really had lots of fun together and lots of similar interests.
We became engaged at an old Church Street favorite, B.T. Maguire’s, in the beginning of the 1978 school year when I was working in admission but was also in charge of orientation. I had arrived to campus early the following day to get ready to welcome new students and eagerly shared my news with anyone I met. Zaf arrived to campus later in the day and was surprised to learn that just about everyone knew our news, proof that word traveled fast around the small campus!
We had a real SMC wedding with the ceremony in the Chapel of Saint Michael officiated by Rev. Maurice Ouellet and Rev. Ray Doherty, followed by a reception in Alliot Hall with Downpour, the favorite SMC band of the time.
We continued our life at Saint Michael’s together for over 30 years and were so happy to welcome our two beautiful daughters, Zoe and Bryce, into our lives while we balanced two busy and demanding jobs in admission and athletics. Our kids benefitted from wonderful care in the SMC Child Care Center as well as babysitting by any number of SMC students, while also booking many hours in both the gym and the admission office hanging out with mom or dad while we were doing our jobs.
One funny thing that happened to me on more than one occasion was being asked why I was hanging out with Zaf’s kids. Since I kept my maiden name many students, and even employees in later years, had no idea that Zaf and I were married!
SMC was a wonderful place to meet one another and to raise our family. We will always be thankful that we had the support of this great community throughout our professional lives.
– Jacki Murphy ’74 (Director of Admission, retired) and Zaf Bludevich (Sr. Associate Director of Athletics and Athletic Trainer, retired)