Last Updated on February 19, 2017 by cassnetwork
RENSSELAER, Ind. – Responding to the overwhelming cry of St. Joseph’s College alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends, the Saint Joseph’s College Alumni Association Board of Directors launched a fund to stop the closing of the College and replace several members of the administration and Board of Trustees.
The “Involved for Life” Fund seeks to raise $20 million by April 1, 2017. When the funds are successfully raised, they will not be released to the College until the the leadership of the Board of Trustees and members of the administration are replaed. The current College president, Dr. Robert Pastoor, announced last week that he will leave the institution in May.
“We believe making these personnel changes will give SJC a chance to survive and thrive,” said Jason Crittendon, Alumni Association Board of Trustees member and class of 1997. “‘Involved for life’ isn’t just a slogan for the school. It’s truly a statement of commitment, so it can’t be a surprise that Pumas a prepared to rally and join together to save Saint Joseph’s College.
The Fund, administered by four Rensselaer-area SJC alumni, will collect donations through April 1. At that time, if the fundraising goal has been met and the resignations have been delivered, all monies collected will be given to Saint Joseph’s College, and all contributions to the fund will be tax deductible. If the fund does not meet its goals, all monies will be returned to each contributor, without tax implications. This fund is not affiliated with the current leadership at Saint Joseph’s College.
On February 3, the SJC Board of Trustees announced its decision to close the school “temporarily” after the May 6 graduation. The Saint Joseph’s College community was shocked and outraged by the decision.
“We were blindsided by the announcement of the Board of Trustees, and we feel the SJC community was never given a chance to adequately fundraise or make the changes necessary,” said Jennifer Sansone, Alumni Association Board of Directors member and class of 1998.”The time between Dr. Pastoor’s letter on January 25 and the Board’s decision has given us whiplash. Regardless of what has been said to the media in the last week, the SJC community was unaware of the severity of the financial situation.
Donations can be sent to “Involved for Life” Fund at DeMotte State Bank, PO Box 311, Rensselaer, IN, 47978.
Questions about wire transfers to the fund can be directed to AnneCecile Egan at the Rensselaer Banking Center. The Fund’s administrators are Julie Suhr (class of 1989) and Teresa Massoels (class of 1989) and attorneys Robert Monfort (class of 1972) and Michael Manis (class of 1996).
The Alumni Association Board of Directors acknowledges that this is only the beginning.
“Our job isn’t over after we raise these initial funds and make these changes to the College’s leadership,” said Margaret Broderick Bush, Alumni Association Board of Directors member and class of 2008. “We will tackle the HLC accreditation concerns and continue fundraising to make sure SJC is a strong, viable institution for generations to come. We will also need the time and talents of our alumni to move SJC into this next chapter.
As an example of the viability of a Saint Joseph’s College eduation, applications for fall 2017 were above previous years. For more information about the “Involved For Life” Fund and the efforts of the SJC community, visit InvolvedForLife.net or join the conversation on the Involved For Life Facebook page.
Organized June 17, 1896, after the charter class that entered in 1891 graduated, the Alumni Association of Saint Joseph’s College was established to “cherish and strengthen the love of graduates of the different classes in communication with the College and with each other, and to bring about an acquaintance and friendship among the graduates of the different years that they may assist each other in attaining these ends.”
The Alumni Association Board of Directors governs the SJC Alumni Assocation. This 24-member board has standing committees for Academics, Recruitment and Networks; Alumni Relations; Campus Relations; and Judiciary. The Board meets on campus four times yearly and works with the College on a variety of programs to keep alumni actively involved with SJC and each other.
SOURCE: News release from Saint Joseph’s College Alumni Association