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Jason Arigoni

Alumnus Jason Arigoni became a leader for The Home Depot by investing in others.

After high school, Jason Arigoni ’05 was not considering college. He already had established himself firmly in a retail career, working since he was a teenager at the Southeastern grocery chain Winn-Dixie and then joining Target after graduation.

It wasn’t until 2001, when Arigoni played a round of golf at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club and had a casual conversation with another golfer, that he seriously thought about a degree. That golfer turned out to be a Saint Leo admissions counselor. Arigoni started classes in January 2002 and graduated in May 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Working full time while commuting and taking a full course load at University Campus left Arigoni with little time for campus social life. “My time was spent in class or at work,” Arigoni said. “I was working 40 to 55 hours each week, but I did occasionally come out to support sporting events.”

Yet, Arigoni’s Saint Leo experience made an impression.

Jason Arigoni and his team at Home Depot
Jason Arigoni (center) visits with team members in Williston, VT.

It is, perhaps, no coincidence that Arigoni is now regional vice president of the New England region at The Home Depot, a company that espouses core values similar to Saint Leo University’s.

“In all honesty, I think all of Saint Leo’s values align with Home Depot’s,” Arigoni said. “The Home Depot is a values-driven organization. We encourage entrepreneurial spirit, doing the right thing, building strong relationships, giving back, respect for all people, creating shareholder value, excellent customer service, and taking care of our people.”

Taking care of people, especially his customers and his employees, may well be what Arigoni does best.

He made time to speak with Saint Leo while waiting to board a plane on a Friday afternoon. Arigoni’s emphasis on communication skills was evident as he tuned out the airport noise and answered every question thoughtfully—even as he was headed home to (the Boston suburb) where he, his wife, Lina, and their 4-year-old daughter, Gulianna, now live.

“I was really attracted to the values and the culture of The Home Depot, that feeling of ‘We’re going to do this! We believe it! We live by it!’” Arigoni said.

“I didn’t realize how rare it was to be recruited by The Home Depot,” Arigoni said. “I really enjoyed working for Target, so when The Home Depot tried to recruit me, I went back and forth with them for a year and a half.” Once Arigoni made the decision to join the world’s largest home improvement retailer, he never looked back.

Jason Arigoni and his team at Home Depot
Arigoni celebrates the success of an associate.

Arigoni is a proponent of the “inverted pyramid” model of organization and leadership used at The Home Depot. In that business model, front-line associates (employees) are the most important people in the company’s hierarchy because they are closest to the customers.

He said he believes in investing in his associates and attributes his success to that investment.

“The moments that stick with me the most are the ones where you inspire associates who didn’t think they were capable of growing their career, for whatever reason, and you show up and help them break past that notion,” Arigoni said.

“Many of these folks go on to obtain roles that are actually life-changing,” Arigoni said. “The most motivating part is realizing in real time that you are part of one of these career/life-changing moments.”

As focused as he is on his job, Arigoni makes time for other important facets of life.  He and his wife and daughter are working their way through a list of the 100 best things to do in the Northeast. They especially enjoy exploring the Atlantic coastline and hiking.

Jason Arigoni and his team at Home Depot
Arigoni and associates at The Home Depot

Through his position at Home Depot, Arigoni is the “community captain” supporting the service work of the 800 stores in the northern United States. Outside his job, he serves on the executive advisory board for the Ron Burton Training Village, which offers a seven-year program for at-risk youth to guide, support, and mentor them in education, social skills, moral values, leadership, and fitness.

He also makes time for entrepreneurial side gigs, running among other businesses, a property management company.

Arigoni offers this advice to his team and to anyone who aspires to grow their careers: “Understand your personal balance and how that aligns with your personal vision and values. Make time for what motivates you outside of work.

“Remember that you’re in marathon, not a sprint,” Arigoni continued. “Whether you are making a lateral move to get ahead in your career or working toward a college degree that takes a long time to finish, it’s all OK, as long as you meet your end goal and help others along the way.”

Photos courtesy of The Home Depot

Alumnus finds value and application in a popular Saint Leo University course on terrorism in Israel.

Charlie Bird ’05 ’11 ’14 followed a time-honored path over the course of three decades to emerge as the head of law enforcement  in his Central Florida hometown. He started as an outdoorsy, active young man who was introduced to the career through a friend who was a police dispatcher, and found the work suited him. He earned his degrees near home and advanced through the ranks. 

Now, as the director of public safety for the same small city, Winter Haven, FL (population: 43,000), Bird is a proponent of providing police and other emergency professionals with an international educational perspective. Even in smaller-population cities such as his, the threats to public safety and well-being are real, he said. Parkland, the Florida city victimized by the infamous Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, estimates its current population at 32,000, he pointed out.

Through his experiences at Saint Leo, Bird came to the conclusion that approaches to keeping the public safe now have to be researched worldwide, and not just within our country’s framework.

Bird earned an associate degree from Saint Leo in 2005 and later earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the university, studying part time, while working and raising a family. Then he followed that degree with a master’s in criminal justice with a concentration in critical incident management.

That was all sound training, he says, but what made him a more forward-leaning leader was his participation in an eight-day group trip to Israel. The tour is a learning experience that is organized periodically by Saint Leo’s departments of public safety administration and criminal justice in partnership with a respected security training company for law and safety students and professionals. The group learned about Israel’s approach to counterterrorism through its public infrastructure, various protective agencies, and planning capabilities.

“It was one of the best things I ever did,” Bird said of his 2014 experience. While many fellow travelers on the trip were from large-city police forces, Bird encountered many lessons that he applies in directing safety operations for Winter Haven, and that he thinks could work for other smaller municipalities.

New perspectives

What meant the most to Bird was the emphasis placed on the prevention of attacks and cooperative measures, along with strong tactical response capabilities. For instance, he realized in Israel, police and firefighters may coordinate and act immediately at a mass casualty, rather than in a sequence with police first, then firefighters. “You’re looking at it from a different perspective,” he said.

Charlie Bird, left, with Saint Leo faculty member Dr. Robert Sullivan on a tour during a study trip in May 2014 to Israel.

The Israeli thinking about keeping schools safe from intruders and active shooters also intrigued Bird. “Their security layers for schools are not just on campus,” he said. “They are outside that. They patrol the perimeters outside the school property.” His department could examine and adjust patrol routes, he immediately realized.

When he returned to Florida, the ideas stayed, and advancement opportunities followed. Bird became Winter Haven’s police chief early in 2015 after the previous chief, a mentor, left for another position in the region. After another few years, the city’s fire chief retired.

The local city manager in 2018 proposed a new organization bringing the fire and police departments, along with code enforcement, under one city department overseen by Bird. Bird agreed and was appointed the director of public safety, a new position. He now oversees 91 police employees and a force of 71 firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

One of Bird’s current initiatives involves taking police, fire, and code enforcement officers on team walks through neighborhoods where some of the homes and yards are out of code compliance or are about to be because of overgrown grass, debris, or other deficits. Team members walk and knock on doors to talk to residents, Bird said, taking an informative approach first, and asking what the public servants can do to help the residents bring the property into code compliance.

Community members who help agency personnel may come along, too, Bird said, and sometimes identify easy solutions. Firefighters look for features of buildings that might be fire hazards and add to their knowledge of the properties under their protective watch.

Cross-functional teams

The police presence also reassures residents the department is serious about keeping the area safe from personal and property crime and fighting drug dealing. This cooperative venture is also a data-driven exercise that will track results, including numbers of code citations and calls to police for help, Bird said.

He has his eye on the longer term, too. Now that some safety department managers have been working more holistically for more than a year, he would like to send six of them on the next Israel trip that Saint Leo is able to arrange. (A May 2020 date has been rescheduled for November 2020 in hopes of better travel conditions domestically and internationally, in light of the coronavirus outbreak.)

Bird wants the group to be able to see for themselves the kinds of things he did and develop more ideas for improving the safety and well-being of the residents of Winter Haven. An anonymous foundation board has come forward to fund most of this training so that taxpayers will not have to foot any costs. The donating board—unknown even to Bird—considers the donation a way to help the 53-year-old public safety director have strong successors in place when he eventually retires. Bird said he is “extremely appreciative.” The foundation’s board is “making a heck of an investment into the future of this department and into the future of this community.”


For More Information

If you are interested in learning more about the course and trip, please contact Dr. Robert Sullivan, faculty member with Saint Leo University’s Department of Public Safety Administration and Department of Criminal Justice, at robert.sullivan02@saintleo.edu.

Photos courtesy of Charlie Bird

A Note from the President’s Corner of the Alumni Association

On behalf of the Saint Leo University Alumni Association Board of Directors, it is my honor to welcome the Class of 2019 as valued members of the Saint Leo Alumni Association. I also want to welcome all students who are beginning or returning to their studies at Saint Leo. It is important for you to get to know about our association, too. Whether this is your first or 15th year as a Saint Leo alumnus or alumna, I challenge you to get connected and get involved. There are a number of ways to meet this challenge. Join an alumni chapter in your area, come to campus for homecoming weekend, suggest Saint Leo to a prospective student, or be a part of the conversations on the alumni social media channels from the comfort of your home. With more than 95,000 alumni worldwide, the Saint Leo alumni community is a network worth your time.
As a note of interest, this year begins a new chapter in our alma mater’s history with the inauguration of Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese as our 10th president. 

The strategic vision he has for Saint Leo is already becoming a reality with new academic programs, new education center locations, and the largest 

freshman class ever at University Campus. I encourage you to stay informed of everything that is 

happening across the university, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Go, Lions!
John E. Holladay ’75
President, Saint Leo Alumni Association


New Alumni Chapters Established 

We are excited to announce that two new regional alumni chapters are up and running. Welcome to the pride, Ocala and Jacksonville! 

If there is not an alumni chapter in your area, we’ve got you covered. Check out our new virtual alumni chapter to connect with alumni from across the globe.

Details about all of our alumni chapters, along with a full calendar of events, are available online: your.saintleo.edu/chapters


Connect with your Saint Leo Career Services Office on Handshake

The Saint Leo Career Services office can be a resource to alumni well beyond graduation, helping you find new opportunities and connecting you with fellow Lions:

Services for Alumni
Whether you’re a recent graduate searching for that first job or a working professional looking to advance, Career Services offers a wide range of valuable resources online or in person. The team can help review your résumé, help you prepare for interviews, or provide you with access to job-search tools. Use the information below to connect with Career Services by phone or email, or come in for a one-on-one appointment. Career Services is located on the first floor of Kirk Hall at University Campus. 
Engage with Current Saint Leo Students
Give back to your alma mater by leveraging your network to help current students. Here are a few ways you can help them achieve their career goals:

  • Become a mentor and share your experiences, insights, and network.
  • Host students in your place of work for informational interviews, job shadowing, or credit-bearing internships.
  • Facilitate an information session or career workshop for a group of Saint Leo students.
  • Advocate that your organization’s Human Resources department recruit at Saint Leo.
  • Direct job and internship opportunities (student, entry-level, and experienced hires) through Handshake.
  • Volunteer to appear in Career Services webinars. 

careerservices@saintleo.edu  |  (352) 588-8346
www.saintleo.edu/career-services-handshake


Your Saint Leo is Hitting the Road

A variety of alumni events are planned throughout the country this winter and spring. Be on the lookout for your invitation if you are in: 

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Savannah, GA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Houston, TX
  • Key West, FL
  • New York, NY

Saint Leo alumnus, former board chair, and philanthropist Donald R. Tapia ’05 ’07 was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to Jamaica in August after being confirmed by a Senate vote in July. 

As ambassador, he will represent the president in an official capacity and work on efforts to protect and promote national interests and maintain diplomacy.

“This is a remarkable opportunity that will have national and international impact,” said Saint Leo University President Jeffrey Senese. “I am incredibly excited for Don and the great work that he will do to serve our country in this position.”

Tapia was the chairman and CEO of Essco Group Management, which grew to become the largest Hispanic-owned business in Arizona. In 2010, he retired from the company to devote his time to philanthropy.

It was nearly 17 years ago that Tapia made the decision to pursue a college degree after being inspired by his grandchildren. In just 32 months, he completed his undergraduate degree in business administration from Saint Leo’s Center for Online Learning, while at the same time managing his multimillion dollar company in Chandler, AZ. 

Tapia was deeply impressed when he visited Saint Leo’s main campus for the first time in 2005 to attend his commencement ceremony, and his relationship with Saint Leo strengthened. He joined the board of trustees in 2006, and earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Saint Leo, also online, in 2007. In 2011, he was named chair of Saint Leo’s Board of Trustees.

His generous gift of $4 million to Saint Leo was announced in 2010 and is the largest donation in the university’s history to date. The gift supported the construction of what today is the Tapia College of Business building.

In 2014, the university awarded Tapia with the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his dedication to the university and for his great vision and sound advice.

Please take a moment to remember these alumni who have passed.

Joseph F. Fleckenstein ’41
December 14, 2017 

Henry “Hank” Schulte ’43
January 29, 2019

Louis “Lou” Flynt ’49
February 5, 2019

William “Bill” Maus ’49
July 8, 2019 

Albert G. Wendel ’57
October 27, 2017

Ming Tang ’60
October 28, 2018 

Thomas P. Henneberry ’68
April 16, 2018

Timothy J. Briarton ’69
June 10, 2017

Dennis A. Duffy ’69
May 26, 2019

Paul “Larry” Lumpee ’69
April 5, 2018

Daniel F. Padulo ’70
March 8, 2019

Gene M. Rossi ’70
September 26, 2017

Konstantine “Gus” Goanos ’78
September 27, 2018

Margaret E. (Dix) Kelly ’78
January 26, 2019

Salvatore P. Porto ’78
May 25, 2018

Charles “Chuck” Human ’79
January 14, 2019

Ruth M. Skeel ’79
March 4, 2018

Mark Vinson ’79
April 24, 2018

Erich W. Wachsmuth ’79
July 30, 2017

Joseph E. Andrade ’81
December 31, 2018

Joe B. Carter ’81
May 1, 2017

Charles “Charlie” James ’81
September 2, 2018

Joseph J. Pajuf ’81
August 9, 2018 

Elton E. Rogers ’81
December 21, 2018

Connie L. Curry ’83
January 1, 2017

Randy D. Bocook ’84
January 20, 2019

Clayton R. Ives ’84
July 4, 2017

Charles W. Hinkle ’85
March 7, 2019

Samuel R. Mabry ’85
August 29, 2017

Peter F. McCosker ’85
March 11, 2018 

Carlos E. Cross ’87
November 28, 2018 

Pattie A. McKinnon ’87
January 31, 2018

David R. Grimes ’88
April 16, 2019

Stephen E. Havasy ’89
December 24, 2018

Bonnie J. Tunheim ’90
July 7, 2018 

John L. Cavanagh ’91
May 2, 2017

Ryan K. Cox ’91
May 31, 2019 

Judith A. Seel ’95
March 21, 2017 

Thomas G. Atwell ’96
October 2, 2018 

Sue R. Watson ’97
December 25, 2018 

Kim F. Corlew ’99
November 30, 2018 

Carla (Pearson) Abrams ’00
January 20, 2019

Phillip A. Thompson ’01, ’06 
August 30, 2019

Robert Calandra ’04
April 13, 2018

Matthew B. Teasdale ’04
November 11, 2018

Mary Gayle ’05
May 31, 2019

William Lindley ’07
January 15, 2019\

Avon C. Edwards ’13
June 27, 2018

Sister Winfrida Shirima ’13
April 22, 2019

Wallace J. Tamplin ’15
April 4, 2019

Lisa Pardus ’17
February 18, 2019

Dennis K. Henry
Saint Leo College 
professor of theatre
July 19, 2019

Saint Leo alumni share some of their best business advice.

With experience often comes new wisdom. We learn and grow through trial and error, the exploration of new ideas, and from others who have walked paths similar to ours.

In the spirit of continuous learning, we asked five Saint Leo alumni to share advice on success in business. May their words inspire you to live your best life, no matter where you are on the journey.

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.

“Quite often in life, one will have amazing ideas that can develop into solid goals. However, without discipline, those ideas and goals never become a reality. Saint Leo provided me with a disciplined bridge to stay on track while working toward my goals.”

Michael Fulton ’18 
Supervisor of Crime Scene Division, 
Houston Forensic Science Center

 Don’t let your ideas sit on the sidelines. 

“Putting an idea into motion has more value than perfecting an idea and letting it sit on the sidelines. I would rather take action on a thoughtful plan and be willing to course correct than labor endlessly over the what-ifs. People respond to decision-making and direction.”

Maggie Gill ’98
Chief Executive Officer, Delray Medical Center
Palm Beach Group CEO, Tenet Healthcare

Never ask your team to do anything you wouldn’t do.

“Make time to work alongside your people; it will show them you are on their team, not just leading it. When things get hectic, be the first to jump in. When your team sees that there is nothing that is ‘above you,’ they will be more than willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work as well. It supports your leader persona and makes it known that you’re not just coaching from the sidelines; you’re willing to get in and play if needed.”

Elizabeth Jimenez ’08
Director of Operations
Leadership Prep Brownsville Elementary Academy,
an Uncommon School
Brooklyn, NY

Many times the barrier to success is you.

“Leading in an ever-changing and demanding environment can be very challenging. Being self-aware, open to feedback, and cognizant of others’ goals and related impact will provide you the tools to develop not only a better self, but a successful organization. Investing in yourself and your team will produce a sustainable model and create a culture of excellence.”

Iskra Sbraccia ’05, ’09
Compliance Sanctions Director, 
Independent Compliance Risk Management, Citi
Tampa, FL

Treat your clients like family.

“Many will deliver only the minimum during the typical 9-5 workday in order to get the job done. But those who go above and beyond for their clients and treat them like they are family often have not only a better working relationship with their clients, but also great relationships with future referrals from those clients. Take care of your clients, and they will take care of you.”

Kevin L. Sullivan II ’13
Senior Associate, Nicoletti Law Firm

An alumnus provides expert guidance on crafting your professional persona and keeping it up-to-date.

We hear plenty of buzz in the career world about how people need to develop their own brands, similar to the way companies have created lasting, positive associations with their products or workplaces. One example might be the way people think of Apple products as being stylish and intuitive, and the company as being a cool employer. Another example is how Southwest Airlines has managed to cultivate and maintain its reputation of being a low-frills, lower-cost carrier that is enjoyable to fly because of fun, friendly flight crews who crack jokes to make the time pass quickly. Such brands help buyers and sellers alike in a marketplace to quickly recognize with which parties they want to do business. 

Since the world of work has become so fluid, with people changing jobs and relocating often, and with companies getting in and out of business lines and partnerships, it makes sense that people develop their own personal brand. They can cultivate their own brand from one position to the next, or for that matter, from one company or one industry to the next. A strong personal brand, the thinking goes, can communicate to everyone around why someone is a desirable employee or a good fit—a valuable attribute in a fast-changing world. 

Building an effective personal brand remains an elusive concept for many people, though. That is why Nick DeMarinis ’05 devotes time and energy speaking to small groups and individuals about how people actually go about crafting a brand, communicating it to people, and staying true to it.

DeMarinis is well-suited to this work. He began his business career in sales and gradually moved up into broader managerial positions where he had responsibilities not just for meeting sales targets, but also for divisional hiring, profits, and operations, meaning greater responsibility for the success of different kinds of employees across multiple functions. 
 
Along the way, he worked across a variety of cultures and markets in Europe and the Asia Pacific region. All this gave him valuable experience and the ability to look at the world from different viewpoints. Additionally, DeMarinis spent several years working from a variety of locations for LinkedIn, the professional social media network company whose platform was invented to help people communicate their brands in the virtual world. 

DeMarinis advises people to start by thinking of their personal brand as their reputation among other people. A good reputation is something to earn and to keep, and a personal brand is like that, he said. A brand or reputation is maintained through actions, and through visibility among physical networks, such as work and professional groups, and in the virtual world through social media, he said. 

If that still sounds vague, think of what personal “pillars” or qualities make up your personal code of conduct, DeMarinis suggested. “My brand involves three key pillars: love, positivity, and compassion. These pillars are who I am, what I want my brand to be, and guiding principles for how I bring my brand to life.” 

DeMarinis shares important aspects of his life during a presentation.

So in the physical work world as well as in virtual spaces, DeMarinis wants people to see a “compassionate leader” when they encounter him. His philosophy as a supervisor: “People don’t work for me; I work for them.” This means getting to know all the employees well so that he can coach, correct, and guide aptly where needed. 

He also leads through the example of good work performance, he said. Employees still have accountability for the quality of their work as individuals, DeMarinis stressed, and he acknowledged that sometimes a leader has to make a personnel change. He likes to turn to the world of baseball for examples almost everyone has seen. “Sometimes a pitcher can be in the game too long and is no longer effective. The compassionate action by the manager is to remove that person. Sometimes being compassionate means making decisions that may seem tough in the moment, but is a good decision long-term.” 

Coaching people who are inside the organization and projecting positivity and competence to clients and prospective clients outside the workforce requires a certain amount of focused attention. DeMarinis sets aside time at two points in the week to create thoughtful messages to these audiences. Even though there is overlap in the content (as there should be if someone stays true to his or her brand), DeMarinis likes to think of the groups distinctly when he is considering what to say to whom. 

On Sunday evening, he said, he sets aside an hour or two of quiet time to read articles and essays that speak to the pillars he embraces, and to digest reports that are relevant to his industry, perhaps in a technical or quantitative way. Then DeMarinis makes comments on the pieces worth sharing—and it is not worth sharing if you do not have a substantive remark to offer—and schedules the content for digital postings that will appear during the week. He still uses the LinkedIn platform’s scheduling tool for this. This is one way of curating his brand.

He also tends regularly to this practice on Fridays. That is the day of the week when he sets aside time to write two to three emails that are typically personalized thank-you messages. He enjoys this, and keeps his notes succinct to express gratitude for a specific deed or observation. 

“If it’s not specific, it’s not genuine,” he noted, and no one likes that. But an employee will appreciate having a supervisor write that “I realize the other team member was struggling in that presentation earlier this week, and I saw that you jumped in and helped that person out.” 

DeMarinis offered guidance in this step-by-step format for Spirit readers.

1. Identify your brand

Before you can even think about elevating your brand, you have to know what your brand is or what you want it to be. Who are you? Identify a few key pillars that best represent who you are. What do people say about you when you are not in the room? More importantly, what do you want them to say about you? Then think about how you convey this both online and offline. Is this an accurate reflection? If so, great. If not, make some changes. Remember that people will do Internet searches on each other before they are about to meet, so it is quite likely they are going to see some information about you.

2. Take control of your brand

In regard to online, take control of your social profiles on all platforms. Build out your profiles with the intended use and audience in mind. For example, my profile for Instagram is more personal (with family photos and sports) than LinkedIn, which is more geared toward my professional identity. In today’s world, it is expected for us to have a digital brand. Accept it, own it, and put your best foot forward.

3. Bring your brand to life

Branding is not static. It is living and breathing. Building a brand is more than just having a profile. It is reflective of how you interact with your network and community. It is important to be active on social platforms because that is part of living in our world today. Connect with people, engage with your network, and share content. This is the absolute most important part of personal branding. Every interaction is a building block to your brand.


Nick DeMarinis is a director of enterprise growth for WeWork, based in New York City. WeWork is an innovator in leasing commercial real estate space for the co-working needs of businesses, the creation of residential living communities, and other pursuits that contribute to forming communities. Prior to joining WeWork, he spent 12 years in the technology industry. He started his career with Yahoo and then spent the last eight years through 2018 with LinkedIn in various leadership roles across both North America and Asia Pacific. He was based in Hong Kong for a time and was responsible for operations there. He earned his bachelor’s from Saint Leo at University Campus in business administration with a specialization in management, and attained a master’s degree in international business from St. John’s University in Rome, Italy.

About your Alumni Association 

Whether you are among our newest alumni or have not been active within the alumni association, here are some details to know:

  • The alumni association is led by the board of directors, which holds open nominations every January. Eight to 10 positions open each July as current members’ terms expire.
  • Homecoming weekend is held the first weekend in November at University Campus and is a great opportunity to reconnect with former classmates or to expand your network.
  • A variety of alumni events are held throughout the country, including happy hours, professional networking, community service projects, and outings to local sporting events. Bring a friend or come on your own. Either way, you will be glad you came.
  • Regional alumni chapters provide a great opportunity to get involved with Saint Leo right in your own backyard. Don’t see your city listed? Contact the Alumni Engagement office to find out how to start a chapter.

Photo: Front row: Keith Middlemark ’04 (secretary), Harv Whitney ’68 (treasurer), John Holladay ’75 (president-elect), Ann Marie Lombardi ’77 (president). Second row: Bud McKechnie ’52, Brittany Hahn ’15, Ray Pennick ’16, Kristen (Cabot) Brady ’08, ’13, Sandy Watkins ’03, ’17, Rebecca Matthews ’14, Amber Loring ’06, ’07, Akshita Sahgal ’19, Allison Walker ’09, Maggie (Herrmann) Beaumont ’57. Third row: Luckson Abraham ’16, Iskra Sbraccia ’05, ’09, Bill Meneely ’71, Ken Finch ’89, Andy Flanagan ’70, John McDonald ’87, Greg Greiwe ’80, Gary Gustafson ’07, John Flaherty ’67, Juliette Stratis ’19, George Gano ’85

Details on all this and much more are available at your.saintleo.edu.


Ann Marie Lombardi, Class of ’77 President, Saint Leo Alumni Association

Note from the from the Alumni Association President

A special welcome to the Class of 2018! You are now a valued member of our Saint Leo University Alumni Association family.

We encourage all 93,000 alumni around the globe to actively support our many activities and programs; stay connected with the latest news and happenings on our website and social media channels; join your fellow alumni during networking and chapter events; and give back your time, talents, and treasures in support of our university. Visit your alumni website—your.saintleo.edu—to learn more.

I also would like to recognize and thank this year’s Saint Leo University Alumni Association Board of Directors for their dedication to our mission. Together, we are working to foster a mutually beneficial relationship between Saint Leo University and alumni. We hope our leadership actions, volunteerism, and giving inspires all alumni to engage and support our alma mater.


Saint Leo Launches a New Online Career Platform

Saint Leo Career Services is excited to announce the launch of Handshake, the go-to career services platform for Saint Leo alumni and students. The new online site offers several resources for alumni and students who are looking for career guidance, seeking a new job, or looking to find that perfect new employee.

Visit Career Services Handshake and check out the site today.

As a job seeker, you can:

  • Schedule an appointment with one of our career advisors (phone, video conference, or in person)
  • Easily search for jobs using an upgraded tool
  • Read different career profiles

As a prospective employer, you can:

  • Share job postings
  • Announce internship opportunities
  • Connect with students and alumni as a mentor

Alumni Chapters are Growing

We are excited to welcome the Virginia Peninsula Alumni Chapter and the Virginia Southside Alumni Chapter to the pride! If you are in the Tidewater, VA, or Tampa Bay, FL, area, be sure to check out the alumni chapter events for great opportunities to network, participate in service projects, and have fun. Chapters will also be forming in Ocala, FL; Savannah, GA; and Jacksonville, FL, this fall.

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Virginia Southside Alumni Chapter social

2017-2018 Alumni Association Board of Directors

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Front row: Amber Loring ’06, ’07, Ken Thomas (treasurer) ’06, ’09, Ken Swan (president) ’67, Ann Marie Lombardi (vice president) ’77, Kristen Brady ’08, ’13. Second row: John Bucher ’05, Melissa Hendrick ’02, John McDonald ’87, Ramone Pierce ’11, ’13, Allison Walker ’09, Deborah Changnon ’07, ’10, Bud McKechnie ’52, Maggie Beaumont ’57, Laura Chirichigno ’10, ’12, Akshita Sahgal (student representative) ’18. Third row: John Holladay ’75, Juliette Stratis (student representative) ’19, Keith Middlemark ’04, Harv Whitney ’68, Tonya Moore ’96, Anthony Santa ’12, Greg Greiwe ’80, Jim Irvin ’70, John Flaherty ’67, Andy Flanagan ’70. Not pictured: Jason Barcomb ’00, Chris Delaporte (past president) ’80, Margaret Gary ’08, ’10, Tony Porrevecchio (secretary) ’05, Tommy Poston ’06, ’09, Glenda Russel ’06, Erik Shafer ’03.


Coming Home to You Tour Returns

CHTY-5In July, your Alumni Engagement & Sustained Giving team hit the road with the return of the Coming Home to You Tour. With stops in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Hampton, VA, alumni and students had a chance to network and have fun.

The tour will return this spring—so be on the lookout for the stop closest to you, and join in the fun!


Welcome Class of 2017

With commencement season behind us, it is time to welcome our newest graduates into the next phase of their Saint Leo experience. Be sure to keep your contact information up-to-date and visit your.saintleo.edu often to learn about all of the exciting things taking place.

Whether you are just graduating or simply haven’t had time to get involved yet, be sure to:


Alumni Chapters

TB-Alumni-Ch-zoSaint Leo has made its mark in New York City and Tampa—what cities will be next? Alumni chapters provide a great opportunity for Saint Leo alumni to come together to network, help spread the word to potential new students, complete community service projects, and have fun—all in their own backyards. To find out how to start an alumni chapter in your area, visit your.saintleo.edu/chapters.

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Calling All Animal Lovers!

ernieDo you have a unique, special, or just plain wonderful pet? Please send us your photos (high-resolution, print quality if possible) for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue of Spirit magazine. Dogs, cats, pigs, horses, iguanas, parakeets, and more—all are welcome! Be sure to supply: your name and class year, the pet’s name and breed, and what makes your pet great. Send to news@saintleo.edu, subject line: Saint Leo Pets


This Is My Saint Leo!

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In May, members of the Class of 1962 (above) celebrated their 55th reunion. The weekend included a reception on campus, providing an opportunity to revisit familiar places as well as tour new ones.

Fred Edwards ’47 shared the images (below) with classmate Mickey McLinden ’47. The left photo was taken the day the pair “borrowed” the Benedictine brothers’ truck and took it to Dade City, something they got docked for weeks by Father Raphael for doing. The other photo was taken 60 years later in front of the same model truck. “Those were the days!”

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In 2015-2016, the Saint Leo University Alumni Association established a new recognition program to celebrate outstanding alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years. Selection is based on professional success, contribution to their communities, and living the university’s core values. Recipients possess the qualities that embody the spirit of Saint Leo and a commitment to further strengthen their alumni community. They are Lions who are truly making a difference!


Nicholas DeMarinis ’05 is a regional business leader at LinkedIn in Hong Kong. He leads multiple sales teams across Asia within LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions division and regularly speaks at local universities about the importance of building your professional brand. He volunteers at local homeless shelters and is a regional lead for the Movember Foundation. DeMarinis’ favorite Saint Leo memory is when he tried out for the men’s golf team. He didn’t make the team, but the golf coach, Art Kirk III ’99, ’03, created a second team for him and a few others who hadn’t made the team because Coach Kirk wanted to help develop their golf skills. “Being a Saint Leo alumnus is more than just a diploma. It’s being a part of a group of individuals who chose to be part of school that is run like a family.”


Bobby Edwards ’09, MBA ’13 is a chief transportation officer at Kansas City Area Transit in Kansas City, MO. He manages a $30 million budget and is responsible for more than 500 employees. Edwards credits much of his success and ability to accomplish his career goals to his studies while at Saint Leo. “The professors prepared me for my current position and were major contributors to my success. Their hands-on teaching style and the way they incorporated their real-life experience into their courses prepared me for the real world.”


Kristen-ClausKristen Claus ’12, MBA ’13 is a special events manager at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, DC. She is a member of the Northern Virginia Junior League, volunteers at community 5K races, and has run the Marine Corps Marathon. Claus’ favorite Saint Leo memories are the hot weather and the Dining Hall (aka “the caf”). “When I think back on my experience as a student, I remember the people the most. I remember how caring and encouraging they were and how they helped me achieve my goals as a student. That kind attitude is something I try to pass along in my everyday life, and I feel honored to be a Saint Leo alumna.”


Daniel-TorresDaniel Torres ’14 is a catcher for professional baseball team the Modesto Nuts in Modesto, CA. The Modesto Nuts are part of the Seattle Mariners minor-league system. Torres’ favorite Saint Leo memory is being a part of the Saint Leo baseball team. He remembers the team having great camaraderie on and off the field. His advice? “Use the knowledge you’ve gained from Saint Leo, whether in the classroom or on the field/court, to achieve your dreams and aspirations.”


Amanda-DavisAmanda Davis ’07 is an academic advising coordinator at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO. During her career she has received multiple awards for being an outstanding faculty member and staff supervisor. Davis is an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Parish in Golden. She volunteers as the chapter advisor for the Delta Psi chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau and also actively volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Denver and Habitat for Humanity International. Last summer, she hiked 75 miles and raised more than $3,000 for Operation Nine Line, a group that supports veterans and their families. She has many favorite Saint Leo memories; however, being initiated into Alpha Sigma Tau is at the top of the list. “Being a Saint Leo alumna has provided me with lifelong friendships and connections.”


AliciaWaldonAlicia Waldon ’07, MBA ’15 is the director of Enrollment Marketing for Saint Leo University in St. Leo, FL. She is responsible for attracting future students to all of the university’s locations. She volunteers as an advisor for Love Your Melon Student Ambassadors at Saint Leo, an apparel brand run by college students across the country on a mission to give a hat to every child battling cancer in America. Waldon’s favorite Saint Leo memory is reinstating Theta Phi Alpha at the university. She is proud of the women who came together, empowered through education, to develop leadership skills and give back to the community. “I didn’t realize the footprint of Saint Leo when I was a traditional student on campus. As an alumna, I really appreciate the network that is available, the many Saint Leo locations, and the reach that online learning can provide.”


Nikki-CollinsNikki Collins ’09 is the director of Catering at Disney ABC in New York, NY. She also serves as a regional marketing champion for Restaurant Associates, providing marketing expertise for several locations throughout New York City. She is diligent about the professional development of her staff, encouraging them to excel and guiding them as they seek new professional opportunities. Collins spends her free time hanging out with her dog, Toby, in Brooklyn. “Being a Saint Leo alumna is something that has always defined my path in my career and personal life. The work ethic and ambition required to succeed as a young manager in New York City takes a great deal of respect for others and serious commitment to excellence and personal development.”


Amber-LoringAmber Loring ’06, MBA ’07 is a client service manager for the Newport Group in Tampa, FL. She has actively volunteered in her community for more than 10 years, dedicating time to the Ronald McDonald House and as a member of a pet therapy team that visits patients at VA hospitals in the area. She also implemented a pet therapy program for the chapter of the SPCA in Greensboro, NC. Loring has many fond memories of Saint Leo, but her favorite is when the bagpipes started to play as she walked to the Bowman Center for her undergraduate commencement. “As a Saint Leo alumna, I practice the core values in every aspect of my life, both personal and professional. I love to spread the word about our amazing university, and I love to share the positive experiences I had as a student.”


Rebecca-McDearmonRebecca McDearmon ’08 is a program lead for Southwest Airlines in the training department of SWA University in Dallas, TX. She trains company employees in customer relations/rapid rewards, second-tier customer support, and other specialty training. McDearmon’s work has been recognized throughout the organization, and she has received numerous company awards for the training programs she has led. She regularly volunteers at charitable organizations such as Goodwill Industries, Meals on Wheels, Ronald McDonald House, and the Salvation Army. McDearmon’s favorite Saint Leo memory is freshman orientation. Even though she was nervous, she was more excited to meet new friends and navigate the course of her future. “Being a Saint Leo alumna means being part of a community rather than just attending a college. The friends you make while at Saint Leo will be yours for life.”


Jessica-O'KeefeJessica O’Keefe ’10, MBA ’12 is an associate director of Client Management in Transaction Banking at Standard Chartered Bank in New York, NY. During her 5+ years with the company, she has earned multiple excellence awards for her leadership of the bank’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, including “Most Progress” and “Excellence for Gender Inclusion.” She climbed Mount Kenya for the bank’s charitable initiative “Seeing Is Believing,” raising more than $20,000 for children’s cataract surgery in India. She is also a catechism teacher for the Narnia Clubs in New York City, tutoring young students who are preparing to receive their Holy Confirmation. Her fondest memory of her time at Saint Leo was partaking in the annual spring break SERVE trips.

In September 2016, former Lions soccer player and Saint Leo Athletics Hall of Fame member Caron (Lumbra) Murphy ’05 took part in “Hannah’s Heroes—The Big Shave,” an event near her home in the Cayman Islands. The event is organized annually in an effort to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer research and honors local children (including the event’s namesake, Hannah Meeson) and their families who have been affected by childhood cancers. The community raised more than $337,000 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which solely funds childhood cancer research. Less than 4 percent of U.S. federal cancer research funding is dedicated to childhood cancer research; therefore, St. Baldrick works to fill the gap.

Murphy was frequently asked, “What is your story? Why did you sign up as a ‘shavee’?” Her answer was always the same. “I don’t have a story, and that’s why I signed up. I am so blessed to have healthy children and saw this as a great opportunity to be an ambassador for those mothers, fathers, and families who aren’t so lucky. I set a lofty goal of $10,000 and, with the overwhelming support of my family, friends, and community, was able to raise nearly $16,000! I had very long hair before the shave, so was also able to donate my hair to the Little Princess Trust, that makes real-hair wigs for children suffering from hair loss due to cancer or other illnesses.”

Learn more about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation here: www.stbaldricks.org/head-shaving.

Crops grow faster in Alaska than in other parts of the United States, Gena (Chiriboga) Grobarek ’07 explained. And why is that? Because during the growing season, the sun can be out more than 18 hours a day. This is just one reason why Gena and her family are thriving as farmers in Homer, AK.

The daughter of a Peace Corps volunteer who met her husband in Ecuador, Gena grew up in a bilingual household. She spent most of her childhood in Oregon but moved to Florida with her family while she was in high school. Like her two sisters, Gena enrolled at Saint Leo University. She majored in biology with an environmental sciences concentration, a program that seemed tailored to her strengths and interests. She also learned a great deal from Dr. Chris Miller, professor of biology and ecology. Under his guidance, she participated in student trips to Peru and the Galápagos Islands, and she always seemed ready for adventure.

“She had a confidence about her,” Dr. Miller remembers. “She would go and do stuff, just to try it out. She didn’t fret much.”

With Dr. Miller’s assistance, she landed an internship with an environmental consultant in Tampa. That position morphed into a full-time job that she held for about a year after graduation.

Gena and family
Brent and Gena with children Alice, Emil, and Oliver (baby Irah was on the way)

While she was fond of Florida, she had never been a fan of the heat and humidity, so when she learned of an opening for a fish biologist in the Bering Sea, she leapt at the chance. While in that role, she worked on some of the boats featured in the TV documentary series The Deadliest Catch. She also met her husband, Brent. Their next stop was moving to Petersburg, AK, and working for the U.S. Forest Service. She enjoyed mapping streams and “getting paid to hike in the woods.”

As much as they liked Petersburg, the island location can only be reached by plane or ferry. So Gena and Brent decided to move to Homer, AK, on the mainland. They bought property and spent a summer living in a wall tent while they built their home. Those were lean times, which required “living on mac and cheese.” As they settled in to life in Homer, they “fell in love with the community.” They started a family, which includes four children: Oliver (age 5), Emil (4), Alice (2), and Irah (born on June 21, 2016). They also began supporting many local causes, especially those related to conserving the environment.

Farmers market
At the local farmers market

Before long, Gena and Brent cleared some of their land for agricultural use, quit their jobs, and became full-time independent farmers. Today, they grow a variety of crops, including salad greens, carrots, onions, peppers, eggplant, beans, tomatoes, pumpkins, corn, and broccoli. In addition to feeding their own family, they sell the crops to other families through 25 Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes during the summer and operate a farm-to-table booth at a farmers market. They also raise chickens, selling free-range eggs at two local stores, and raise goats for milk. Through it all, they have learned about crop rotation, how to protect the water, and how to keep the soil fertile—which can be in stark contrast to the big commercial farms in other parts of the United States. They also “don’t spray with anything,” avoiding pesticides and herbicides.

“Organic farming is more labor-intensive,” Gena observed. “But it is viable. Our efforts help the local economy, and sustainability is really important to us.”

She also explains that she and her husband have extended their growing season through November, thanks to high tunnels, which are like unheated greenhouses. They start planting soon after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, so even in Alaska there is very little downtime for a farmer.

“There is so much more to Alaska than oil, mining, and gas,” Gena said. “For instance, did you know that carrots grown in Alaska are sweeter than they are from other places? It’s because of the cold weather.”

Vegetables
Farm-fresh produce

She and Brent are active in their community, and they connect with other farmers via social media. Gena is a supervisor on the board of the Homer Soil and Water Conservation District. Soil and water conservation districts are local units of government that develop, manage, and direct natural resource programs at the local level. They work with private landowners to help them learn about and manage their lands and waters, whether for forestry, agriculture, recreation, or other uses, which Gena says is key to economic sustainability and local quality of life. In addition, they are advocates for the younger generation. “Traditional farming is an art form,” Gena stated. “We want to help young people in Homer learn about it and find a purpose.”

“Gena was always asking questions,” Dr. Miller says. “And I can see her wanting to pass along that curiosity to kids. She had a sense of wanting to do the right thing. She is definitely a student I’ll remember till the day I die.”

The Grobareks can attribute their current success to a number of factors: low overhead, no debt, and being minimalist, instead of materialistic. “Dr. Miller was a wonderful mentor in that regard,” Gena said. “The things I learned from him are still with me today. He made me conscious that individuals can make an impact. If everyone cared, things would be different.”

Gena believes that her Saint Leo experience played a huge role in her life goals: “Self-sufficiency, respect for our planet Earth, and finding a better, healthier, more ecologically friendly way of life. We are part of the local food movement taking place in the United States, encouraging our local community to know where their food came from and how it was created.” She believes that another road would have taken her elsewhere, but she is happy with her choices. “I’ve worked for government and state agencies, as well as private firms, but many jobs are morally sketchy. I’ve never been happier than I am now.”


Sister Act

Gena (Chiriboga) Grobarek’s sisters, both Saint Leo alumnae, are also doing amazing work around the world. Maria Victoria Chiriboga ’05 is the undersecretary of Climate Change for the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador, and Maria Mercedes Chiriboga ’03 is a Montessori teacher in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

Father Damian DuQuesnay, who had been the oldest living monk in the Order of Saint Benedict of Florida, passed away on May 8. Greatly loved and admired by colleagues, students, faculty, and staff, he was a remarkable man of faith.

Born on July 24, 1918, in Highgate, Jamaica, Father Damian graduated from Jamaica College Prep and Saint Benedict College (now Benedictine College) in Atchison, KS, in 1943 with a BS in zoology. He received his MS from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, in 1951.

He was ordained into the Holy Priesthood on the Feast of Corpus Christi Day, June 20, 1946, by Bishop Emmet Michael Wash in the unfinished Abbey Church. Father Damian was the first Jamaican to ever wear the habit of a Benedictine.

Father Damian taught numerous subjects at Saint Leo College, including biology, histology, and zoology. He also served two separate terms as department chair of the science faculty. He was prefect in the prep school for 10 years, where he taught algebra, biology, chemistry, French, geometry, Latin, and religion. He thoroughly enjoyed teaching students at both the prep school and the college. When asked what type of teacher he was, he simply said “fair.”

Father Damian was appointed abbey prior in 1957 and also served as novice master and brother master. After his retirement from the Saint Leo faculty, he was chaplain to Holy Name Monastery, a responsibility he held for four decades but eventually relinquished at age 90 due to his limited mobility.

He was the abbey botanist and remained faithful in his daily devotionals and prayers right up until his passing.


Harrell-second-from-leftDr. Teresa Harrell, instructor of speech and senior academic advisor at the Langley Education Office, passed away June 26.

She graduated with distinction from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in social work and educational policy in 1972. In May 1994, she was awarded her PhD from the University of Minnesota, majoring in training and development in the College of Education. Dr. Harrell had served at the Langley Office since 2006 and is remembered for her fierce dedication to the success of our students.


HomanDr. Scott R. Homan, associate professor of management at the Savannah Education Center, passed away on June 23. He graduated from Purdue University in 1988 with his bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and supervision; he earned his master’s degree in the same discipline the following year. After a stint at Anderson Consulting in Chicago, he decided to pursue his love of teaching and completed his doctorate degree from Texas A&M University. He joined Saint Leo in Spring 2013 and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in business management.


reynoldsJohn “Jack” Reynolds, who served on the Saint Leo Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2012, passed away on April 17. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University at night and his Master of Business Administration at the Stern School of New York University (also at night) and attended the advanced management program at Dartmouth College. He was employed for 10 years by W. R. Grace and for many years by ITT, rising to the position of corporate vice president and division president. He was a trustee emeritus at the time of his death.


RiddleWalt Riddle, retired Saint Leo University and Sunshine State Conference (SSC) publicist, passed away on May 7 after a lengthy illness. Celebrated as a gifted writer and a transformational figure for both Saint Leo University athletics and the SSC, Riddle first came to Saint Leo’s University Campus in 1989 as the sports information director and special events coordinator. The following year, he assumed the duties of SSC assistant commissioner and sports information director, and helped the conference establish its first central office. Under Riddle’s guidance, the SSC developed one of the nation’s largest NCAA Division II television packages.

Riddle remained with the Sunshine State Conference until 2001, when he returned to his duties as Saint Leo’s sports information director. In 2006, he transitioned to a new role as Saint Leo’s director of athletic marketing and Green and Gold Club coordinator, a job he held until his retirement in 2011.

“The Sunshine State Conference and Saint Leo University lost a friend, leader, and mentor with the passing of Walter Riddle,” said Francis X. Reidy, Saint Leo’s director of athletics. “He had a positive impact on many young coaches and sports information directors around our league. Walt was instrumental in helping Saint Leo athletics transition to its current state of success.”


RosenbaumDr. Burt Rosenbaum, for nine years an adjunct professor at Saint Leo College, passed away on March 30. After graduating from the College of the City of New York with a degree in mechanical engineering, he began his career at NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), which became NASA, and published about 30 applied mathematics research papers with emphasis on statistics. Several of his papers contributed to NASA’s successful Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, for which he received the Apollo Achievement Award.

He continued his studies at Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) while working, marrying and starting a family. In June 1957, just six months shy of his 35th birthday, he received his PhD in theoretical physics.

After retiring from NASA in 1973, Dr. Rosenbaum and his new family moved south and eventually to Florida, where he accepted an adjunct position at the University of Tampa. For the final nine years of his second career, he remained at Saint Leo College teaching mathematics, statistics, physics, and computer science until 1994.


VerdinJules Verdin, a member of Saint Leo University men’s soccer team and the 2014 Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year, died on July 7 in a hiking accident in Switzerland. He was 19 years old.

“The Saint Leo soccer community mourns Jules’ death,” said Keith Fulk, Saint Leo’s head men’s soccer coach. “He was one of the best players I had the privilege and honor of coaching, and he was a constant student of the game—always asking questions about how he could improve his game. I think he really matured during his first year here at Saint Leo, from the time he arrived to the time he left campus at the end of the school year, and that’s what you want to see in your students.”


Eva Jo (Osborne) Lent ’57
December 25, 2014

Gerald H. Frost ’59
March 2, 2015

Michael “Mike” J. Mead ’68
January 21, 2015

Thomas F. Vigliotta ’71
July 4, 2015

Michael R. Arnold ’73
January 2, 2015

Francis “Frank” T. Christopher ’74
March 2015

George Brayton ’75
October 3, 2012

Linda J. Tremont ’75
October 3, 2013

Robert E. Hutchinson ’77
October 10, 2014

Michael T. Chiappetta ’79
April 25, 2015

Ann B. (Roper) Myhre ’79
December 25, 2013

Jack L. Treese ’79
October 1, 2014

Daniel P. McBath ’84
February 23, 2015

Faison D. Robinson ’84
June 15, 2015

Barbara B. Miller ’86
July 23, 2015

Jerome Polon ’87
October 29, 2014

Rex R. Chambless ’89
December 7, 2014

Janice R. Wiley ’89
February 19, 2014

Howard P. Bennett ’90
January 18, 2012

Nels W. Marvin ’90
September 1, 2007

Donald N. Hiemstra ’92
January 22, 2015

William R. Widhalm ’96
February 3, 2015

Robin L. Lindin ’98
August 24, 2012

Charlene Jackson ’04
June 13, 2015

Harold Ludwig ’05
August 26, 2008

Jack M. Webb ’09
January 30, 2015

Hazel J. Williams
December 2, 2014

Sister M. Dorothy Neuhofer ’49, OSB, passed away on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. She was a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Florida. Sister Dorothy, as she liked to be called, was the university archivist and special collections librarian at the Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library, and she held the rank of professor. She worked for the university for a remarkable 50 years, and was honored for that special milestone in August 2015. Sister Dorothy resided at Holy Name Monastery among the other Benedictine Sisters of Florida, including her sibling Sister Mary Clare Neuhofer. At the time of her passing, Sister Dorothy held the role of archivist of the monastery. She had served as prioress of the community at an earlier time.


Bullard,-MarcianMarcian Bullard, a University Campus sophomore who was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, was involved in a fatal automobile accident on December 27, 2015.


Dennis,-JackieJackie Dennis, a student majoring in human services at the Gwinnett Education Center, passed away on January 17, 2016. She is survived by numerous family members, including
a son and daughter.


John Fiengo ’69, onetime director of Alumni Relations and vice president of Development for Saint Leo College, passed away June 19, 2015. After earning his BA in English, he aspired to be a teacher, but that was not to be fulfilled until later in life. His interest in helping others led him to various positions with the United Methodist Church, the Children’s Cancer Center, and Volunteers of America, where he served as the director of Development and Public Relations. His altruistic career eventually culminated at Wharton High School in Tampa where he helped students with criminal convictions obtain their GED—a job he found very demanding, but also very rewarding. He was a lifelong friend to his former Saint Leo classmates and could always be counted on for support in their endeavors.


Foley,-BillBill Foley, an associate professor of accounting and professor emeritus, passed away on September 23, 2015.


Timothy R. Giampavolo, a student studying psychology at the Pasco-Hernando State College-New Port Richey Education Office, passed away November 24, 2015.


Osborne,-GaryGary Richard Osborne II, a Lakeland Education Center student, passed away September 22, 2015. He was studying for his associate degree in liberal arts and was awarded the degree from Saint Leo posthumously. A talented musician and songwriter, he had plans to attend Belmont University in Nashville to pursue his commercial music degree.


Sams,-FredFred A. Sams ’82, a graduate of Saint Leo College and adjunct professor in the Graduate Criminal Justice program, passed away on November 19, 2015. His career in law and criminal justice began when he was accepted as a member of the FBI in 1967. Over the years he served with multiple police and sheriff departments and as the director of forensics and crime labs for two agencies. He was a regionally prominent forensic investigator and consulted on many homicides and major death cases. Sams served in the U.S. Army in Special Forces, Army Criminal Investigation, and S-2 Intelligence. The American College of Forensic Examiners awarded him the distinction of Fellow, as well as Diplomate in Law Enforcement Expert and Diplomate in Homeland Security.


ZimmermanAshley (Henderson) Zimmerman ’10 passed away on December 22, 2015. She had been an administrator in the MBA program from 2006 to 2011 and was instrumental in the buildup of the online MBA during Saint Leo’s transition from its partnership with Bisk in 2007.

 

 

 


Hugh “Mickey” McLinden ’47
January 21, 2016

J. Kenny DesRosier ’48
October 9, 2015

Raymond O. Howd ’49
September 10, 2014

Dorothy Neuhofer ’49
October 14, 2015

William “Bill” McKeown ’54
September 16, 2015

Robert “Bob” Parkinson ’61
August 14, 2014

Samuel Meo ’63
November 11, 2014

Francis P. Neuhofer ’63
November 29, 2015

Brodie Rowe III ’64
November 13, 2012

Constance (Dawe) Snell ’64
September 17, 2013

Frank C. Mikusi, Sr. ’68
July 27, 2015

Frank J. Seeley ’68
August 17, 2015

John F. Fiengo ’69
June 19, 2015

Edward J. Tancig ’70
August 3, 2015

Charles M. Durian ’73
November 6, 2015

Lucille B. Emberton ’78
May 7, 2015

Stanley P. Morrison ’78
November 11, 2015

Rupert D. Cobb ’79
January 8, 2015

Claude C. Huffman ’79
January 27, 2012

Fredrick Hendrick ’80
May 11, 2015

Carolyn Kiehl ’81
June 11, 2015

Lyle Everett Thomas ’81
August 21, 2015

Richard “Rusty” Ross ’82
September 11, 2014

Fred A. Sams ’82
November 19, 2015

Jenine Jezek ’83
June 16, 2015

Miles H. Prewitt ’85
March 25, 2011

Thomas “Tommy” Lee ’86
August 21, 2015

Donald D. Parker ’87
October 31, 2015

Billie Dodds Schache ’87
December 9, 2007

Samuel William Brightbill ’88
October 8, 2015

Gale LaFountain ’91
January 7, 2016

Sandra (Bradford) Mordoh ’01
September 9, 2010

Clarence Peacock ’02
August 5, 2015

Aubrey Vigneault ’05
April 9, 2015

Carolyn Steward ’07
October 9, 2010

Harold L. Nelson ’08
April 4, 2015

Melanie Bancroft Richeson ’08
May 25, 2015

Victoria L. Walker ’10
November 27, 2015

Ashley (Henderson) Zimmerman ’10
December 22, 2015