On February 9 and 10, 2024, St. Andrews Alumni Council convened on campus and by Zoom. Important work was mixed with fun and laughter. We enjoyed opportunities to mingle with students, faculty, and administration, as well as to hear reports from the university president, campus president, and vice president of institutional advancement. Fellow alumni, we offer this report.

Alumni Weekend 2024 (April 12 and 13)

Register Now: https://www.sa.edu/about/alumni-weekend/

Times and some locations are subject to change. Please pick up a schedule from the welcome booth near the parking-lot entrance of the LA Building when you arrive.

Friday April 12

9 a.m.: Knight’s Legacy Classic charity golf tournament. Alumni, join the Laurinburg community in this golf tournament raising funds for the renovation of the Belk Center (the dining hall) and to continue dorm renovations (see below). Location: Scotch Meadows Golf Club. $100 individual entry. $500 team sponsorship. Email Cody at Mckeithanca@sa.edu about registration for this event. Thanks to alumnus Matt Walker for spearheading this event!

Scotch Meadows Golf Club

Midday and Evening: Alumni are encouraged to visit downtown Laurinburg’s Suds and Swine BBQ Festival. With live music, libations, and food, this event is also a N.C.-sanctioned, whole-hog BBQ competition.

Suds & Swine Laurinbug, NC

9 p.m.: Welcome to campus with an outdoor social on the steps of Detamble Library. We’re planning on s’mores, fire pits, food, beverages, and music. Your own chairs and outside beverages are welcome.

Alumni in "The Grove" at St. Andrews University, Laurinburg, NC

Saturday, April 13

9 a.m. to Noon: Registration at the LA Building entrance at the parking lot

9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.: Class reunions in the LA Building

11:00 a.m. to Noon: Theater Production – “Booby Trap”

Poster Image: Booby Trap by Ed Monk

12:00 p.m.: Lunch on your own. Please visit Laurinburg restaurants or buy lunch at the student cafeteria and dine with a view of the lake in upstairs Belk.

2:00 p.m.: Science Homecoming

3:30 p.m.: Writers’ Forum

5 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Alumni Awards Banquet (On-campus location TBD)

Album Cover: Back Home by Caeland Garner

7 p.m. – until: Alumni Party Kicks off with a performance from alumnus Caeland Garner, former competitor from television’s The Voice, and the band.

Register Now: https://www.sa.edu/about/alumni-weekend/

Campus Update

At this date, it’s safe to say that the story of St. Andrews is one of resilience. In a little more than a decade, our alma mater has endured an accreditation changeover, two hurricane/floods, a pandemic, and more. A dedication to the St. Andrews approach to liberal arts education has guided and urged everyone through it. Our alma mater offers beauty, but still bears scars from these injuries. While important repairs and renovations have occurred in the LA Building, Vardel, Avinger, DeTamble, Morgan Jones, and residence halls, more is needed.

Total enrollment is 843 students. Campus president, Dr. Tarun Malik, and university president, Dr. Nelson Marquez demonstrate an appreciation of the storied educational experience of St. Andrews. In a recent presentation from Dr. Malik, he confirmed, “The ethos of St. Andrews is liberal arts, and the core of that is SAGE.” The campus is operating in the black and shows potential for growing profits and shrinking debts in coming years. This is due in part to incremental gains in enrolment over the past decade, and, more recently, exceptional gains in student retention.

UKnighted for St. Andrews

However, if the St. Andrews education from which we benefited will be available to another generation, two things must occur in the next two years.

  1. The campus must resume a high pace of renovations to remain competitive.
  2. The campus *must* restore the percentage of annual budget and campus construction that formerly could be attributed to donor support.

Give directly to the UKnighted for St. Andrews Capital Campaign: https://www.sa.edu/uknightedcampaign/

The highest priority renovations are the renovation of the Belk Center and some important dorm renovations. Our post-flooding arrangement, with the kitchens being exterior to the main building, increases food cost around 30%. In Belk, this means a new HVAC, kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. The needed renovations require $5,000,000 in donations to the UKnighted for St. Andrews Capital Campaign, by December 2025.

Plan for the Belk Center at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC
Plan for the Belk Center at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC
Plan for the Belk Center at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC

Donations will come from foundations, businesses, friends of St. Andrews, churches, and alumni. Over the past three years, 2,000 alumni have made gifts averaging $350 each. We need 1,000 more alumni to support St. Andrews. Please tell your fellow alumni that St. Andrews is on the move for important renovations, and that now is the time to pitch in. If you have been making regular donations, please remember that with recent inflation, what a dollar could buy in 2017 would require $1.21 now. Please consider if you can donate $1,000 this year or if you can increase your donation by 21%.

Give directly to the UKnighted for St. Andrews Capital Campaign: https://www.sa.edu/uknightedcampaign/

St. Andrews Alumni Council Members and Leadership

Council voted to recommend Gregg Stupinski for our next chair and Charles “Wally” Mann for vice-chair. This is a two-year commitment. The campus accepted our recommendation. Congratulations and thanks go to Gregg and Wally. Gregg and Wally will assume their new responsibilities at Alumni Weekend in April. Gregg has named Richard Yercheck upcoming chair of the development task force. Upcoming chairs for the nominations and events task forces are to be determined.

We were thrilled to welcome new members Linda (Jane Nichols) Motley, Matt Walker, Kim Whiley, and Wendy Harris (a past council president). See the full membership of St. Andrews Alumni Council here: https://standrewsalumnicouncil.org/st-andrews-alumni-council-members/

We are currently seeking nominations for: