Taking the Golden State by Storm

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Although it may be located nearly 3,000 miles from the Queens campus, California is home to a wealth of St. John’s University alumni. And their SJU pride was on full display during a week’s worth of events hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations and California-area alumni chapters.

“We have so many graduates living on the West Coast, and they all bring a lot of excitement and energy,” said Elizabeth Austin ’08TCB, ’10MBA, Assistant Director in the Office of Alumni Relations, who has been leading the charge to expand Alumni Chapters throughout the country. “California, in particular, has thousands of alumni – over 1,000 in Los Angeles and 850 in Orange County/San Diego – and they want to stay connected and get involved. For this trip, we spent time in the southern part of the state and also up north in Sacramento and had a fantastic lineup of events.”

One of the highlights was a reception at Sony Pictures Studios, made possible by Los Angeles Alumni Chapter Leader Juan Capdet ’02CPS, ’04MBA. In addition to alumni, current students and their parents attended, providing them with a chance to network with graduates. 

“I think it was great to speak with students and to show their parents that yes, we went to school thousands of miles away, but it doesn’t mean we leave California for good,” Capdet said. “St. John’s is even more of a national university today than it was when I went there, so you’ve got SJU roots literally all across the country. Social events like this one are a lot of fun, and just the tip of the iceberg of what we hope to do with our Alumni Chapter.” 

Other events included an Orange County reception at Shady Canyon Golf Course, made possible through Jim Coufos ’68UC, and an alumni gathering to catch the Sacramento Kings play the Orlando Magic. The game was particularly meaningful, since alumni Chris Mullin ’98CBA and Peter D’Allessandro ’90SVC work for the Kings as Advisor to the Chairman and General Manager, respectively. Alumni posed with Mullin and D’Alessandro in the stands and received recognition on the jumbotron.

“All the alumni we spoke to throughout the week were very excited about doing more events in the near future,” Austin said. “We hope to host some other great outings soon, like attending L.A. Dodgers vs. New York Mets games and receptions at the Santa Anita Derby and Del Mar Racetrack.” 

For more information about your Alumni Chapter, contact Elizabeth Austin at (718) 990-2548 or by e-mail at austine@stjohns.edu