As a senior development officer, I have the privilege of meeting with alumni and friends of Saint John’s and hearing all the great memories. It doesn’t take long for the conversation to go to how Saint John’s has been a transformational experience for us.
Although the list of examples is long, there are a few common threads – a great liberal arts education, connections to the monastic community, lifelong relationships and a strong sense of community.
There are many ways these connections develop. It happens in the classroom, the Abbey Church and the dormitories. It happens while walking to the chapel, sharing meals and attending activities on campus.
Athletics also plays a big role for much of the student body. A third of Johnnies participate in varsity or club-level athletics. These experiences help the ongoing development of the mind, body and spirit by being a member of a team and sharing a common purpose.
I was a member of the soccer team for four years and lacrosse for one while I was a student in the late 1980s. The time and effort put into these sports enhanced my Johnnie experience, and the relationships I developed have lasted a lifetime.
All three of my roommates during my senior year were soccer players. After graduation, we all were in each other’s weddings. Our families spend time together to this day over 30 years after meeting.
Along with the benefits athletics can offer, there can be an increase in cost. It is not uncommon for the athletes to take on additional expenses for travel, meals, coach development, equipment and apparel. These costs may be as simple as workout apparel or as significant as tickets for domestic or international flights. Being highly competitive in college athletics can come with a cost.
To that end, Saint John’s Institutional Advancement is partnering with athletics and the J-Club to announce the springtime solicitation and the 2019 Go Johnnies Challenge.
Typically, one letter goes out in the spring from a coach and asks for a gift to their sport. This year, now through April 11, there will be an enhanced fundraising effort for athletics that includes electronic communication and social media.
The Go Johnnies Challenge is looking for 650 donors to support the 650 athletes participating this year. Coaches and student-athletes will be the main content creators. Involvement by Saint John’s Athletic Media Relations will amplify the message on social media.
The GiveCampus platform will be used for this event. It was used for Give SJU Day in November and enables competition as donors see results live. Different sports and clubs have varying numbers of alumni, so each will set a donor goal and enable donor goal challenges (e.g.: John Donor will match $40 per gift for the next 50 donors for our sport for a total of up to $2,000). Each gift makes a difference and 100 percent goes to the sport of your choice.
The hope of the 2019 Go Johnnies Challenge is to increase touchpoints and information and highlight areas of need in each sport. Support for the teams increases the opportunity for our student-athletes to have the best player experience possible.
Follow the link below for more information, to support our current athletes or to check the scoreboard for a Go Johnnies Challenge update.