The energetic young woman entertaining the crowd at Oliver Hall on the cover of this magazine is Sonya Lee, a 21-year-old senior and dance sensation. Lee, who’s majoring in communication and minoring in dance, hopes to work after College as a Lasallian Volunteer, teaching performing arts to young students at a San Miguel school in Chicago.
Lee is one of 20 scholarship recipients that Saint Mary’s magazine profiled for this Annual Report issue. We had so many students whose stories we wanted to tell that we could not include them all in the printed magazine, so we invite readers to go online to read more online.
One thing that struck us in learning about these students, both from themselves and their professors, mentors and friends, was how much they get out of Saint Mary’s. They’re busy with classes and many have jobs, but they take time to get involved in a wide range of extracurricular activities on campus. They have also formed close relationships during their College years. Lee told me the friends she’s made through dance clubs and dorm life at Saint Mary’s will be hers for life. “I’m sure we’ll be in each other’s weddings,” she says. “We’re like a big family.”
That sense of community exemplified by these scholars can also be seen in the grandstands of McKeon Pavilion, especially one evening last January when the Gonzaga Bulldogs arrived for the always exciting home match-up against the Gaels. We sent a photographer to tell the story through pictures, and we’re sure the images will help you relive a night when it was great to be a Gael.
Students like Lee, who received a John A. and Mary M. Sabatte scholarship, know that engagement with the College continues long after graduation. Many of you watched the game against Gonzaga from the stands or on national television, and we notice how many alums end correspondence with “Go Gaels!” Those who demonstrate their continuing involvement by donating to the College are listed in the 2006–07 Honor Roll of Donors. You may be impressed to hear Lee’s perspective on giving. “I wouldn’t have gotten this far without the service of other people,” Lee says. “I’m so thankful for what I have. I think I owe everyone, I owe it to myself, to give back in my life. It’s not a choice for me.”