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From serving as the CEO of her family business to leading philanthropic efforts, Trustee Emerita Virginia “Ginger” Judge attributes much of her success to taking bold action and saying “yes” in times when others have said “no.”

“In business, you don’t get what you deserve—you get what you negotiate,” Ginger said.

Saint Leo has an important place in Ginger’s heart because of her familial connection to the university. Her son, Timothy ’77; daughter-in-law, Kathleen ’79; and grandson, Christopher ’15 are all graduates of Saint Leo.

Ginger and her late husband, Dan, provided a combined 20 years of distinguished leadership as members of Saint Leo’s Board of Trustees.

Ginger congratulates her grandson, Chris Judge, during Saint Leo’s 2015 commencement ceremony.

Before serving as a trustee, Ginger demonstrated her ability to lead at the family-owned and -operated Honeycomb Company of America, where she was the go-to person for many projects.

Honeycomb specialized in the manufacturing of replacement aircraft parts for the U.S. Air Force. The business relocated from Bridgeport, CT, to Sarasota, FL, in 1964. Ginger was actively involved in the company, serving as office manager, purchasing agent, contracts administrator, and senior vice president. Having earned the respect and trust of the employees, she took over as Honeycomb’s president and CEO after Daniel’s passing in 2005.

When asked about how she came into a leadership role in the company early on, Ginger said, “I offered to help.” Those four simple words embody Ginger’s ethos, demonstrating her willingness to offer her time, talent, and treasure in service of others.

Ginger also demonstrated the Saint Leo value of integrity throughout her career. Her commitment to delivering quality products remained steadfast throughout her 49 years of business ownership.

“If it wasn’t right, it wouldn’t go,” Ginger said, emphasizing the importance of doing what was right for servicemembers, whose lives depended on the structural integrity of the parts.

Ginger recalled a time where she packed an airplane part in the trunk of a Lincoln and drove to Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. She knew that if she did not get it there, the plane could not get off the ground. Ginger understood how important those hours were to the servicemembers, so she did what she knew had to be done.

While she has many fond memories of the people she worked with, there were many challenges that came with working as a government contractor for the U.S. Air Force.

“Some days were bad; some days were great. You just keep going,” Ginger said.

While Ginger retired and sold her business in 2014, her words on leading in business through good times and bad are still relevant to many challenges we face today.

As COVID-19 continues to have an unprecedented impact on public health and on the financial situations of so many across the globe, Ginger has continued to step up and act.

When the Lions Together Fund was established to support the needs of both students and staff who faced serious financial hardship due to the effects of the pandemic, Ginger was one of the selfless individuals who made a generous investment to the fund. This was not out of character for her, as she has dedicated much of her time, talent, and treasure to giving back to those most disadvantaged.

Part of what makes Ginger such a distinctive charitable donor is her unassuming disposition.

“It doesn’t have to be a lot of money,” Ginger stated, as she discussed the importance of encouraging others to do what they can to support the university’s mission.

A portrait of Ginger Judge sketched in front of the For those Who Serve statue at University Campus, representing her long career in serving the military.

To inspire generosity from others within the Saint Leo community, Ginger raised a matching gift challenge during A Day for Saint Leo. Her advocacy was a significant factor in the success of this record-breaking day, during which the university raised more than $160,000 from 600 individual donors.

Ginger’s sentiment on giving speaks to the tremendous satisfaction she and other donors like her derive from establishing a legacy of charitable support by making a gift to an organization close to their hearts.

Recognizing the importance of supporting students not just today, but tomorrow, Ginger has made a commitment to join the James J. Horgan Heritage Society. The society honors alumni, parents, and friends who have provided a visionary gift for tomorrow’s generation by including Saint Leo University in their estate plans.

Ginger understands that for many students, a college degree opens doors to opportunities in life that may have seemed beyond reach.

“It gives the youth a shot at doing well,” Ginger answered when asked about what motivated her to make a legacy gift. “They’ve got to have a shot.”


Join the James J. Horgan Heritage Society

Our community is grateful for trailblazers like Ginger, who demonstrate their belief in what matters most: faith, family, and community. If you would like to join Ginger in becoming a member of the James J. Horgan Heritage Society, please contact Associate Vice President of Advancement Stephen Kubasek at (352) 588-8355 or stephen.kubasek@saintleo.edu.

Nicholas Finch with his partner, Ann Marie, their 3-year-old son, Wallace, and their rescue dog.

It’s hard to cram a graduate degree program, a full-time teaching job, and caring for a little one into one schedule, but Nicholas Finch ’20 managed to do it. And along the way, he nurtured his love of writing.

The 26-year-old, originally from Whitchurch, England, credits the flexibility of Saint Leo’s low-residency creative writing program to making his educational goals possible. Finch, who enjoys a career as a teacher, lives in St. Petersburg, FL with his partner, Ann Marie, 3-year-old son, Wallace, and a rescue dog.

Educational Journey

Finch began his higher education career at the University of Tampa (FL) where he majored in English and writing. It was a former professor who convinced him to enroll with Saint Leo University.

“I had Dr. Steve Kistulentz there (UT) and volunteered in the residency program,” Finch said.

While he was accepted into a few full-residency creative writing graduate programs and even started in one of them, he just didn’t feel comfortable.

Kistulentz became director of Saint Leo’s new low-residency Master of Arts in creative writing program in 2016. “I was following Dr. Kistulentz on Facebook and knew about Saint Leo starting its new graduate degree program,” Finch said. “He encouraged me to apply.”

Finch joined Saint Leo University in the summer of 2018, enrolling in the university’s creative writing graduate degree program, choosing the fiction track.

“With the full-residency programs, you pretty much can’t work anywhere else and have to be totally committed and invested in them,” Finch said. “I also wanted to start a family, and it just wouldn’t have been practical for me to be tied down with a program like that.”

The Online Format of this Creative Writing Degree Program

At first, Finch had some trepidation about enrolling in a low-residency degree program in which the coursework is primarily conducted online.

“Before starting this program, I had never taken an online course in my life,” Finch said. “I admit I was a little hesitant because I’m not the most tech-savvy person, and the idea of an online degree program was fairly intimidating to me.”

But thanks to the availability of his professors and the summer residency aspect which enabled him to meet his instructors and classmates in person at University Campus, his concerns were quickly alleviated.

“I’d say I actually felt closer to my professors in this program than I did in traditional classroom-based programs I’ve been in,” Finch said.

The Summer Residency

Each summer, students in this program gather at University Campus for one week. During this event, several accomplished authors are on hand to read from their works and offer advice to students on their respective writing projects.

“Some of the most exciting aspects of this program included listening to these writers read from their work and the craft workshops they do,” Finch said. Hearing their stories about their life experiences as writers has been invaluable.”

Getting to meet Pulitzer Prize-winning author Adam Johnson was a true thrill for Finch. “I actually shared a cheeseburger with him, which was a very interesting and unexpected experience,” Finch said. “I had led a book club on one of his books when I used to work at a bookstore.”

Connecting with his fellow students was also a big perk.

“It’s surprising how well you get to know the other students in just a week during the residency and through our online discussions,” Finch said. “You really learn so much from your classmates.”

Students must complete a book thesis project in their coursework. For Finch, he started out with a short story that he has expanded into a much longer project. The story is about two brothers in which one is left to care for the other brother’s child and the drama that ensues from this situation. It is loosely based on his personal experiences.

Career Highlights

Finch currently teaches ninth grade English and print and digital media at Jesuit High School in Tampa, FL. And when not in the classroom, his other job is his writing career. Already, Finch has had about 30 of his works—short stories and poetry—published in small literary and online journals.

Some of these print publications have included Avis MagFlash: The International Short-Short Story MagazineThe Level Crossing, and Haiku Journal.

Finch said there are three primary ways in which he comes up with the ideas for his creative writing.

“When something happens that intrigues or confuses me and I don’t have words for it, I immediately want to write about it and find the language to express it,” Finch said. “Also, any time someone tells me a story and I retell it and people take the time to sit down and listen, then I want to share it with more people in writing. Finally, I like thinking about memories I have from my own life and preserving them in writing.”

Despite his achievements as a young writer, he knows he can always get better at his craft.

“I want to keep getting better at it,” Finch said. “With creative writing, I want to craft better sentences, more nuanced characters, and find the best ways to perfect memories I already have in my mind.”

He has some advice for anyone who wants to grow as a writer:

“No matter what stage you’re at, don’t be afraid to take risks,” Finch said. “Don’t be afraid to write a story that is solely yours because people out there just might be interested in reading it. When you start writing stories with a specific audience in mind, it can hold you back from expressing yourself as far as who you are as an individual. Also, don’t be dissuaded by criticism because it’s only going to make you a better writer in the end.”


Learn More

Read one of Nicholas Finch’s works entitled, “What They Give Children” and learn more about the Master of Arts degree in creative writing.

A Welcome Message for the Class of 2020

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 on your accomplishments and welcome to the Saint Leo University Alumni Association! While your final weeks as a Saint Leo student took place during an unusual time, rest assured the difficulties of the spring will not detract from the good work that yet awaits you and the future that you can build from this point forward.

As you enter the next phase of your life and career, remember you also are warmly invited to a new chapter in your relationship with Saint Leo University. The alumni association is your connection to a network of more than 98,400 Saint Leo alumni worldwide. Begin your relationship with fellow graduates by following Saint Leo alumni on social media and visiting the Saint Leo alumni website to learn more.

Like so many milestones reached during the coronavirus pandemic, the celebration for the Class of 2020 looked very different, but was filled with the same sense of accomplishment, pride, and plenty of green and gold!


Celebrate Homecoming and Reunion Weekend apart, but together

Our next traditional homecoming won’t be held until November 2021, but that does not mean that we can’t connect and celebrate our Saint Leo pride this year. Strength, encouragement, and inspiration can be found whenever our pride of Lions unite. During these challenging times, this connection with others becomes even more important.

All alumni are invited to take part in this year’s virtual Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, which will take place November 9-15 through a series of engaging events. This schedule and format honor the tradition of Saint Leo’s Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, while permitting us to do our part to protect the pride. More details about the homecoming events and activities are available on the Homecoming and Reunion Weekend website.

New this year are Alumni Swag Bags! Show off your Saint Leo pride with these great spirit items and support current students. Proceeds from your purchases will benefit the Lions Together Fund, which was created to assist students facing financial hardship.

Green Package – $15: Saint Leo face mask, window decal, pennant, and baseball hat all in a Saint Leo stadium bag.
Gold Package – $30: Saint Leo face mask, T-shirt, baseball hat, license plate holder, window decal, and pennant all in a Saint Leo stadium bag.

Learn more about Homecoming and Alumni Reunion Weekend and reserve your Alumni Swag Bag on our website.


Join your Saint Leo in this new volunteer opportunity

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.”
– Sherry Anderson

Alumni are among Saint Leo University’s greatest assets, biggest advocates, loudest cheerleaders, and our largest reservoir of talent.

The Alumni Ambassador program leverages the power of our alumni while providing a volunteer opportunity that does not require a formalized time commitment or leadership position. Alumni who are interested in volunteering must simply register as an ambassador and indicate the areas for which they would like to volunteer. When there is a need in that role, a member of the Alumni Engagement and Sustained Giving office will reach out and provide details about next steps. Some examples of volunteer roles include:

  • Hosting or promoting engagement events in your area
  • Representing Saint Leo at official events
  • Supporting your Saint Leo Lions at athletic events in your area
  • Serving as fundraising advocates
  • Being a champion for Saint Leo on social media
  • Partnering with an admissions counselor in your area

To learn more about the Saint Leo University Alumni Ambassador program, email Sarah Olsen at sarah.olsen@saintleo.edu.

Thank you to all those who gave to the Day For Saint Leo giving campaign on February 7. A total of 597 donors helped raise $162,356 in just one day for our university! This equates to a 65 percent increase in dollars raised over last year. This success will go a long way to advance Saint Leo University’s life-changing purpose, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Day for Saint Leo - By the Numbers

It’s Better Inside the Pride

Hundreds of Saint Leo University alumni and their families gathered on University Campus for the 2018 homecoming weekend, November 1 – 4. Alumni came from more than 20 states, Canada, and even as far as Nigeria. They represented nearly 50 different graduating classes, dating as far back as 1947.

The three-day weekend was packed full of a variety of activities—from Brunch with the President to the Lions Tailgate. The Class of 1968 celebrated its 50th reunion with a dinner on Friday night, and Greek Life members participated in a service project with Feeding Children Everywhere, an organization that provides healthy meals to children in need.

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With most Americans spending the majority of their waking hours at work, colleagues can start to become like family. There are work wives and work husbands, brothers and sisters, and even second moms and dads in the workplace.

For some Saint Leo alumni, the definition of a work family takes on added meaning. At PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), many alumni continue to experience Saint Leo’s family-like culture by working together at the Tampa location of the multinational professional services firm, which focuses on audit and assurance, tax, and consulting services. The relationship started with one student about 10 years ago.

Dr. Passard Dean, professor of accounting and finance at Saint Leo, was looking for a way to provide more internship and job opportunities for students. When one student was able to secure a full-time position at PwC after graduation, he asked if she would be willing to help recommend other qualified graduates for jobs.

“All it took was one student who was willing to help make Saint Leo a better place,” Dean said. “Because of her willingness to help, countless students have benefited.”

Left to right, Kara Ennis ’18, Ashley Dudney ’18, Johana Beltran-Cantu ’15

Today Saint Leo participates in a unique internship program with PwC. Dean and Dr. Daniel Tschopp, professor of accounting, work with recruiters from PwC to identify students for its internship program, which often leads to full-time employment after graduation. Each year about eight to 10 seniors participate, receiving exposure to accounting work in a variety of sectors.

Kara Ennis ’18, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting this spring, is one of them.  After graduation, her internship led to a full-time position working with several other Saint Leo alumni.

“It is nice because we were able to come into the organization and already know some familiar faces,” Ennis said. “I didn’t feel out of place. We have each others’ backs, and everyone is so willing to help.”

Ashley Dudney ’18, who also graduated with Ennis and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting, works next to Ennis in the office. She has a Saint Leo alumna as her supervisor, Johana Beltran-Cantu ’15.

“Having a supervisor who went to the same school as you is helpful,” Dudney said. “She knows the curriculum we learned and understands what it was like to go through the program. It’s also inspiring. I look at her and think, ‘That could be me in two years.’”

Beltran-Cantu, who has been with PwC for three years, agrees with Dudney about the value of working with other alumni. She says there’s something special about Saint Leo graduates when it comes to work ethic. They stand out in a crowd.

“If you earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Saint Leo, then I know you had to work hard to be where you are today,” Beltran-Cantu said.

While they may all have different job responsibilities at PwC, Ennis, Dudney, and Beltran-Cantu all agree that working with other alumni adds a special touch to their daily work.

“It’s very much like a community, which is a Saint Leo value,” Dudney said. “We’re all used to living the Saint Leo values and that translates to how we work together here.”

Saint Leo feels like family because I can truly relate the traditions and values of the university to my own upbringing and family morals. At home, we respect and support one another with a ‘we are all in this together’ attitude. When I was a student and now as an active alumna, I have that same feeling—a spirit of unity, every time I step onto campus, visit with alumni, or meet with staff. And I know I always will.”
— Ann Marie Lombardi ’77

“Saint Leo feels like family because of its genuinely good-natured people. Nowhere else can you go and find such a warm-hearted and welcoming community; that is a direct reflection of Saint Leo’s core values being instilled into its students, faculty, and staff. As a student and now as an alumnus, Saint Leo continues to be that amicable family I can always confide in and reach out to for help.”
— Luckson Abraham ’16

“Saint Leo feels like a family because the university always welcomes us home where lifelong friendships were formed and bonded, incredible memories deeply entrenched, and lives transformed and forever impacted by the opportunities that we were afforded. Simply put, I am who I am today, both personally and professionally, because of Saint Leo
University.”
— Greg Greiwe ’80

“Saint Leo feels like family because we enjoy a laugh, a tear, and loads of work. I was taken aback at a regional spotlight event on campus as it was all about India. Home didn’t feel far away. I may struggle to complete my syllabus, but there is always help around. Saint Leo gave me a beautiful opportunity to be a member of the alumni board, as a student representative. I enjoy our meetings especially when we meet my ‘Gang of Lion Kings.’ It was wonderful to watch Saint Leo from the outside; but being involved from inside is even more rewarding.”
— Akshita Sahgal ’19

“Saint Leo feels like family because we all share a common set of core values and experiences. All our lives have changed and have been impacted by our experiences and education at Saint Leo and whenever I am with other alumni, I always feel like we are ‘in it together.’ We share our experiences and core values in our interactions with the world.”
— Laura Chirichigno ’10, ’12

Our furry friends are like members of the family! Here is a cute and cuddly collection of our alumni’s feline and canine companions. Click on each photo below to read their stories. For more pets of Saint Leo, visit our Facebook album.

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“I adopted Boi in May 2016 from a local animal shelter. He is approximately 8 or 9 years old and has been such a pleasure! He has such a big personality and has been a wonderful part of the family!” — Angel Brown ’11, ’15

 

A Day for Saint Leo

The third annual A Day for Saint Leo celebration saw the tradition continue to grow, with new elements added to the day. On that November day, alumni and students across the globe were encouraged to wear school colors, post pictures and stories on social media showing their Saint Leo pride, and make a donation to the program that means the most to them. Students at University Campus took part in crowning two seniors as this year’s king and queen of Saint Leo. The day was capped off with a concert and fireworks, which more than 600 alumni, students, and friends attended.

The fundraising efforts had a great boost with a challenge grant that matched every donation dollar for dollar, up to a total of $25,000. The grand total raised during A Day for Saint Leo 2016 was $100,055!

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Alumni Chapters

You may have left “Leo Land,” but there are many ways to stay connected with fellow Lions and Monarchs.

Saint Leo University’s regional chapter program is designed to strengthen the bond between alumni, as well as between Saint Leo and its alumni. The regional chapters provide opportunities for alumni to network, host events, participate in community service, and help recruit new students, thus preserving our past and supporting our future.

We currently have two official chapters in place, the Tampa Chapter and the Metro New York Chapter. With alumni across the United States, we are looking to launch our regional chapters near you!

If you are interested in getting involved by joining a current chapter or starting a petition for a new chapter, contact Elizabeth Barr at (352) 588-8824 or elizabeth.barr@saintleo.edu.

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A Day at Tampa Bay Downs

The Alumni Association brought a new event to Tampa-area alumni with A Day at Tampa Bay Downs. More than 80 guests were treated to a tour and insider information by equine expert Tom Sweeney, president of Thoroughbred Owners of Florida and owner of Port Royal Racing. Then they enjoyed a catered lunch while taking in the afternoon races.

Check out the event calendar on your.saintleo.edu for the full schedule of events.

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Lions on the Road

Lions on the Road

As our athletic teams hit the road for competition, Saint Leo alumni, students, and staff have expressed interest in being part of the game experience. So last fall, we kicked off the idea of providing fan support, no matter where our teams are. When our men’s basketball team headed to Morrow, GA, to play Clayton State University, near one of our education centers, we organized a Saint Leo event, encouraging everyone to enjoy good athletic competition and good community. The student-athletes also got a chance to tour the Morrow Center and learn more about the experiences of their classmates who study at the education centers.

Who knows where we will travel next. Keep an eye out—the Lions may invade your town!


Dinner with Saint Leo

During the Fall Semester, senior social work students at University Campus were invited to Dinner with Saint Leo, a special opportunity that brings students together with alumni who are working in careers related to their area of study. In addition to networking and making connections, through this program with the office of Career Planning, students can gain practical experience in a professional and social setting.

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Golden Lions

Your Alumni Engagement & Sustained Giving office has partnered with the Undergraduate Admissions office to create a fun volunteer opportunity to help you bring your alma mater to the next generations of Saint Leo students. Golden Lions volunteers will help ensure Saint Leo has a presence in high schools across the United States by serving as university representatives in schools and at college fairs in their hometowns.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Olsen at (352) 588-8937 or sarah.olsen@saintleo.edu.


Sigma Beta Reunion

Sigma-Beta-Reunion2Several members of Sigma Beta attended a reunion in December at the New York Athletic Club. Those in attendance included Bob Tenneyson ’72, Joe Mullane ’71, Eugene Wendelken ’70, Dickie Palazzo ’72, Mickey Neenan ’71, Billy Burns ’73, Doug Smith ’71, Bobby Sheridan ’73, Frank O’Keefe ’74, Bill Tully ’73, Jeff McCarthy ’71, Vic Hogan ’72, and (seated) Carl Miranda ’71.

The Saint Leo University alumni ranks grew to more than 80,000 this year with commencement ceremonies taking place from coast to coast. At University Campus, close to 1,200 students graduated during three ceremonies held April 29 and 30. Those events kicked off the “commencement season” for Saint Leo with 15 more ceremonies being held near education centers throughout May and June. Click the photos to learn more.

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Abena Ankomah ’11, ’16 earning her MBA


achonwaFlashback to 2014:
Chukwudi Peter Achonwa ’14

Originally from Imo state in southern Nigeria, Chukwudi Peter Achonwa has lived and worked across the Niger River in neighboring Delta state for more than 20 years. His home is in the city of Warri, which is not far from the Gulf of Guinea.

His entire life, Achonwa had never been outside Nigeria.
That was until May 2014, when the Saint Leo University online student—and now alumnus—boarded a plane and traveled for nearly 24 hours to arrive in Florida and attend commencement at University Campus.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting that day, and now he is an accountant in his native country. He hopes to earn a master’s degree and a PhD in his field.

Mary Beth Erskine, web content writer, posted a longer story about Chukwudi Peter Achonwa on Saint Leo’s online blog.


grad_4Want to see more photos from the Class of 2016 ceremonies? Be sure to visit
this page.

 

 

 

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Chris Delaporte ’80 – President, Saint Leo Alumni Association

Note from the Alumni Association President

I first want to welcome the Class of 2016 to the Saint Leo University Alumni Association. You are joining a dynamic and diverse group of alumni totaling more than 82,000 and spanning all 50 states, Washington, DC, three U.S. territories, and 76 countries. Needless to say, our Saint Leo is far-reaching and impressive.

I also want to welcome this year’s eight new members to the Alumni Association Board of Directors. I look forward to working with you, and the returning board members, as we continue to work toward our goals of engaging alumni, identifying new ways to better support Saint Leo alumni, and expanding awareness of the great things our alma mater is doing in education and community service.


Events on Campus and on the Road

Saint Leo alumni, students, and friends come together—at University Campus, at education centers, and in different cities—to reconnect with old friends and classmates, network with new friends, and have fun. Check out the calendar of events to make sure you don’t miss out.

Last year more than 2,000 people attended Saint Leo alumni and community events.

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For F. Tobias “Toby” Tedrowe ’87, the Saint Leo University Campus is a special place. His parents were both professors at Saint Leo College, he earned dual degrees in business literature and business marketing from the college, and it is where he met his future wife, Kathy (Myers) Tedrowe ’87. It is also where he spent his childhood—swimming, fishing, and sailing on Lake Jovita, running through the orange groves, and skateboarding down the hill. “I had free roam of the place and I knew all the teachers,” Toby said. “A lot of people here influenced me.”

Thaddeus William TedroweHis father, Thaddeus William Tedrowe, was a decorated World War II bomber pilot and a prisoner of war. After receiving his MBA from the University of South Florida, Thaddeus taught accounting and finance courses at Saint Leo in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and later became the head of the school’s business division. He was instrumental in making the Saint Leo military education program a reality at the Avon Park Bombing Range in 1973 and later at MacDill Air Force Base. After retiring in 1981, he regularly visited colleagues at the school and would fly his ultra-light plane into the Bowl to deliver his yearly donation (pictured above).

Toby’s mother, Dorothea ’73, a survivor of Nazi Germany, was the first German Jew to work as an interpreter for the Americans after the war. She arrived in Tampa in 1955 and helped establish the library at MacDill, where she later met her husband. She taught in private schools and eventually needed a higher education degree so she decided to attend Saint Leo where she earned her psychology degree. Dorothea went on to work in private practice and later returned to her alma mater as an adjunct professor of psychology, eventually retiring in the late 80s due to health issues. “My mom was an incredible teacher and her students really loved her,” boasted Toby.

Thaddeus and Dorothea Tedrowe were married for 42 years until his death in 1998 at the age of 78. She died six years later in 2004 at the same age.

Toby’s parents set a good example, so it was fitting that he met Kathy at Saint Leo. The two first spotted each other on an ROTC recruitment camping trip in 1984. At the time, Toby was a 19-year-old sophomore, and Kathy, who enrolled the previous year as a biology major, was 21. At first, he says they hung out together because Kathy was a good cook. Then they started dating and spending more time with one another. They were married on August 25, 1990, three years after they graduated from Saint Leo and the same year Toby graduated from the University of Baltimore Law School. Today, Toby is corporate counsel for Good Times Cigar Company in Tampa, and Kathy, who home-schooled all three of their children, still enjoys cooking, as well as reading and spending time with their family.

The Tedrowe family connection does not end there. Toby’s brother, Thaddeus Stephen Tedrowe ’81, graduated from Saint Leo, and his brother-in-law, Patrick Myers ’94, and sister-in-law, Allison Myers ’94, are also both proud Saint Leo alumni. Toby and Kathy’s oldest child, Hannah, currently is enrolled at Saint Leo through the Center for Online Learning.

Reflecting on his military service and summarizing the Tedrowe family legacy, Thaddeus once told Toby that he wanted to focus his energies on “building things, not destroying them.” Toby explained, “He always said his greatest accomplishment was that he became a professor.”

Our alumni, students, faculty, and staff enjoy a variety of special events throughout the year. Take a few moments to experience Saint Leo in Pictures. Click on any photo below to learn more.

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Burke Tomaselli ’16 (left) and Zoe Mathieu ’16 facing off in the mock presidential debate. During fall semester, Saint Leo University students in a broad range of academic classes created a fictitious (but realistic) two-party American presidential campaign. Students assumed the roles of candidates, staff, press, security consultants, and other key players, culminating with a debate between the fictitious Republican and Democratic presidential nominees on November 13.

 

 

 

 

 

A Day for Saint Leo

Friday, November 13, 2015, marked the second annual Day for Saint Leo celebration. Students, faculty, and staff from across the university donned the green and gold, and generous donors showed their support. When the day was done, community members had shared 643 posts on social media sites and donated nearly $55,000. At University Campus, the tradition of crowning a Saint Leo king and queen was reinstated, as Masterson Dempsey ’16 and Haley Wing ’16 enjoyed their new royal titles.

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Coming Home to You Tour

During fall 2015, the Coming Home to You Tour continued with stops in Florida and for the first time visiting Virginia. The tour expanded again in the spring with the first-ever stops in Georgia. The events allowed alumni to connect with Saint Leo in their hometown, while networking, enjoying food and beverages, and sharing #MySaintLeo.

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Road Trip!

The Saint Leo women’s basketball team traveled to North Carolina for a pair of pre-season exhibition games against Division I opposition in November. Alumni, parents, and staff joined the Lions on the road for both games and also enjoyed a special reception with the players and coaches in Durham, NC. Highlights of the trip included the game at Duke University played at historic Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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Sigma Beta Holiday Gathering

Several brothers from the Sigma Beta fraternity gathered for their own Holiday Reunion at the New York City Athletic Club this winter. Each year the “Beta Brothers” pay respect to the brothers who are no longer with us and remember the awesome time they had at Saint Leo, “home of the Monarchs.”

Left to right: Bob Tennyson ’72, Jeff McCarthy ’71, Eugene Wendelken, Dennis Lepore ’72, Robert Sheridan ’73, Joe Mullane ’70, Carl Miranda ’71,  William Burns ’73, Doug Smith ’71, Dickie Palazzo ’72, Michael Neenan ’71, Victor Hogan ’73;  kneeling: William Tully ’73
Left to right: Bob Tennyson ’72, Jeff McCarthy ’71, Eugene Wendelken, Dennis Lepore ’72, Robert Sheridan ’73, Joe Mullane ’70, Carl Miranda ’71,  William Burns ’73, Doug Smith ’71, Dickie Palazzo ’72, Michael Neenan ’71, Victor Hogan ’72;  kneeling: William Tully ’73


Prep Class of 1959 Group

Members of the Class of 1959 gathered in south Florida for an impromptu reunion this winter. The group traveled to Florida from Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Gordon Winslow received an award from the group, presumptively representing the entire Class of ’59, for all his efforts in keeping everyone together.

Standing from left to right: Gordon Winslow, Jim Toner, Carl Baerst, Jorge Salgado, and William “Neal” Behringer; seated left to right: Tom Peschio (Saint Leo Board of Trustees member) and Jim Garcia
Standing from left to right: Gordon Winslow, Jim Toner, Carl Baerst, Jorge Salgado, and Allen “Chick” Behringer; seated left to right: Tom Peschio (Saint Leo Board of Trustees member) and Jim Garcia

 

Saint Leo has a proud tradition of helping to educate active-duty military, veterans, and their families—no matter where they are located. These two student stories are examples of the many students who benefit from Saint Leo’s commitment to serving those who serve.


Leo GuzmanLeo Guzman ’13

Stationed in Afghanistan, Leo Guzman is a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army. He earned his associate degree from Saint Leo in 2013 and now is working on his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. “I chose Saint Leo for my education because it had a degree plan that attracted my interest, the mascot was a lion, and we share a name,” he explained.

Over the course of his military career, he has traveled to Iraq, Germany, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Qatar. He hopes to walk across the graduation stage at University Campus, retire from the U.S. Army, and start a career as a Junior ROTC instructor. For now, he proudly waves the Saint Leo flag.

“My experience as a Saint Leo student is indescribable. I have been a student in [an education center] classroom; I have taken VTT classes and online classes. The flexibility that Saint Leo has offered is top-notch.”


Katelyn Flanagan ’15Katelyn Flanagan

Katelyn Flanagan met her future husband, Scott, during her senior year of high school when she was taking a college-level class at the local community college in Lancaster, PA.

Four years later, they married, and with Scott in the U.S. Air Force, Katelyn began her journey as a military spouse. These days, they are stationed in Spangdahlem, Germany, and she is taking advantage of all the online opportunities that Saint Leo has to offer. She finished her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice last year, graduating cum laude. She even traveled to University Campus to take part in the commencement ceremony. Now, she is pursuing her master’s degree in criminal justice: critical incident management.

While she studies for her master’s degree, Flanagan is in the application process to become an officer in the Air Force. She and her husband should return stateside in 2017, but Saint Leo will be with her wherever she goes.


Mary Beth Erskine, web content writer, posted a longer story about Katelyn Flanagan on Saint Leo’s online blog

Known as a “quiet force,” Eric Ward ’13 was named the Tampa Police Department chief on April 30. Ward, who grew up in the Belmont Heights area of East Tampa, has served in almost every area of the Tampa Police Department. His work with the department exemplifies Saint Leo University’s core value of community.

Ward, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice, is known for reaching out to those in Tampa. One of his main goals as chief is to make sure the community and law enforcement have a good bond. To that end, Ward often visits Grady Elementary, where his wife is a teacher, as well as Tampa PAL (Police Athletic League). He remembers that Belmont Heights Little League and Tampa PAL played a role in his life from a young age, and it is where he learned that most police officers are “good.” Those officers provided him with skills and knowledge to be successful.

“You have to interact with kids at an early age,” Ward said in a City of Tampa video. “The sooner we can interact with them, the better it is for law enforcement and the community.”

The Tampa police chief saw tensions between law enforcement and his East Tampa community when he was growing up. So when he was 21, he decided to join the police force “to make a difference from within.” He explains, “It was a lifelong goal to become a police officer, but I did not envision myself as being the chief.”

While he was a TPD officer, Ward began taking classes at University Campus, at the MacDill Education Office, and online. “I knew that Saint Leo had a highly regarded criminal justice program, and that many of my colleagues have benefitted greatly from the classes,” he said.

He faced the trials of many adult learners. “Time management was a challenge,” Ward said. “It takes a tremendous amount of discipline for a full-time police officer—with a family—to devote the appropriate time to classwork.”

His favorite memories of his time as a Saint Leo student? “I especially enjoyed networking with colleagues in law enforcement and in the military.”

On the city website, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said his selection of a new police chief was one of the most important appointments a mayor can make. “Within the department, Eric is known as a quiet force, and his methodical demeanor and certitude will serve him, the department, and our city.”

Ward will take the skills he learned at Saint Leo and his 27 years with the Tampa Police Department and use them to serve the Tampa Bay area.

“As a police officer—and now as chief—I recognize that I have a tremendous opportunity to accomplish things for this city and this community,” Ward said. “I welcome that opportunity, as well as the challenges that go with it. My favorite part is being in the community and seeing where we have made a difference, or where we can make a difference.”

Following the Saint Leo men’s golf program’s historic National Semifinal finish in the 2015 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships, here’s a look at a Lion who continues to succeed in the
golf industry.

Bayram 1Marc Bayram was a four-year starter for the Saint Leo men’s golf team before earning his undergraduate degree in business administration with a minor in golf course management. He immediately put his experience inside and outside of the classroom to use by working in the golf industry as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He began his teaching career at Plantation Palms Golf Club in Land O’Lakes, FL, and was also the head coach of nearby Sunlake High School. Marc also gave back to Saint Leo golf during that time, serving as an assistant golf coach for both the men’s and women’s programs.

“Seeing the success of the [2015] team has made me a really proud Lion. I know how tough the competition is in the Sunshine State Conference,” said Bayram. “Many players I played against during my years at Saint Leo have made careers on the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour. To see the current team doing so well in such a competitive environment is really special, and I would not be surprised to see one of them playing on TV someday.”

Returning home to Connecticut in 2008, Bayram served as the assistant golf professional at Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Kensington, CT. He further ascended the career ladder in 2011 when he became the head golf professional at Timberlin Golf Club, where he continues to share the game and his experience with others. Marc is a Class-A PGA member and has devoted his professional career to the PGA of America and the growth of the game of golf. He has been an active participant in PGA programs and was recognized as the 2012 Merchandiser of the Year and 2015 Youth Player Development Award winner in the CT section PGA.

Marc resides in Berlin, CT, with his wife, Kat, and children Shelby-Mae, Marc, and Max.

“I am very fortunate to have a career that I enjoy,” Bayram added. “Being able to support my family with a job doing something I love would not have been possible without my Saint Leo education and experiences as a student-athlete.”