Lise van Boxel, Tutor
The St. John’s College community experienced an enormous loss with the death of longtime tutor Lise van Boxel in January 2020.
Regarded by her students as thoughtful, acutely intelligent, and always open to discourse, van Boxel first joined the Santa Fe faculty in 2001. In her nearly 20-year career at the college, she taught across both campuses and was deeply devoted to all her students–advising with care many senior essays each year, and mentoring Johnnies in their studies and careers after graduation.
In return, she drew much inspiration from her students’ “earnest desire to learn and their willingness to be vulnerable in pursuit of genuine conversation,” as she once stated. She also had a particular respect for military service, which led her to co-found the “St. John’s Combat and Classics” podcast. The audio series has helped service members connect to the Program by examining historical and fictional leaders featured in military-themed literary works.
As St. John’s College classrooms continue to seek what it means to lead an examined life, they will do so in the spirit with which Lise van Boxel led her own life.
Van Boxel held degrees in political science–BA and PhD from the University of Toronto, and MA from Boston College–all with an emphasis on political philosophy. Her doctoral thesis was on the standard of truth in Nietzsche’s philosophy.
Robert Mass, Former Member, Board of Visitors and Governors
A dedicated champion of the college, Robert Mass joined St. John’s College Board of Visitors and Governors in 2013. He demonstrated great leadership, especially through his committee service, in his role as board secretary, and as Audit and Compliance Committee chair.
Through his leadership, Mass guided St. John’s through some of its most challenging times, including the current deficit reduction initiatives, helping ensure the future success of the college. He helped St. John’s prioritize student safety and wellbeing initiatives through his service on the Campus Culture Committee. Mass has been an advocate for international student recruitment, funding and fundraising for scholarships as well as making personal calls to admitted students. He has also advised and supported students in their search for finance industry internships and post-graduation employment.
Mass’s service to the college draws on his deep legal and compliance experience at public and private firms, including the American Civil Liberties Union, New York County District Attorney’s Office, and Goldman Sachs where he is a managing director.
Lifelong learning is a commitment Mass shares with St. John’s, as evidenced by his current pursuit of a PhD in Philosophy at The New School in New York City. An active participant in the Executive Seminar and Summer Classics programs for over 15 years, Mass deeply values the classroom experience at St. John’s–an appreciation that has contributed to his ongoing and tireless support of the college.
William Pastille, Tutor
Described by his students as a clear thinker, an effective writer, and a compassionate listener, St. John’s College tutor William Pastille first joined the Annapolis faculty in 1986.
During his longtime career at the college, Pastille has held several important roles, including serving as NEH chair in Ancient Thought over the past two years. From 2001 to 2003, he directed the Graduate Institute in Annapolis and served as assistant dean in Annapolis from 1993 to 1995. In addition to his role in the classroom, Pastille is a participating tutor in the Annapolis Community Seminar Program and has been editor of The St. John’s Review, an annual publication featuring works from college faculty, for the past 13 years.
In all his duties, Pastille has shown an unwavering passion for discovering truth through questioning–a pursuit that has deeply affected Annapolis students and community members alike. With the close of this year’s spring semester, he will retire from St. John’s and be named Tutor Emeritus by the college. With this new title, Pastille will continue to embody the ideals for which St. John’s stands, and remain a valued member of the college for years to come.
Pastille holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in musicology from Cornell University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in music from Brown University.
Katharine “Casey” Pingle, Chair, Mitchell Gallery Board
Casey Pingle joined the St. John’s College Mitchell Gallery Board of Advisors in 1994, and has served as its chair for the past 7 years.
In her more than 25 years of involvement with the gallery, Pingle has provided integral oversight of the operation–from supporting fundraising and membership efforts, to event coordination for “town and gown” events, student receptions, and more. Her leadership with such initiatives, combined with her work as the gallery representative for the college’s Friends Board, have helped strengthen relations between St. John’s and the greater Annapolis community, immensely. Additionally, as a former board member and current supporter of the Caritas Society of St. John’s College, Pingle helps the charitable community organization provide monetary support for SJC students faced with financial hardship or emergencies.
For her consistent efforts on behalf of St. John’s, Pingle is recognized as a true advocate for the gallery and the college as a whole.
Pingle is co-owner of PMD International, Inc., a private investment bank formed in 1987 with offices in Annapolis and London.