In March of 2006, when I became athletic director at Saint John’s University, I asked Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Commissioner Dan McKane which NCAA Division III institution had the finest booster club, as I wanted to benchmark the school and its booster club systems and processes. Dan, without hesitation, answered: “Saint John’s, with its J-Club, has the finest booster club that I am aware of in D-III athletics!”
According to sports chronicler Fr. Wilfred Theisen, the J-Club traces its roots to 1928, when the Monogram Club was established. The first meeting of a more formalized J-Club was held in 1959, and it has advanced the mission of Saint John’s University through Johnnie athletics in many different ways. The J-Club is Saint John’s booster club, and the money it raises helps to build camaraderie to support Johnnie Athletics – including intercollegiate, club and intramural athletics. Membership dues are $100 per year, and membership has its privileges! Dues-paying members can either receive a J-Club Pass that gets two people in to all regular-season home football, basketball and hockey games (a $400 value); or, members can choose to take a tax deduction for their membership contribution.
J-Club President, Vic Moore ’72, says that “the true benefit to being a member of the J-Club comes through continuing the legacy of providing athletic opportunities for our Johnnies, and helping to build on the fine tradition of success that athletics provide at Saint John’s." He goes on to point out that 93% of current students compete in some type of intercollegiate, club, or intramural athletics. “Physical activity is an asset to learning,” Moore continues, “and, Saint John’s has a mission to develop each student’s mind, body and spirit.” Moore also notes the significance of competitive athletics in the Saint John’s brand.
According to Moore, “The J-Club is not a monogram club; rather we are ‘politically correct,' because membership is open to anyone -- parents, alumni, friends, employees -- anyone who loves Johnnie athletics and wants to help maintain Saint John’s competitiveness in athletics.” Furthermore, the J-Club is not a supplement to the athletic department budget, but the funds are there to complement the overall athletic budget.
This academic year about 400 people have paid membership dues, and about $70,000 has been raised through J-Club donations. “The J-Club has a great tradition of success,” concludes Moore. “But, we would love to grow our membership base, raise more money, and provide even greater opportunities for our student-athletes.”
The mission statement of the J-Club succinctly says it all: "For more than 70 years the J-Club has passionately supported Johnnie Athletics at all levels." On behalf of the J-Club Board of Directors, we hope you will join us in supporting Johnnie Athletics. To become a member, or to make a gift to the J-Club for Johnnie Athletics, please visit www./sjualum.com/j-club. The annual membership dues mailing comes out in the late-July / early-August timeframe.]