I’ve spent my first months at Saint John’s meeting new colleagues and getting acclimated to how things work here. Granted, I didn’t come into this position blind. I was a student here, and since graduating more than 30 years ago, I’ve been a donor, a regular reader of SJU publications, an attendee at alumni events and an Alumni Association Board member. Most important, I’ve kept up with many classmates with whom I formed lifelong friendships. Now, as president, I have the pleasure of meeting alumni from around the world including alumni from the 1970s who founded the Alumni Chapter in Hong Kong. I’ve met with alumni who celebrated their 50th reunion at Homecoming. And I’ve met with young alumni who attended events in Central Minnesota and the Twin Cities. These seemingly disparate groups share one significant experience—the Johnnie experience. They all spent time in Collegeville, and enriched their understanding of the world and themselves. The experience formed important relationships, opened doors for them, and shaped the rest of their lives. Despite my title, I am, of course, not solely responsible for carrying forth the Catholic Benedictine mission of Saint John’s. Our alumni have been and will continue to be essential to the future of our educational mission. Here are a few ways you can help to further our success: ■ We need your goodwill. You are our ambassadors to employers, parents, current and prospective students and the broader world. The pride you take in being a Johnnie is a tremendous asset for us. ■ We need your help recruiting students. When you meet high school students whom you think could
Michael Hemesath ’81, President
benefit from Saint John’s, tell them about your experience and the value of the residential, liberal arts education we offer. ■ We need your support of current students. Offer career advice and internships to current students and jobs to graduates. Keep the Johnnie network alive and well! ■ We need your financial support. With a relatively small endowment compared to our peers, Saint John’s future depends upon the generosity of our alumni and friends. Your donation makes the Johnnie experience possible for current and future students. When I became president, I knew Saint John’s faced a competitive higher education environment, but I was also confident that the deep feeling alumni have for this rare institution gave us a tremendous strength to build upon. My interactions with our alumni and friends over the last six months have only strengthened that faith. I hope you’ll consider the many ways of joining me in supporting the mission of alma mater. Nothing less than our future depends on it.
Published on Feb 27, 2013
Saint John's Magazine is published in the fall and winter for alumni, parents, friends and the Saint John's University campus community.