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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

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

Mario Conte counts Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake as shareholders in his company. The 2006 Saint Leo graduate shares a passion for golf with the celebrities, which he has translated into a national-reaching business. 

Conte double majored in international tourism and hospitality management as well as business administration with a specialization in management. One year after graduating from the university, he founded and became executive director of the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. 

“I did it pretty quickly,” Conte said of the business endeavor. “I started in the restaurant business after graduating from Saint Leo. But I decided I didn’t want to do that at all! I had a little money in the bank, so I went for it and never looked back.”

The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (www.hjgt.org) hosts events for aspiring junior golfers who are looking to play on the collegiate level. Conte started HJGT in Tampa, FL, and lived in the same house as he did when he attended Saint Leo. “We started with 25 events in year one, and 12 years later, we are at 300 events in 28 states.”

Now based in Orlando, FL, Hurricane Junior Golf Tour serves youngsters who are serious about the game. “We start at [age] 10 and work up to 18,” Conte said. “Most are 14 to 18, and they are more serious about the next level and playing college golf. Of course, they all would like to play professionally, too.”

Florida also is home to most of the tour’s events as well as its biggest. “We can play year-round here,” Conte said of the Sunshine State.

That sunshine drew the Chicago native to attend Saint Leo. Conte played junior golf and in tournaments throughout the country. He enjoyed making trips to Florida for golf. “I had a family friend who was an alumnus of Saint Leo,” Conte said. “And I wanted to get to warmer weather, golf, and a life change. I always wanted to live in Florida.”

Conte met his best friend Mike Barbato ’06 at Saint Leo, where they became Kappa Theta fraternity brothers. With a degree in sport management, Barbato went on to work for sports teams and companies around the nation. Now, Conte has hired his fellow alumnus as the chief operating officer for Hurricane Junior Golf Tour.

Like Barbato, Conte has used his degrees to further his career. “I had some really great teachers and mentors at Saint Leo,” Conte said. “It was not only what I learned from a textbook, but I developed really great relationships, too. Stan McGahey [professor of international tourism] was instrumental in my wanting to travel. I took that degree and parlayed it with what I love, which is golf.”

Hard work also is a part of Conte’s DNA, and while he was at Saint Leo, he worked full time at Kafe Kokopelli in Dade City, FL. “It was owned then by the Greenfelders [Glen E. Greenfelder ’61, ’63, ’09 and trustee emeritus, and his wife, Gail],” Conte said. “They were a big part of my growth, and helped inspire me.”

As the executive director of HJGT, Conte does a little bit of everything. “You name it; I do it,” he said. “I started the business from the ground up. I do everything from helping manage the tournaments, the logistics, the sales and marketing, to our big relationships. Now, I’m looking forward and focusing on our two-year and five-year plans.” 

Among those big relationships is the one with NEXUS Luxury Collection, an international hospitality, real estate development, and asset management company, which boasts pro-golfer Woods and actor-musician Timberlake as lead partners. In 2017, Nexus became a shareholder in Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. 

“The success of junior golf is an important element in growing the game,” Woods said in a press release. “Helping boys and girls compete, and being involved in golf, will benefit the kids and help strengthen our sport.”

Growing the game is an integral part of Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. “That is a big initiative that we do on a daily basis,” Conte said. “Kids start off at local golf courses and then come to us. It’s our job to keep them engaged. We’re very forward thinking, and we use technology to keep them engaged.”

The biggest thing with Hurricane Junior Golf Tour is, “We want to be remembered as someone who changed the game,” Conte said. “We do things outside of the box. A lot of kids are uptight, and they get a lot of pressure from their parents. We want to make it fun. We want to make it a game again.” 

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

Tribute to a Friend

A group of men’s soccer alumni and former staff paid tribute to former teammate Jules Verdin during Senior Day ceremonies, prior to the final home game of the 2017 season on October 25, 2017, against the University of Tampa. Verdin, the 2014 Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year who passed away in July 2015, would have been a senior. Honoring him with the tribute were (left to right) Coach Emmanuel D. Mulowayi, Bafou Sanogo, Chris Madden, Vincent Wiskowski, Bo Barry, Franck Bayebanen, Mike Painter, Davis Hall, Jorge Braham, Andy Garcia, Brandon Rivera, and Henry Adu.

Verdin-Tribute


Marie Coors ’17 Earns National Award

Former Saint Leo women’s golfer, Marie Coors ’17 (pictured with Athletic Director Francis X. Reidy) was honored with the NCAA Today’s Top 10 Award at the NCAA Honors Celebration on January 17 in Indianapolis, IN. In competition for the Lions, Coors won the 2017 NCAA Division II women’s golf individual national title. She was also named the 2016-2017 Sunshine State Conference Golfer of the Year, Women’s Female Athlete of the Year, and Woman of the Year, among many other accolades. She graduated with a 4.0 grade average, rounded.

2018-NCAA-Honors-Celebration_Coors-and-Reidy


Women’s Cross Country Claims NCAA South Region Crown

In November, the Saint Leo women’s cross country team turned in a dominating performance befitting its veteran lineup and captured the program’s first NCAA South Region title. In addition, Colett Rampf captured her third straight NCAA South Region individual crown, crossing the finish line in 20:49.14, a full 52 seconds ahead of the second-place runner. Rampf (at far left) was also named Sunshine State Conference Runner of the Year and came in eighth at the NCAA D II cross country national championship.

Cross-Country


Love Match

Saint Leo’s tennis teams volunteered at Love One Another at the Pasco County Community Services Nutrition Center in Dade City, FL, on Sunday, November 12. Love One Another is an outreach ministry that serves a hot meal to those in need every Sunday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Clothing, toiletry items, and dog and cat food for pets are also distributed. Saint Leo’s men’s and women’s tennis teams served meals.

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Saint Leo’s Own Beastmaster

In Season One, Episode Nine, of Netflix’s Ultimate Beastmaster, Ken Corigliano ’06 did his nation proud by winning the competition against 11 others and being named “Beastmaster.” After giving his all, Corigliano placed fourth in the finale for Ultimate Beastmaster.

“As one of the top four, I bested 104 athletes including five other show winners,” the U.S. Air Force major  explained. “These athletes were pros, medalists, or they owned gyms. I used what I learned from my time as a Saint Leo athlete to compete against the world’s greatest.”

Corigliano ran cross country for the Lions. He was also chosen to represent the SSC as a member of the NCAA Division II 40th Anniversary Tribute Team in 2013. Corigliano noted that he initially

failed his fitness test at Saint Leo. What a transformation!

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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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At Saint Leo University, we have much to be proud of. Here is just some of the good news from the recent months.


MSFS17-(1)-goodSaint Leo University earned the 2017 Military Spouse Friendly School® designation by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, Military Spouse, Vetrepreneur® and STEM Jobs℠ resources. The university was ranked fifth in the nation among private institutions with 10,000 students or more.


Capture.jpg-goodIn March, Saint Leo University partnered with the Military Makeover Team for an episode of Military Makeover airing on Lifetime Television®, featuring an interview with University President Bill Lennox.


USAA-Foundation-Logo-goodIn July, the university was pleased to learn that the USAA Foundation is continuing its scholarship and financial aid support for active-duty military, veterans, and their families. The USAA Foundation and Saint Leo have enjoyed a partnership since 1994.


Leadership-Saint-Leo

Leadership Saint Leo, the university’s program to develop and train leaders, which is conducted by CODA Partners Inc., was honored at the LEAD2017 forum hosted by HR.com in Nashville, TN. The program was recognized in the following categories: first place Best Third Party Channel Partner/Customer Training Program; second place Best Use of Executive Coaching; fourth place Best Use of Team Building; fifth place Best Mentoring Program; and sixth place Best Experienced/Senior Leaders Program.


Ana-DiDonato-2Ana DiDonato ’00, ’06, associate vice president for Student Success at Saint Leo University, recently was named state director for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).


Sharmaine-Burr-(1)-goodIn May, Sharmaine Burr ’17, a Bachelor of Social Work student who studied at the Tampa Education Center was named the BSW Student of the Year for Tampa Bay Unit of the National Association of Social Workers – Florida. It is the first time that a Saint Leo student has been selected for the award.


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.

‘‘Join the Army—See the World” boasts the well-known U.S. Army recruiting advertisement. While seeing the world certainly was a motivating factor for Captain Morgan Mander ’06 to join the military, she never expected she would visit 39 countries during a 36-month assignment in Europe.

With a love of travel instilled in her by her parents, she began an education and career that has led her to places far away from her hometown of Dade City, FL, near University Campus.

Athletic aspirations kept her close to home as she chose to attend Saint Leo University. As a Lion, she played volleyball and tennis along with a few cross country runs. In 2006, she received the Elaine Evans Spirit of Saint Leo Award at the annual National Girls and Women in Sports Banquet, honoring her outstanding leadership and sportsmanship.

Capt. Mander was not solely focused on Saint Leo athletics, however; she graduated with honors with a major in biology and a chemistry minor. Tackling athletics and a challenging academic schedule prepared her for what was ahead.

A love of animals and caring for them steered her to studying veterinary medicine. Besides the usual dogs and cats, Capt. Mander’s mother taught her how to rehabilitate orphaned squirrels, birds, and opossums. She also raised chickens and rabbits through 4-H. While in high school, she worked at the Dade City Animal Clinic.

“I probably wanted to be a vet since I was 3 or 4,” she said. “I even received a white lab coat one Christmas.”

Following her graduation from Saint Leo, she enrolled at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, where she earned the F. Edward Hébert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship. She graduated with Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees in 2010, and entered the U.S. Army as a captain.

While in veterinary school, the travel for Capt. Mander began. For a conservation medicine course—the Envirovet Program—she spent three weeks in South Africa. “One main focus was the One Health Initiative,” she said. “Disciplines need to work together to obtain animal, human, and environmental health.”

That trip spurred her interest in global health. “An estimated 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases come from animals,” she said. “These diseases can then be transferred to humans. An interest in these relationships at their interfaces is what drove me to get my master’s in public health.”

While she unrealistically was hoping for a coastal assignment with the Army, Capt. Mander found herself at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota after completing her initial training at Fort Sam Houston, TX.

As a military veterinarian, Capt. Mander not only takes care of military working dogs, but also cares for the pets of servicemembers, while providing their owners with public health education. Also, one of the little known duties of military veterinarians is ensuring food safety and security. They check shipments of food and inspect food-processing plants.

Capt. Mander’s most recent assignment found her responsible for veterinary care in Spain and Portugal for three years. She also visited three African countries for work. “But most of the rest of my travel has been leisure travel,” she said.

Morgan Mander at Keukenhof Gardens
Capt. Morgan Mander at Keukenhof Gardens outside of Amsterdam

When her parents, Chip and Deanna Mander, came to visit her in Spain, there was no staying home. “I wanted to go see the world,” she said, laughing. The Manders made a road trip to the Balkans and cruised the Baltic Sea, among other travels. “The off-the-beaten-path places stick out in my mind,” she said of her trips.

Among her favorite travel moments are snowshoeing in Slovenia, hiking in Guatemala, and visiting the tulip gardens at Keukenhof Gardens outside of Amsterdam.

“The toughest part [of her overseas assignment] was being away from family and friends,” Capt. Mander said.

Her biggest regret: not learning the language while in Spain. “I learned mostly food words,” she said of her Spanish skills, “but my schedule was irregular and finding time for the classes was difficult.”

Her time at Saint Leo prepared her both academically and personally for her post-graduate education and career. “I especially appreciate Saint Leo’s core values of community and excellence,” she said.

As a base veterinarian, she experienced the camaraderie of the military family and put into practice the university’s core value of community. The leadership skills she learned on the gym floor and the tennis courts helped her lead soldiers during her last assignment.

Now, Capt. Mander is at Fort Campbell, KY, assigned to a Veterinary Service Support field unit. “The unit is actually currently deployed,” she said, so another trip could be in her future.

She hopes to pursue more travel opportunities and to focus on one-health issues. “I just love learning and trying to solve complex health concerns,” she said.

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.”

Michael A. Frassrand ’38
August 14, 2014

Wilbur Harry North ’38
September 7, 2014

Kevin F. Doyle ’52

January 16, 2014

Robert “Bob” Wallace ’53
October 2014

John R. “Jack” Terwilliger ’54
August 13, 2014

Gertrude (Neuhofer) LaBruzzo ’55
October 14, 2014

Caroline (Dyches) Low ’56
June 20, 2014

Bernard “Bo” O’Neill, Jr. ’57
November 4, 2014

Walter F. Kelly ’58
July 15, 2014

Jean A. Baumann ’67
August 23, 2014

William R. Connollon ’68
February 25, 2014

William P. “Bill” Day ’69
December 7, 2014

Bruce J. Hendra ’69
December 25, 2014

Ranald J. McCullough ’69
July 17, 2014

Paul C. Gadomski ’74
June 27, 2014

Mark L. Brigham ’75
January 3, 2015

Rayford “Ray” Ward ’76
January 22, 2012

Raymond F. LaFountain ’77
July 19, 2013

Nancy B. Nichols ’77
March 25, 2013

Roy Pfander, Jr. ’77
June 21, 2014

Dan A. Ellett ’78

May 20, 2006

Garace A. Reynard ’78
November 19, 2013

William Daniel Addison ’81
January 16, 2014

Juan A. Perez ’81
January 11, 2011

Arnett R. Tharp ’81
September 21, 2012

Alfred “Al” E. Smith ’82
October 20, 2014

Lawrence M. Tucker ’82
June 29, 2013

Steve Stanley Bukowski ’84
June 21, 2010

Ronald J. Zarko ’84
October 8, 2014

Janet “Jay” Baricar ’87
March 29, 2014

Regina E. Surles ’87
December 25, 2012

Cyndee I. Thomas ’88
September 28, 2014

Albert R. Mitchell ’89
July 11, 2013

Lori S. Holbrook ’90
December 31, 2012

Sherrill A. Perry ’92
September 16, 2013

Rose Marie Neblett ’93
September 22, 2014

Michael T. Thornburg ’93
August 8, 2014

Susan E. D’Amour ’94
May 23, 2014

Emily S. Bryant ’94
October 2, 2009

Arthur C. Gunn ’94
February 14, 2010

Alvin D. Mercer ’96
May 14, 2013

Kaye Boone ’97
November 28, 2012

Asberry D. Simpson ’98
April 27, 2014

Jerry H. Rodgers ’01
February 13, 2014

Rosemary (Brown) Mohring ’03
May 6, 2014

Marie E. Gieski ’04
February 25, 2014

James A. Butler ’06
August 22, 2014

Terri L. Ruffatto ’06
October 7, 2014

Wylene A. Amadi ’10
May 7, 2014

America “Sandy” Berry ’10
May 23, 2014

Mathew Weaver Rogers ’12
January 15, 2015

Susan C. Vines ’12
July 8, 2014

Rhonda R. Robison ’13
August 4, 2014