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Family Legacy Lives On

My granddaughter, Cameron Duran, graduated from Stanford yesterday. She's the tenth member of our family to get a Stanford degree.


It was a big moment for her, our entire family, and for me, her "papa."

Cami is a really special, unique young lady. Since the sixth grade, she has battled a rare illness, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which sapped her energy, caused major stomach distress, and threatened her ability to function.


Despite that, she graduated from high school in Dripping Springs, Texas, without ever getting a grade other than "A" and was admitted to Stanford.


COVID ruined the first two years of her college life, as she had to take classes remotely, while still suffering from her ailment.


Finally, early in her junior year, she and her doctors figured out the proper medication balance and dietary plan, and she has been absolutely thriving ever since.


Cami came to Stanford planning to major in computer science and engineering, but she realized she loved to write. So she switched to communications and went to work for the Stanford Daily.


This year, she's a Managing Editor of the Daily and also serves as an RA (resident assistant) at her dorm, Casa Zapata. She spent a quarter overseas in Spain, is fluent in Spanish, and just graduated with a 3.95 GPA.


As you might suspect, her move to journalism brought us closer. Back in the days of hot type, pay phones and 8x10 glossies, I was Sports Editor of the Daily while also working for AP and the San Francisco Chronicle. I've enjoyed reading her articles and giving her an occasional tip or piece of advice.


She doesn't need much help. Cami is an excellent reporter and feature writer, finds great sources, and is able to pull terrific quotes from them. One of her articles for the Daily was picked up by the New York Times.


She just finished a course on sportswriting and did an article on Michelle Smith, who I knew back in the days when I was involved in the ABL. Cami loves women's basketball, another common interest of ours. She's a huge fan of former Stanford star Cameron Brink, now with the LA Sparks of the WNBA.


To research her story on Michelle, Cami interviewed Ann Killion of the Chronicle and my old friend Glenn Schwarz, former sports editor of the Chronicle and Examiner. 


Today she starts her summer internship with the San Jose Mercury-News. Jobs in journalism are hard to find these days, but I have no doubt she'll be a big success in her chosen field.


Fact is, Cami's way smarter than her papa. She can discuss any topic thoughtfully and intelligently, and she beats me in Scrabble on a regular basis. 


She's a delightful, inspirational young woman who's a credit to her university and her family. 

We couldn't be more proud of her.





Gary Cavalli - Bowl and League co-founder, author, speaker 

Gary Cavalli, the former Sports Information Director and Associate Athletic Director at Stanford University, was co-founder and executive director of the college football bowl game played in the Bay Area, and previously was co-founder and President of the American Basketball League.

Get in touch//@cavalli49//

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