Giving Societies

St. John’s College’s two premier giving societies recognize those whose extraordinary generosity provides others with the intellectual journey of a lifetime.

Freeing Minds Society

The Freeing Minds Society honors those alumni and friends who have made an epic commitment to the vision and mission of St. John’s College through gifts of exceptional generosity.

The college recognizes that the philanthropic journey is not unlike the intellectual one. It is a voyage of discovery and exploration, commenced with the understanding that a final destination might never be reached. Instead, the experience circles home to where it began—a home that is now understood more clearly and more fully. A home to make ready for future journeys.

Six levels make up the Freeing Minds Society, each representing an important level of giving and named for a distinguishing feature of the journey toward a free mind—a journey these donors both embrace and enable.  At each level, Freeing Minds Society members receive specially presented books that capture the essence of the quest they have undertaken. The first level—Commencement—is recognized with the book most strongly associated with the start of the St. John’s journey: Iliad. The highest level of giving is celebrated with that epic tale of homecoming: Odyssey.

Freeing Minds Society: Books that Celebrate the Journey


Cumulative lifetime giving of $100,000


Democracy in America
Cumulative lifetime giving of $250,000


To the Lighthouse
Cumulative lifetime giving of $500,000


Cumulative lifetime giving of $1,000,000


Don Quixote
Cumulative lifetime giving of $2,500,000


Cumulative lifetime giving of $5,000,000

St. John’s Forever: The Legacy Society of St. John’s College

“True love of wisdom is sheltered in her halls.
Seekers of virtue will answer to her call.
Books and a balance are all the tools we need.
St. John’s forever. She will make us free.”

In 2011, Charles Branan (A13) answered a call: to rewrite the lyrics to “St. John’s Forever,” the original fight song of St. John’s College, to reflect the school’s transition from a quasi-military academy to the liberal arts college of today. The song remains the unofficial anthem of St. John’s, only now it speaks of wisdom and virtue, of books and a balance.

Inspired by the many seekers of virtue who still answer her call, the college established St. John’s Forever: The Legacy Society of St. John’s College. Formerly known as the Tocqueville Society, St. John’s Forever celebrates those generous supporters who leave a lasting legacy for future Johnnies through an estate gift.

The most straightforward way to create such a legacy is by including a gift to the college in your will or by naming St. John’s as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan. Our Gift Planning site can help you plan your legacy.

If you have already included St. John’s in your estate plans, we would love to count you among those who make up St. John’s Forever, so please let us know about your plans. The details will be kept confidential, and if you choose to remain anonymous, so will your name.

There are a number of reasons for sharing your intentions, even if you choose to remain anonymous.

  • Informing the college of your plans helps St. John’s to understand how you want the college to use your gift.
  • Documenting your gift brings us closer to our Freeing Minds campaign goal, while encouraging others to step forward with gifts of their own.
  • We want to reassure you through regular updates that your legacy will rest in the hands of a college that is prepared to honor it well—and, in keeping with the opening words of “St. John’s Forever,” with true love of wisdom.

Alumni and Friends are Making a Difference

Your gifts to Freeing Minds are keeping the Program strong today while preparing the college for an even stronger tomorrow.

Are You In?