SummerMagazine_2014_final - page 20-21

summer 2014 | St. Lawrence University Magazine 19
18 summer 2014 | St. Lawrence University Magazine
University Launches Laurentian
Leadershıp Society
Top: Enjoying the Laurentian Leadership Society gathering were, from
left, Virginia Ranger P’17; John and Leslie Veith Reed, both ’85, P’16; and
Lisa Tarbox Luke ’82, P’12.
Bottom: Honorary Laurentian Leadership Society co-chair Julian B. “Jay”
Twombly ’69, P’97, left, enjoys a laugh with Robert Montgomery ’14,
center, and Nick Chretien ’15. Montgomery, who spoke at the Society’s
inaugural dinner, was president of the Thelomathesian Society in 2012;
Chretien was one of several students in attendance who were enrolled in
St. Lawrence’s New York City Semester.
“It was a delightful evening
of good company, good spirit, and
a program focused on talented students.” That’s how Lynn ’68
and Terry Burns Birdsong ’69 summed up the inaugural dinner
of the Laurentian Leadership Society on Tuesday, April 8.
Chair of the Board Jeffery H. Boyd ’78 and President William
L. Fox ’75 welcomed 66 members in person to the new Society
at the dinner, at the Lotos Club in New York City. “We take
this moment to recognize your dedication to St. Lawrence Uni-
versity, and we celebrate all of the ways that your contributions
have advanced the St. Lawrence Promise,” said President Fox
in summarizing the purpose of the event and of the Laurentian
Leadership Society, which includes 376 loyal Laurentians.
Some exemplary students contributed their perspective on to-
day’s St. Lawrence and offered their appreciation for their alma
mater. Tonisha Kerr ’15 articulated how studying in China and
participating in the New York City Semester have influenced
her academic interest in global economics as well as her career
plans, including continuing her alumni-connected internship
at a financial firm this summer. Robert Montgomery ’14,
following Tonisha, delivered a line with comedic timing when
he compared the Lotos Club – one of the oldest literary clubs
in the United States, residing in a building constructed at
the turn of the 20th century for a granddaughter of William
Vanderbilt – to Dana Dining Center.
uperficially comedic, perhaps, but his comparison resonates
deeply. Dedicated Laurentians shared a delicious meal together
in a social and intellectual setting –just like Dana, where perhaps
the highest concentration of Laurentian bonding happens as stu-
dents talk about their classes, practices, rehearsals and weekend
plans. Any casual observer can see the same phenomenon unfold,
whether it’s a group of alumni with “St. Lawrence” emblazoned
By Shayla Snyder Witherell ’11 Photos by Alex Smith ’12
on their sweatshirts and water bottles as they sit around a camp-
fire roasting hotdogs after hiking an Adirondack High Peak, or
across the world in Senegal as students extend their hands into a
communal bowl of fish and rice. The Laurentian Leadership So-
ciety is founded on and acknowledges this breadth of camarade-
rie whose magnitude without the support of our most generous
friends, parents and alumni would not be the same. The presence
of the St. Lawrence students made that impression clear.
New organization honors St. Lawrence’s most generous donors.
–President William L. Fox ’75
We recognize your dedication
to St. Lawrence University, and
we celebrate all of the ways your
contributions have advanced
the St. Lawrence Promise.
Top: President William L. Fox ’75, left, visits with Lynn Birdsong ’68.
Bottom: Chair of the Board of Trustees Jeff Boyd ’78, second from left,
chats with Fangjing Chen ’15, left, who provided a musical back-
ground at the gathering; Tonisha Kerr ’15, who spoke at the dinner;
and University Trustee Zhihong “Hook” Huang ’02. Both students were
participants in St. Lawrence’s New York City Semester.
us to make the St. Lawrence experience possible for
every student. Thank you to those who volunteer their
time to host Laurentian events or raise critical dollars
and participation numbers for the St. Lawrence Fund.
resident Fox introduced the most senior and renowned
member of the Laurentian Leadership Society, Kirk
Douglas ’39, who although he couldn’t be there in
person had prerecorded a special video message. He
recalled his journey to St. Lawrence, arriving on campus with
only $140 and smelling like fertilizer. Fortunately, he related,
he made a good impression on Dean Hulett, who said upon
admitting him to St. Lawrence, “I am going to take a chance on
you.” St. Lawrence was the turning point in his life, a fact that
inspired him to make a commitment to help others, Douglas
explained, by establishing the Kirk Douglas Scholarship, which
he is increasing so that even more students may benefit. “A
good idea – try it,” he concluded with a knowing smile.
Philanthropy matters at St. Lawrence. Investing in education
and in young people and their futures, taking a chance on
them and welcoming them into the St. Lawrence commu-
nity, is one of the most comprehensive investments one can
make in benefiting our larger community. The Laurentian
Leadership Society is a way to acknowledge those who have
recognized the immeasurable significance of philanthropy and
have given at least $100,000 throughout their lifetime to the
University – a transformative amount of abiding support of
the Scarlet and the Brown.
Supporters of St. Lawrence are recognized as members
of the Laurentian Leadership Society when their total outright
lifetime giving to the University reaches $100,000.
Member benefits include:
Exclusive communications from President William L. Fox ’75.
Invitations to special Laurentian Leadership Society events.
Additional recognition in St. Lawrence’s annual
Report of Appreciation
, other University publications
and the St. Lawrence website.
Honorary Co-Chairs
About the Laurentian
Leadership Society
For more information about the Laurentian Leadership Society,
please email
or call 315-229-5730.
Julian B. “Jay” ’69 and Linda Twombly P’97
Christine L. “Chris” Koski ’79
Carolyn D. Putney ’88
Christopher P. Yoshida ’00
Susanne C. and R. JohnWean III P’06
The generosity of our alumni, parents,
faculty, students and friends allows
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