Passionate alumni leader supports Calliope’s ‘Resurgence’

Brad Le Du ’77, ’79 considers University of the Pacific his main interest in retirement.  

Le Du is a proud member of the Pacific Alumni Association Board of Directors. His current passion project is Calliope, the university’s student literary and arts journal. 

With Le Du’s support, the fifty-third edition of Calliope was published this spring after a four-year hiatus. Aptly titled ‘A Resurgence’, the 75-page tome features original poetry, prose, paintings, photography and more.

“In order for the university to be great, we need to produce students who are strong in the humanities, who are great writers and great artists. Calliope proves that clearly, those students are here,” Le Du said. 

A College of the Pacific graduate, Le Du believes strongly in the value of a liberal arts education. His interest in Calliope was sparked when he stumbled upon an archived edition online and immediately became engrossed. 

“I was amazed by the quality of the writing,” he said. “There was a poem that really impressed me, I couldn’t get it out of my head for days. There were great short stories and fine artwork. The students hit it out of the park.” 

Inspired, Le Du connected with Professors Courtney Lehmann and John Lessard, Calliope’s literary faculty advisors. He expressed his excitement about the journal and his desire to see it return, and offered to support the printing costs if finances were a barrier. 

Thrilled to have an alumni champion, Lehman and Lessard agreed, and organized a student editorial board for the 2023-2024 academic year. Eleven editors and designers worked tirelessly to invite and curate submissions throughout the year.

Le Du, meanwhile, strove to raise additional awareness and support. He invited the student editors to present at an alumni board meeting. During Pacific Gives, the university’s annual day of giving, he personally matched the first $1,000 in gifts to Calliope.

“I realize Pacific Gives doesn’t raise a lot of 8-figure checks. But it’s very important for what I call ‘grassroots alumni’ to be connected,” he said.

“I often encounter great work done by students and recent graduates, like Calliope, and my perception is, alumni don’t know about it. But why aren’t we bragging about it? Why aren’t we supporting it and getting engaged?”  

Calliope (pronounced ‘Kuh-lye-oh-pea') was first published in 1970. It is named for the muse of heroic poetry in Greek mythology and is produced by students from the Departments of English, Art and Graphic Design. Their classmates from all schools and programs are invited to contribute original works.

Recent editions of Calliope have received national acclaim, including an Apex Award for Publication Excellence.

Le Du earned a bachelor’s degree from College of the Pacific and a JD from the McGeorge School of Law. He retired in 2016 as managing counsel for Chevron Corporation. Following his retirement, he volunteered for seven years with the McGeorge Alumni Association before joining Pacific’s alumni board last summer. 

He hopes Calliope will continue to thrive at Pacific and plans to continue pursuing alumni support. He envisions connecting students with successful alumni authors and artists, who in turn can become Calliope supporters.

“Students’ connection and involvement with their universities doesn’t end with commencement. It just moves to a different relationship,” he said. 

“At great universities, students enter the university knowing they’ll be part of something lifelong. And it’s lifelong if alumni connect with the students and faculty.”

To read the 2024 edition of Calliope, CLICK HERE, or contact to request a printed copy. 

To support future editions of Calliope, CLICK HERE.