Taking the LEAP
Avichai “Avi” Scher ’15 is accustomed to making graceful exits. With the help of Saint Mary’s LEAP program, the 31-year-old ballet dancer and choreographer, has left the ballet world and landed solidly on his feet in a new career with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York.
Lisa Congdon ’90 never meant to be a fine artist, illustrator, or even an author. But fate had different plans for this history major and former elementary school teacher. “When I was 31 years old, my brother asked me to take a painting class with him,” said Congdon.
Every Child's Eyes
A song written by Denis (D.J.) Loiseau ’77 and Irish co-writer, Maurice Byrne, is featured in a music video he co-produced for California CASA, whose mission is to give abused and neglected children both a voice in court and the services they need for a stable future.
A New Adventure
Ron Turner ’79, former alumni director and major gift fundraiser, could have a second career as a stand-up comic. Or so it seemed at his retirement celebration in the atrium of Brousseau Hall in late June.
Gaels Come Home
Over 450 alumni representing five Gael generations came back to Saint Mary’s in July for Reunion. Activities included hiking to the cross, historical tours, a family picnic, wine tasting, children’s storytelling, Mass, dinner on the Chapel Lawn, and dancing.
Music on the Lawn
Nearly 200 alumni gathered with friends and family on campus June 26 for the inaugural Music on the Lawn event, featuring performances by Ryan Whitney ’01 and Shawn Brown ’98 (Shawn Brown + 9th Street). Gaels enjoyed a beautiful Moraga summer evening in front of the Chapel, as well as food trucks, park games, and a bounce house for children. The event was the first of several new Young Alumni programs focused on family and keeping recent grads connected.
In July 2014, a small group of graduates of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing program launched The East Bay Review, an independent literary magazine that publishes fiction, poetry, comics, essays, new journal- ism, and book reviews. “We saw there was a vacuum in the East Bay for independent journals,” said Editor-in-Chief Jeff Chon M.F.A. ’13, who teaches composition at SMC. Chon said the all-volunteer group thought, “Why not us? Why can’t we champion literature from this region and beyond?” The magazine, whose tagline is “This is the epicenter. Be about it,” publishes quarterly online issues.