December 17, 2012
The road to generosity is unique for everyone, and that’s
especially true for members of The Loughlin Society, St. John’s
University’s leadership giving society.
Just ask James Fenton ’90CBA, who was inspired to give by the
memory of an old friend.
“I’ve been a member for two years now,” he said recently at The
Loughlin Society Winter Reception, held at The Essex House in
Manhattan. “I began giving because of my mentor, Robert Chrenc
’66CBA, ’06HON, who gave me my very first job at Arthur Anderson
& Co. When he passed away, I had an incredibly strong feeling
to give back and get involved.”
Alison DiFazio ’07CPS, meanwhile, gives because she too
was once the recipient of alumni generosity.
“Most of my career choices and job placements have been through our
alumni,” she explained. “That’s partly what inspired me to start
giving back to our students, so I can have a similar impact on
But though their reasons for giving may be distinct, each member of
The Loughlin Society shares in the knowledge that their
contributions have a major impact on the lives of students, and at
The Loughlin Society Winter Reception, St. John’s thanked them for
all that they do.
“We are a university that is truly blessed, and it is you who are
our guardian angels,” said Robert D. Wile ’99SVC, Senior Vice
President and Chief of Staff, Office of the President, as he
welcomed the guests. “Our reputation as one of the world’s leading
Catholic universities is well-deserved, and because of your
generosity, it is your reputation as well.”
One of the many students who benefits from The Loughlin Society’s
donations is Senior Alex Naples, a Finance major who also serves as
Goalkeeper on the Men’s Soccer team. He spoke to the audience about
the privilege of being a student-athlete at a Division I program,
and how alumni support is what made his education possible.
scholarships have had a significant effect on my life, as well as
the life of my family,” he explained. “They remind me that my hard
work is being rewarded and that my efforts and sacrifices are all
worthwhile. It is very difficult for most families to come up with
the money for college tuition, so words cannot describe how
grateful I am for the support I have received.”
He also recalled what it was like to win the BIG EAST Championship
in 2011, helping his team pull off a remarkable upset over the
University of Connecticut in the final game.
“I looked up into the stands and saw my parents beaming with
pride,” he said. “It was a pride not only for what their son had
accomplished as an athlete, but for what he had become as a
Naples’ story reinforced that alumni donations truly do make dreams
come true, allowing students to enjoy the top-notch academics and
cutting-edge technology that St. John’s provides.
main lesson we heard here tonight is that we make college
affordable for folks who can’t afford it,” said Paul Torre ’87CBA.
“I have three teenage daughters myself – two of whom are in college
– so I know what the expenses are like. It’s important that we
provide anything we can to help offset those costs, and once you
reach a certain point in your career and your life, I feel that
giving back is sort of like a duty.”
Though their reasons for giving are unique, each member of The
Loughlin Society walked away reminded of the importance of their
generosity, and University President Rev. Donald J. Harrington,
C.M., expressed his gratitude.
“We are a very strong academic institution, and we have now taken
our place among the highly respected national universities in the
United States,” he said. “And we have done that without losing
focus on our mission. So I thank you for your support and your
encouragement and for believing ever so strongly in this great
University which is St. John’s.”
Learn how you can
join The Loughlin Society and support our students in an
incredibly meaningful way.