Alumni Donor Societies Celebrate Christmas at Annual Soirée

Alumni Donor Societies at the Annual Soirée
December 18, 2019

More than 60 members of The McCallen and Loughlin Societies enjoyed a memorable evening at the Annual Society Christmas Soirée on Thursday, December 5, at Manhattan’s elegant 3 West Club. 

“We chose the 3 West Club because it is near many of the Christmas activities in New York City,” remarked Susan M. Damiani ’87CBA, Director, Office of Gift Planning. “The sunroom directly overlooks St. Patrick’s Cathedral; the view reminds us about the true meaning of Christmas. It is not about the material things, but time spent with those we hold near and dear to our heart.”

Society members were excited to reconnect with friends and enjoy the Christmas season with members of their St. John’s University family. Following Ms. Damiani’s welcoming remarks, guests continued to take in the view of Manhattan while enjoying hors d’oeuvres. After the social, guests had a three-course meal of arugula and shaved fennel salad, grilled salmon fillet with mango salsa or roasted sliced beef tenderloin with perigourdine sauce, and a variety of desserts.

The highlight was the music performance by Nigel W. Gretton, St. John’s Director of Performing Arts and award-winning conductor, and doctoral candidate Remy Anton Martin ’16P, ’18GEd; they had everyone out of their seats singing along to “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Each table had a Christmas theme, which made it easy to get into the holiday spirit.

Philip J. Wax ’66Ed, ’69G and his wife, Teresa Rioseco-Wax, enjoy attending St. John’s events and were happy to be at the soirée. “It is very nice to get together during the holidays,” remarked Mr. Wax. 

The couple especially enjoyed the 3 West Club. “It is a beautiful place to have the Christmas soirée. It is more intimate and has great views of New York,” noted Mrs. Rioseco-Wax.

Being among familiar faces reminded them of the University-sponsored events they attend in Naples, FL, where alumni show their school spirit and pride. “The St. Patrick’s Day events are so much fun,” Mr. Wax said. His wife acknowledged that she was hesitant to participate in the parade march at first, but ultimately found it to be enjoyable. “We have been going ever since,” she said. 

Robe Cote ’10C was excited to be among other donors and friends for such a wonderful event. “I am a member of The McCallen Society because I realize St. John’s gave me so much,” he explained. “I wanted to give back to the University in my estate.” 

The McCallen Society is unique for its exclusive events and opportunities to meet friends and family throughout the St. John’s community. “The best way to celebrate Christmas is with my St. John’s family,” he said. “I would not miss a holiday soirée with society members. What a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season.”

Adriana Dino ’02TCB, feels similarly to Mr. Cote. “I never left St. John’s,” she said. Ms. Dino has been at the University for 17 years and currently serves as Supervisor of Gift Administration at the University. “St. John’s has always been a second home to me,” she said. “I enjoy giving back, not just monetarily, but also through volunteering and spending time with the students.” 

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