My first year as president of Saint John’s University has been a great honor and pleasure. In addition to getting to know my colleagues in Collegeville and St. Joseph, I traveled widely to meet the many Johnnies living around the country and world. At these gatherings, our smart and engaged alumni had many questions about the educational mission of Saint John’s but also about higher education in general. Conversations about the challenges facing higher education and Saint John’s, especially the economic model, have been among the most engaging interactions I have had during the year.
These conversations and other interactions with alumni have encouraged us to experiment with additional ways of communicating with friends of the University. As is increasingly common at colleges and universities, we are setting up a blog we are calling Quad 136 (which happens to be my office number at SJU). This blog has three general purposes:
- To share with readers happenings in Collegeville as well as news from the wider world that might affect Saint John’s.
- To hear back (through the use of comments) from alumni and friends on these same and related issues.
- To encourage conversations and connections between alumni and friends who might share an interest in some of the topics raised in the blog.
I am excited to see how this communication will work. Given time constraints and other obligations, my goal is to post about once a week. Though I am unlikely to be able to respond to many of the comments (assuming we get any!), if the blog strengthens ties between alumni and friends and Saint John’s University, it will have accomplished its purpose.
Michael Hemesath ’81
Saint John’s University