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Alumni Support Summer Programs

Posted by Brianne Leith on August 6, 2014

Alumni Support Summer Programs


Summer at St. John’s is an active and vital season, bustling with graduate students, January Freshmen (in Santa Fe), and participants in two flagship programs: Summer Classics and Summer Academy.

Summer Academy, the college’s program for high school students, was held in Santa Fe from June 22 through July 12 and in Annapolis from July 13 through July 26. Annapolis had a record-breaking year; a total of 96 students from 30 states and six countries participated in one or both of the two weeklong sessions. In Santa Fe, a total of 81 students from more than 20 states and three countries participated in weeklong seminars; 17 of the students spent two or more weeks on campus. The college is grateful for the generous financial support of alumni, including the Austin/San Antonio and Chicago alumni chapters, which aided participants on both campuses.

This year’s Summer Classics program in Santa Fe offered a choice of 23 seminars and attracted a total of 250 participants, including members of the Santa Fe and Annapolis communities, K–12 teachers, high school and college counselors, current St. John’s students, and staff members, who participate for personal edification as well as to reinforce their connection to the college’s academic mission. New special sessions were offered in science and music: in addition to the usual morning seminars, a daily two-hour lab was held for students in “The Origins of Field Theory: Orsted, Faraday and Maxwell,” led by tutors Peter Pesic and Guillermo Bleichmar, and afternoon tutorials were held for students in “The Essence of Opera,” led by tutors William Fulton and Andy Kingston. Students in the music seminar also attended a performance at the Santa Fe Opera. In Annapolis, 20 participants enjoyed two seminars: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with tutors Eva Brann and William Pastille, and Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra with tutors Robert Drueker and Louis Petrich. Participants came from Michigan, Texas, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, California, West Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Tuition assistance was provided for 30 teachers at the Santa Fe campus, many of whom earn continuing education credit from their schools for the experience, though most attend Summer Classics as a way to renew their love of learning by spending a week being students again. Seven high school college counselors were invited to stay on the Santa Fe campus and attend the seminar of their choice, meet with Admissions staff, and get to know the town so that they can better identify the students in their high schools who would thrive at St. John’s. The funding for the college counselors is in place for three years through an anonymous donation; the college hopes to be able to continue this program in the future.