On any college campus there are hundreds of events and activities happening on a weekly basis. It is staggering to be in the middle of so much activity, and yet often times I run into alumni who appear to be at as many events and activities as I am. That says a lot; and yet, communicating about all of the good that is happening is not by accident, but rather an ever evolving ballet of tools, strategies and audiences.
In talking to alumni in the course of my years here at Saint John’s, I find that graduates stay connected for a variety of reasons. Some identify with their graduation class, others with the sport they were involved in, some with their ROTC experience, many with our monastic community or faculty, and still others with their study-abroad program or their involvement with the arts. We stay connected because of our passions or those ways in which we find ourselves most connected by our experiences at Saint John’s.
To share our stories, our schedules, our celebrations and our challenges, we have evolved a myriad of communication tools that allow Saint John’s to reach our audiences and connect people to the things that are dearest to them. Through blogs, Facebook pages, websites, The Saint John’s Magazine, and the John-e-News we share our stories and keep our alumni connected.
For years Fr. Eric Hollas, OSB has inspired readers through his blog A Monk’s Chronicle. In the past two years we have created blogs for Johnnie Hockey, Johnnie Baseball and Wrestling, and the ROTC program has launched a blog for the FSB – Fighting Saints Battalion, all in an effort to inform and inspire those whose passions draw them to those programs.
Just recently, Facebook groups for Outdoor Johnnies and The Young Alum Community have been launched. The first has a focus on alumni whose passion is for the outdoors, and it allows them to share photos, stories and experiences. The second is a vehicle that enables recent graduates to stay connected as they begin their new lives, families and careers.
The Advancing Saint John’s blog is nearing its 100th posting and has set the tone for sharing stories about the generosity of our donors and of the great happenings at Saint John’s. It has inspired the formation of other blogs and Facebook groups as effective ways to communicate and draw the reader’s interest to the things that interest them most. Looking back at the archives of that blog, it is simply amazing to see the stories that have emerged that inspire others to join in on the life of Saint John’s.
So whether you are a reader of our many blogs, an adventurer sharing your photos and stories from trips afar, or if you are an avid Johnnie sports fan, you now have ways in which to stay connected. Who knows, someday you may find yourself the subject of one of our blog stories or Facebook posts. We hope these inspire you to get involved, to support our Student Fund and other fund-raising efforts, to attend a game or a theatre production, to paddle a river in the Yukon or to climb a mountain in Iceland. If so, please don't forget to send us your photos to share and inspire.