An Evening of Appreciation for The Loughlin Society

Monday, December 9, 2013

For the members of The Loughlin Society, supporting St. John’s University is a reflection of their commitment to the values that have helped to shape their lives. Whether they graduated decades earlier or were students just a few years ago, their generosity makes it apparent that St. John’s will always be important to them.

Nearly 200 members of this prestigious donor recognition group gathered at The Pierre Hotel in New York City for The Loughlin Society Winter Reception, an annual event designed to allow St. John’s to express its gratitude for the support of its most generous donors. 

“It’s obvious that St. John’s holds a special place in your hearts,” remarked St. John’s University President Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., S.T.D.,” and I want to assure you that you will always hold a special place in ours. I thank you on behalf of our students whose lives have been significantly impacted by your willingness to help make their dream of a St. John’s education come true. The world is a better place because of St. John’s, and our University embraces you with the gratitude you so richly deserve.”

As with everything at St. John’s, students are the ultimate beneficiaries of the support provided by these loyal men and women.

One such student is Jordan Bouchard ’14C, a Senior in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is a member of The President’s Society and a nearly straight A student who has done service in Panama. One night each week she brings food, clothing and companionship to the homeless living on the streets of New York City as part of the University’s Midnight Run program.

Bouchard acknowledged that her years at St. John’s have transformed her in countless ways, and thanked the members of The Loughlin Society for their support in making her experiences so unique.

“I’m very honored to be here with so many of the University’s most generous donors,” she said. “I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without St. John’s, and  it’s obvious that St. John’s would not be where it is today without special people like you. After graduation I am planning to do a year of service in San Francisco with the Vincentian Service Corps, working with the homeless population. Opportunities like that would not be possible without your support for the students and programs of St. John’s.”
 
For many alumni, membership in The Loughlin Society is a way to show their appreciation for what was done for them by giving back and helping St. John’s to serve the needs of others. For them, an important part of the joy of living is found in their joy of giving, especially when they remember what it was like when they were students getting ready to begin their own careers.

“I remind myself almost every day that I wouldn’t be where I am today without St. John’s,” remarked Robert Ianniello ’76C, ’79G. “For me, the best feeling I can have is when I see that I’ve played a role in helping young people become successful. That’s the greatest accomplishment that I can have, irrespective of money or position. It’s the most important reason I have for being a member of The Loughlin Society.”

A willingness to give back can be found among alumni of all ages. One of the University’s recent graduates, Michael Sherry ’11TCB acknowledged that although this is his first year as a member of The Loughlin Society, he already feels the strong sense of satisfaction that comes from making a difference for others.

Sherry was a member of the Red Storm lacrosse team as a student, and remembers how important alumni generosity was to student-athletes like himself who needed scholarship support to continue their education at St. John’s.

“I really believe that it’s important for alumni to reach back to help the students,” he said, “and I want to be a part of that in whatever way I can. I know that the alumni have always been generous to the students, and I’m willing to do any little part that I can to add to that generosity. Even though I’m still young, I’m happy to help the students who were where I was a few years ago. That’s really what the cycle of giving is all about, at least for me.”

Carol Teichman ’74SVC also believes in the cycle of giving. Like Sherry, she made the most of her time at St. John’s by becoming involved in a variety of student activities. She has continued her connection as an active alumna by participating in activities such as attending basketball  pre-game receptions and marching with the St. John’s community in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Her seven year membership in The Loughlin Society has allowed her to help provide the means for the University’s current students to enjoy the same educational and social experiences that she did so many years ago.

“I was really involved in the life of St. John’s when I was a student,” she said, ”and back then I wanted to take advantage of everything that the University had to offer. I got a great education, and really developed socially as well as intellectually. When I decided to become a member of The Loughlin Society, I requested that my gifts be applied to supporting student scholarships. It makes me feel good to know that I’m doing something for the young people of today. Even if I don’t know them individually, they’re a part of St. John’s, and that’s good enough for me.” 

The Loughlin Society is named in honor of John Loughlin, the first Bishop of Brooklyn, who called upon the Vincentians to establish a Catholic college to serve the children of immigrants who did not have access to higher education.  Membership is reserved for donors who make annual gifts to St. John’s of $1,000 or more.