It is such an honor to serve as your President of the Alumni Board for the 2019-2020 school year. While my time at St. John’s prepared me very well, I wanted to make a bee line back to campus ever since entering that first 200+ person college lecture hall. St. John’s – its students, its faculty, its mission for excellence – stays with us beyond the storied cloisters, consciously or not. In reading this, you have already decided to connect with SJS. So it is with great pleasure that the Board and I strive to fulfill our goal to create interesting and meaningful opportunities for you to interact with fellow alumni and the school this year.
A lot is happening to and within the hallowed halls. If some time has passed since visiting campus, I know you will be in awe of the way it has transformed, while maintaining its architectural integrity. Tours are provided on the evening of Alumni Awards at Spring Fling (spoiler: there’s a coffee bar). The new Upper School library, the Taub Library and Academic Commons, was completed last year, outfitted with the latest technology and study rooms to support group project work. We unveiled the Fine Arts Annex, which has provided much needed additional rehearsal and performance space. Our Director of Community and Inclusion, Dr. Gene Batiste, and his Task Force completed the School’s statement as its guideline to develop and sustain a caring and welcoming culture for the entire community. During these often divisive times, know that St. John’s is nurturing future leaders that are respectful and inclusive. This is a priority for the School, and we welcome your feedback on our efforts.
If I had to describe the St. John’s alumni community in a word, it would be “engaged.” Our alums are shaping policy, driving economy, transforming philanthropy, creating art, and advancing science and medicine. We also like to have a little fun – cheering on the Mavs from the Tradition Room, enjoying a special screening of Rushmore
in the VST, and bouncing with our kids in bounce houses during Reunion Weekend. Last year, the SJS Alumni Association organized several events on campus, around Houston, and regionally. To highlight the happenings, we hosted alumni football watch parties, the annual St. John’s vs. Kinkaid Family Picnic and Football Game, a young alumni happy hour with Episcopal and Kinkaid, a competition-style fundraising Phonathon, St. John’s Book Fair and Family Night, a Fine Arts reception, a Red & Black Society wine tasting, a Black Alumni Mixer, and the grand finale, Reunion Weekend. Check out the calendar on the inside front cover of the Update
magazine for the event dates already set, and don’t forget to be on the lookout for emails from SJS alumni throughout the year notifying you of even more fun events and school updates.
Reunion Weekend has continued to grow into a successful, fun-filled weekend for the whole family. Over 450 alumni and guests joined us throughout the weekend for Alumni Awards at Spring Fling, the Mid-Century Rebels Luncheon, and Saturday at St. John’s. Check out the write-up in the latest Update
magazine to see information on all of the fun events that took place.
The Alumni Association has created ways for you to mentor current students and interact with alumni across classes on an ongoing basis. From our Networking Portal to the Internship Program, we hope you will continue to take advantage of the amazing network at St. John’s. This year, 67 students were placed in a two-week internship with an alumni mentor. For more information on getting involved with the Networking Portal or Internship Program, please email Becca Fontana at firstname.lastname@example.org
Beyond the time spent enriching our community in the aforementioned endeavors, alumni play a significant role in the daily operations of the school through giving. Your individual gifts to the St. John’s Fund (formerly Annual Fund) directly sustain the student experience, supporting faculty and academic programs, financial aid, athletics, and culture. We thank you for your amazing support!
May the lamp of knowledge guide us along our countless ways, and also may it bring us back together. Our ties to SJS have evolved through career building in various postgraduate cities, returning to embark on the journey of parenthood, honoring lifelong achievements of our classmates. Whether you have been involved since graduation or have not connected in years, you are always welcome at St. John’s. The Alumni Board is here as a conduit and representative for you as alumni. We encourage your questions, ideas, and feedback. I look forward to seeing you this year at alumni gatherings and school events.
Allison Young Chavez ’03