Playing it Forward

Andrew Commers '16 comes from a long line of family members who have attended Saint John's University.  The chain goes back to his grandfather Clem '57, and includes his great uncle Dan.  In the next generation came his parents Paul '90 and Kristen '90, his uncle Mike '86 and aunt Anne '88.  Then followed Andrew and his sister Katie '19.

Commers didn't start his college career at Saint John's, but instead spent his freshman year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he played in their Division I hockey program.  He then transferred to Saint John's and played for the Johnnies.

At Saint John's Andrew was a global business major, and as a hockey player he racked up a total of 32 points during his three years.  He finished his career at Saint John's well, and he led the Johnnies to the MIAC championship game by scoring the overtime goal against St. Thomas in the fourth overtime with the Tommies in the 2015-16 season.  The Johnnies ended up falling to Augsburg in the MIAC championship, but they didn't go down without a fight.  In an exciting battle of the titans, it took three overtimes to decide the contest.

Commers was an offensive force for the Johnnies, but he was also team captain.  His outgoing personality, his passion for hockey and his ability to connect with the players positioned him well to be one of the best captains during Doug Schueller's tenure as coach.

Graduation this last May capped Commer's career as a student and hockey player at Saint John's, but it did not end his passion for Saint John's.  Instead, he has been actively engaged in seeking ways to give back to Saint John's with his time, passion and leadership.  He hopes to serve the Saint John's Alumni Association, and he is actively helping with the Johnnie Hockey Golf Outing in August.  He also intends to harness the energy and relationships that he developed with all of the sports captains during his senior year and form a group that will continue to support Johnnie athletics.

But Andrew's main passion is and always will be Johnnie hockey.  While he sees a role for himself in helping the Alumni Association, what drives him especially is the desire to give back to Johnnie hockey and to help advance the overall player experience.  Most Johnnie hockey players are not your typical students.  Rather, they come out of a world of junior hockey and often don't start their college careers until they are twenty years old.  Helping to recruit players, connecting them in the network of alumni, and supporting them in both academics and athletics are what Commers aspires to do by staying involved with Saint John's.

Andrew Commers is just one example of the incredible graduates that leave Saint John's University.  When they arrive they are bright-eyed and excited about being a Johnnie.  When they leave, the Johnnie spirit runs deep in their veins, and they have a strong desire to give back to this great place -- to this community that they call home.

Support for Saint John's is expressed in many ways.  Most often alumni show it in their financial generosity that makes possible the education of a new generation of Johnnies.  For many there are awards that recognize service of one sort or another.  But the common denominator for most Johnnie alumni is a great college experience that morphed into a passion to serve and to give back.  With Andrew Commers on our side, taking his place in a great cohort of alumni, Saint John's has a very bright future.