“If you’re a young alumnus, you are already part of the group,” says Paul Lederer ’06.
Lederer currently serves as chair of the Young Alumni Committee. This group was started three years ago as a way to encourage recent alumni to remain involved in the school in a non-financial way and to foster the next group of alumni leaders. Most importantly, the group aims to remind alumni under the age of 35 of the connections they made at Saint Ignatius High School that helped form who they are today.
“If I can get someone to feel like a junior in high school again,” Lederer says, “then we’ve done our job.”
By engaging young professionals who are looking for ways to share their time and energy with the school, the committee aims to offer opportunities with three core principals in mind – Ignatian tradition, spirituality and service.
The Doc Knittel ’67 Traditions subcommittee is tasked with hosting informal events to ignite traditions that set the foundation for many Saint Ignatius students. In conjunction with the Alumni Office, this group organized a Faculty Spotlight event that was hosted for the first time in March, and aims to gather young alumni with current faculty members to network and reminisce. The next event is planned for October 17 at Old Angle Tavern in Ohio City
. Faculty members Tom Healey ’77, Brian Becker ‘77 and Tom Pasko, Hon. ’96 will be in attendance.
“Pasko, Becker and Healey are teachers that resonate. They are guys that we look up to and who helped form our core being,” Lederer says. “Even though we moved from a student-teacher relationship to peer-to-peer, I realize through events like this that they are still teaching us lessons today.”
The Fr. Robert J. Welsh, S.J. ’54 Committee for Spirituality has also started to offer opportunities to enrich the spiritual lives of young alumni. Through an event called My Ignatian Moment
, alumni can hear and give witness to their faith in this unique storytelling format. Previous featured speakers have included Theology teacher Jim Brennan ’85, De’Shaun Adair ’14, Christian Sanders ’10, Connor Walters ’09 and Lederer.
The subcommittee for service is named after and inspired by the late Jim Skerl ’74. Alumni who are interested can take part in Arrupe’s annual Spring Into Action
neighborhood clean-up or a committee-organized night of the Labre Ministry to the Homeless
. By offering experiences that many alumni participated in as students, members of the committee hope to draw forth a desire to give back in ways that aren’t monetary.
Most events are free or ask for a modest contribution of $20 at most. This winter, the committee will host the second annual Young Alumni Christmas Food Drive Fundraiser
. Last year, this event brought in nearly $600, which helped in covering some of the expenses of the annual Rini Family Christmas Food Drive. This year’s event is planned for Friday, November 29.
The Young Alumni Committee meets quarterly and subcommittees meet on a per-project basis. If you are interested in getting involved with the Young Alumni Committee, contact Garen Distelhorst ’96, Director of Alumni Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org