MAY 2014    
Alumni "Link" Students Honor Fontbonne Tradition
 The Link

In 1927, Fontbonne’s first graduating class began a tradition that is carried on today as part of our commencement ceremonies. A bronze chain, originally connected to the shovel used for Fontbonne’s ground-breaking in 1924, bears the year of the first graduating class at its head. Each subsequent graduating class is connected to this chain by square chain link inscribed with the graduation year. 

Students are nominated by academic departments and it is a distinct honor to be chosen to symbolically connect their graduating class with eighty-seven years of Fontbonne alumni.  Two students each from the Graduate and Undergraduate programs are chosen to participate. The 2014 Alumni Link graduate program students are:  Darrell Eason, and Heather Deranja.  The Undergraduate Link students are: Katherine Roberts and Marielle Counts. The Commencement ceremonies will take place on May 17th at 10:00 am (Graduate) and 2:00 pm (Undergraduate) in the DSAC.  Read more about Fontbonne traditions.

Alumni Hood Honor Bestowed on Two Outstanding Students

Each year, Fontbonne recognizes an outstanding graduating senior who has demonstrated loyalty through service to the University as a whole, and who has the potential to be an outstanding member of the Alumni Association to receive the Alumni Hood Award during Commencement exercises. 

This year's undergraduate recipient is Elizabeth Brennan.  She will earn a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics. During her time at Fontbonne she has been a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society,  a member of Phi Kappa Phi, a member of Alpha Lambda Delta,  was awarded a student grant to American Society for Quality (ASQ)’s 2012 Fall Technical Conference; one of five nationally.  She was presented the M. Theresine Lewis Award for Scholarship and Service from Fontbonne University’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and received many academic honors. Beyond academics she is a member of the Student Alumni Association (SAA), the Commuter Advisory Board, Campus Ministry Choir, is a Fontbonne blogger, Co-Editor & Chief of the Fontbonner student  newspaper, and participates in numerous community activities.  The Undergraduate Commencement will take place on May 17th at 2:00 pm.

Also this year for the first time, the Alumni Hood will be awarded to an outstanding Graduate student during the Graduate student Commencement on May 17th at 10:00 am.  Monica Kleekamp will be the student speaker during Commencement, and has been an outstanding student in both graduate and undergraduate programs. Monica has distinguished herself in a strong group of very capable students. She won the departmental award for the highest GPA. She was also selected for a highly competitive program which prepares speech-language pathologists to have highly developed expertise in working with children who are deaf/hard-of-hearing. During this past year Monica elected to do a master’s thesis.  Her study is looking at language-literacy skills of learners who are deaf/hard-of-hearing utilizing reading miscue analysis.  The combination of her high GPA and quality of her research led her to be the department’s nominee as the Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year awarded by the Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Monica was also selected to represent the entire student body on the search committee for the next president of the university and was an active participant in that group.  We are pleased to recognize both Monica and Elizabeth with the 2014 Alumni Hood Award.

For more information about the Alumni Hood Award, please contact Michelle Siegel, Senior Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving at 314-889-1447 or

Alum Hosts Students at Work
Tony Effan-2

Fontbonne alum Anthony Effan ’09 hosted five current students at Wells Fargo, for an overview of the financial industry and tour of the bond trading floor on April 24th.  Anthony Effan, Team Operations Lead for the Wealth Brokerage Services Division at Wells Fargo, is also a Director on the Fontbonne Alumni Association Board.  He developed this program idea, when he participated in another alumni event and met some current students.  He saw a real opportunity to help mentor some business students and pay it forward.  Students were treated to lunch and an overview of the financial industry. This was followed by a discussion about a day in the life of a Broker, Q & A, and a tour of the home office branch.  Students also participated in a panel discussion with three Wells Fargo professionals, met with a Bond Trader, and received a tour of the trade floor. The evening ended with a networking reception with Wells Fargo professionals at the Fieldhouse.  Fontbonne Junior, Sara Correa, who helped develop the idea, said she immediately jumped on the opportunity as she is seeking a job in the financial industry.  

Effan said when he is not working, he enjoys volunteering, and Wells Fargo allows employees a certain amount of hours per month to do volunteer work.  He hopes the opportunity he created will help these Fontbonne students gain some knowledge about the financial industry to prepare them for their future in business. 

For information about  hosting some current students at your place of business, please contact the Alumni office at 314-889-1447 or

Social Media

Join in the social conversation for Fontbonne University’s 2014 May Commencement ceremony. We encourage you to log into Twitter, Instagram or Facebook on Saturday, May 17, 2014 and share words of wisdom, advice or memories with the graduates. Please add the hashtag #GriffinGrad2014 to your post. Let’s welcome our newest members into the Fontbonne alumni network!


Vice President of Student Affairs Randi Wilson Endowed Scholarship

Following 22 years of service, Randi Wilson, Vice President of Student Affairs, will retire from Fontbonne University on June 30, 2014.  She has touched the lives of over 6,300 students who have graduated during her tenure. 

In honor of her dedication and work at Fontbonne, an Endowed Scholarship has been set up so that future students will be able to benefit from her efforts at the University. You can contribute by clicking here and help celebrate her time at Fontbonne.



Celebrate Milestones with a Fontbonne
Commemorative Brick

 Honor your favorite graduate this Commencement season, or
celebrate your own memories of graduation with a commemorative engraved brick.  Bricks are placed in front of Anheuser-Busch Hall or the East Building. For more information or to purchase a brick, visit our website or call (314) 889-1408.


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 Get Involved



Cyber Security Day

In this age of technology, every small business, nonprofit and independent school must keep its data secure. So how do you do that? Attend Fontbonne University's Cyber Security Day, Sat., June 7, to learn about resources, tools and best practices. Click here  to register now and learn more about the program.


Telescope Day

Here's your chance to view Jupiter, Mars and other deep sky objects.  The Department of Biological & Physical Sciences will have a telescope available on Saturday, May 3 from 7:30-9:30 pm in front of the library (cancelled if rain). Contact Dr. M. Truong at 314-889-1446 if you have questions. 

Dr. Golden's Timeline

Dr. Dennis Golden began his tenure at Fontbonne on a cold day in January, 1995. Now, 19 years later, we look back warmly on the career highlights of the university's 13th president as he prepares to retire after the spring 2014 semester. Click here to enjoy highlights and photos from Dr. Golden's 19 years as President of Fontbonne University.

Faculty and Student Accomplishments

Dr. Jason Sommer, professor of English, was featured in the St. Louis Jewish Light, discussing his most recent book of poetry, “The Laughter of Adam and Eve.”  Read the interview online.

Dr. Dennis Golden, university president, spoke with Charlie Brennan on KMOX about his career, his retirement and upcoming Leadership and Legacy Gala. Listen online.

Communication studies major Karina Arango, a junior, had an editorial published in the print edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on April 23. Karina is an
education policy intern at the Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis. You can read her piece online. Additionally, she co-authored an April 7 editorial,
also in the Post. Read it here.

Dr. Deanna Jent, professor of theatre and artistic director of Mustard Seed Theatre, was also
featured on KMOX Thursday, April 17, discussing her original play, “Falling,” currently running at Fontbonne. Listen to the segment online, then read a Riverfront
Times review
 of the production.

Dr. Michael Sullivan MBA '97, associate professor of theatre and technical director and resident lighting designer for Mustard Seed Theatre was honored by his high school, Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape Girardeau, Mo.  He was inaugurated into their new Fine Arts Hall of Fame in recognition of his continuing and award-winning work in the Arts.  He is a 1975 graduate of Notre Dame Regional High School.

Alumni Notes

Brian Fogerty, a 2009 Fontbonne graduate with Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and former member of our Men’s Basketball team, will be inducted into SLIAC’s 2014 Hall of Fame Class.

Carolyn Van Hee '02 of has announced her engagement to Marcus Gildehaus. They are planning an August 2014 wedding.  She is a reading intervention specialist at Hanna Woods Elementary School in the Parkway School District.

Local author, Kem M. Smith BBA '99, MA '01, will hold a book signing of her debut fiction novel, “She’s Got Her Own” at K.I.S.S. Fitness Studio, in Florissant, MO. on May 3, 2014 from the hours of 1-4pm.  K.I.S.S. Fitness Studio will offer a free fitness class to anyone who buys an autographed copy.

In Memory of:
Mary Jane Ruoff, CSJ '48
Nancy Barton '72
Dianne Petersen Strutynski '75

Share Your News
New Move? New Job? New Marriage? We welcome your news and photos. Please stay in contact so that we can share your success with fellow alumni. Email your news and photos to Your information may be featured in our twice yearly Tableaux magazine.