Founding the SOT/Sem Alumni Council
The Alumni Council for the Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary was formed in response to the School of Theology’s Strategic Plan goals and objectives, and on alumni desires to have a closer relationship with the SOT/Sem. Starting in June 2017, a pilot group of twelve alumni met several times to discuss what the goals and structure of such a council would be. This group then created a configuration for the Alumni Council that includes one Chair and one Co-Chair along with 12-14 Alumni Ambassadors. The Ambassadors will be a mix of alumni from various ministries and careers as well as people who live locally near Collegeville, throughout the state of Minnesota, and across the country.
The official launch to the Alumni Council was in January 2018 with Bailey Ziegler ’15 and Rebecca Calderone ’14 beginning their terms as Chair and Co-Chair of the Council. Bailey, a 2015 Master of Divinity graduate, was instrumental in the creation of the Alumni Council and worked closely with the Development and Alumni offices to form and lead the pilot group through the initial five months of discussion and discernment. She served a one-year term as Chair of the Alumni Council in 2018 and has now become a Council Ambassador for 2019. Bailey also works as the Director of Human Resources for the Diocese of St. Cloud when she is not volunteering for the council. Rebecca Calderone, a 2014 Master of Divinity graduate, served an initial one-year term in 2018 as the Co-Chair for the Alumni Council and is currently Council Chair for 2019. Rebecca is employed as the Director of Pastoral Care for CentraCare St. Benedict's Community in St. Cloud.
In the first year of the Alumni Council, much work was done to finalize what the Council looks like and its sustainability. Rebecca and Bailey collaborated with the SOT/Sem Alumni Relations and Development offices in selecting and inviting Ambassadors to join the Council. This group met for the first time in April 2018 and now meets annually to ensure the advancement and continuation of the Alumni Council into the future. The five priority areas the Council is currently focusing on include: connecting with Collegeville, ongoing formation and educational opportunities, community building activities, communication, and networking support for people in ministry.
The Alumni Council hosts the Prayer and Convivium Breakfast event at the annual reunion weekend each summer and plans select Alumni-centered events throughout the year to coincide with other campus activities like Homecoming and Graduation. They hope that many alumni are able to attend these events, so they can connect, learn more about the needs of our alumni, and get new ideas and feedback. Hope to see you at a future event!