From the Alumni Office

Dear Alums,

Autumn is my favorite time of year on campus. Do you remember the vibrant colors of the trees as you walked to Gardiner Hall for meals? The weather is beautiful, and this year we must take advantage of all of our outdoor spaces to keep our community well during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a tent up on the quad for dining and outdoor classes, and our science department made good use of some fallen trees to create two classrooms in the St. Andrew's woods. On any given day, you can see classes held outside in spaces across campus -- it's a beautiful sight. In order to best protect our community, we will be going virtual between Thanksgiving and Winter Break and then back in person in January.
In August, we held our annual Golf Classic. We had to limit registration to maintain social distancing, but we had thirteen alumni play this year! We also had many alumni support us with sponsorships and in-kind donations. It was great to see all of them, and they are looking for more alumni teams to play in August 2021.

This fall also marked the launch of our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. Three alumni are serving on that committee. They are Ray Cross '04 (co-chair), Eric Mack '00, and Monica Neema '18. As Head of School David Tinagero outlined in a community letter this summer; the task force will be charged with the following:

  • Developing a common understanding of the tenets of diversity, equity, and inclusion and how they can inform and help shape a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative at St. Andrew's School.
  • Identifying the top priorities in need of attention for this initiative.
  • Developing and recommending for consideration to the head of school and board of trustees structures that will be effective for carrying out a permanent diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative, commencing with the 2021-2022 academic year, with identified benchmarks and metrics for measuring the success of the initiative.
  • Being actively involved in the recruitment and hiring of a Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to begin July 2021. 
  • Advising the head of school and board of trustees on all matters related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at St. Andrew's.

I will be hosting an alumni Zoom Kahoots trivia game on Sunday, November 22nd at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The game will focus on trivia about St. Andrew's history. If you have ideas for questions, please email me at pfarmer@standrew' I hope you can join! We will have prizes for the top three winners.

I thank you all for respecting our COVID-19 rules this year. It is hard not inviting you to campus or having you pop by to visit. Hopefully, soon we will be able to welcome you back with open arms. Until then, wear your mask, social distance, and wash your hands. I hope you are all healthy and well.

All my best,

Pam Durant Farmer
Asst. Director of Development for Alumni Relations
Alumni of the Month
Gil Hager '67, Venus Wolo-Odugbela '02 
and Soksamphoas 'Sam' Im '09

Gilbert (Gil) P. Hager, M.D. '67

After graduating from St. Andrew's in 1967, I attended Kalamazoo College in Michigan and the University of Wisconsin's College Year in India Program. I lived in Banares (Varanasi) on the Ganges and studied sitar, Hindi language, and Hinduism at the University of Banares until the Spring of 1970 when I returned to Rhode Island. 

Back in Rhode Island, I went to work for India Imports (aka Spectrum India) before returning to Kalamazoo College for the Winter quarter, majoring in Acting and Theater.  After this term, I decided to drop out of college, and I returned to Rhode Island.

For a few years, I worked various odd jobs in construction (in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Dillon, Colorado) and in the Rhode Island frozen stuffed quahog industry while writing and performing music. I lived in Newport and hosted the open mic at Salt, and played in Mystic, Connecticut. I completed a recording of mostly original songs produced by Martin Grosswendt and featuring my dear friends Ed Rashed and Stephen Snyder (now producer of The World on NPR). 

When my father had a stroke in the winter of 1976, I returned to help him with his rehabilitation, which inspired me to return to college to become a physical therapist. I was advised to take some introductory science courses and enrolled in the nursing program at Rhode Island College. I was amazed to find that I enjoyed academics at this point in my life. While working in the lab at Kent County Hospital and acting for The Rhode Island Shakespeare Theater, I earned top grades and decided to see if I could navigate the pre-med path.  

In the Spring of 1978, I walked into the admissions office at Brown University and asked if I could apply. The nice lady in the admissions office told me admissions were closed, and I started to leave. She stopped me and asked how old I was (25) and how long I'd been out of school (more than five years). She left the room, returned with an application to the Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) Program, which was still open for application. She told me I should complete the application and bring it back on Monday when I would have an appointment for an interview for admission to the RUE program.

Sometime later, I received a letter of acceptance to Brown University, and when I called to thank the nice lady in the admissions office, she told me the rest of the story. When my file came up in the boardroom where they were discussing the applicants to RUE, someone asked if anyone knew anything about St. Andrew's School in Barrington, and she told them her husband was the chaplain there and that it was a great school. Thank you,  Ms. Margie See!!! 

I graduated from Brown University in the Spring of 1981 and from the University of Vermont School of Medicine (now renamed Larner School of Medicine) in 1985. I went on to an internship year at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Boston University Hospital in 1989, where I met my wife, Sharon. She was in Boston for the year on sabbatical from her job as a school counselor at Kamehameha Elementary Schools in Honolulu.

I worked at Rehab Hospital of the Pacific in Honolulu for a while before venturing into the solo private practice of general rehab medicine. It took us a while, but we were finally blessed with the arrival of our son, Nikolas (Nik), in 1998.  

In 2008, I left Hawaii for a position with the VA Hospital in Long Beach, California, managing the physical rehab needs of veterans with mild traumatic brain injuries and multiple physical injuries. I have recently retired from the VA, and I'm putting the finishing touches on my third and fourth albums of original songs to be released before the end of the year.  

Nik graduated from Punahou School (Honolulu) and Chapman University (Orange, CA), and will be working for KPMG remotely from his apartment in San Francisco.  

St. Andrew's has been magic for my life, and I am looking forward to catching up with "The Bad Boys of the 60s!" 

Venus Wolo Odugbela '02

Growing up in Liberia, most children dream about coming to America. As a child in Liberia, most children believe that America was in the air. When playing with friends, whenever there was a plane, we would scream, "The plane is going to America!"  We would run and try to catch up with the aircraft in the air. We did not care which country that plane was going to, but we assumed it was going to America. America was one of the places where I wanted to travel. My family traveled back and forth from Liberia to America, and I was always curious. 

I attended middle school in Italy and then came to high school in the United States. When I first got to St. Andrew's for my meeting with admissions, I fell in love with the campus. It was beautiful and looked very family friendly. I was shy and needed a smaller school setting, and St. Andrew's was the perfect fit. I had never boarded before, but I was very excited and not scared. Mrs. Mollo was my advisor. I learned a lot from St. Andrew's: how to be responsible and disciplined, and build networks. I grew from being a shy girl to a young woman with confidence. I played both basketball and soccer. 

I graduated from St. Andrew's and went on to Curry College during my freshman year because it was a smaller college. I transferred to Providence College for a bit and then moved to Johnson & Wales University, where I obtained my bachelor's degree in criminal justice and psychology. While attending college, I worked in a treatment facility with juveniles and children with behavioral issues. I also worked at the North Providence Police Department as an intern while I completed college. I had the opportunity to be hand-picked by former Chief Justice Jeremiah from family court to work with the youth of RI that had come before his court. My goal was to be a lawyer and ultimately a juvenile judge. I worked in family court in the juvenile drug court unit. While working at the courthouse, I received a scholarship to study abroad in the United Kingdom, and I had to leave the internship at the courthouse. 

I have worked in many different sectors, from education and training to human service. I went back to school to obtain my master's degree while working. I ran a summer job program for four years for a Community Action Project  where we hired Providence youth between the ages of 16-24 to help them with job training skills and employment. I also ran a bookkeeping program. After four years with the CAP agency, I was offered a position at the YWCA of Rhode Island.

I am now the operations manager for the YWCA Providence Community Center, and I feel I have found what I love to do. I love their mission. There I run the day-to-day operations for the Nickerson Community Center and I provide leadership for the organization's racial justice work. As a trained racial justice facilitator, I organize special events and mission-based work. Mo
st recently, I supported and hosted our "Inspirational Women" exhibit. It was an event that celebrated the achievements of women of color and was attended by community leaders and elected officials. This exhibit is a call to highlight black girls' unique struggles and to ask what we as individuals and as part of larger organizations can do to alter norms, policies, and community conditions that impact black girls and other young people of color. I also discussed the "Inspirational Women" exhibit on our local NBC news. This project was very personal to me; it was a fantastic exhibit of women of color telling other young people of color that they can write their future. 

I also oversee the YWCA's Rosie's Girls program and Girls Circle programming. The Rosie's Girls program exposes middle school girls to nontraditional trades focused on girls of color. The Girls Circle program is a peer-to-peer support group to build resilience and confidence, focused on middle school girls. I also facilitate our racial justice training focused on, but not limited to, adults who work with girls of color and people of color in general.

My own experience drives my leadership at YWCA as a woman of color who has lived in many parts of the world. These experiences have helped me better understand the importance of our mission of empowering women, eliminating racism, and providing peace, justice, and dignity for all while transforming power structures for gender equality.

I earned a highly competitive award to attend the YWCA World Council held in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was part of the U.S. delegation representing YWCA USA. The World Council is the highest decision and policy-making body of the YWCA's global movement. I used the opportunity to strengthen the YWCA movement in Rhode Island and across the United States. I will continue the things I have learned by networking and sharing the knowledge and experience on gender equality. I also infuse it in my daily work as a community leader. I coach basketball for youth and love every part of helping our youth.

I am now married to a fellow St. Andrew's alumnus, Joshua Odugbela '99. We have two amazing young boys, Malachi and Ishmael, and are expecting our third child, a girl. If I hadn't attended St. Andrew's, I would have never have met the love of my life, or found my confidence and ability to go out and change the world.

Soksamphoas Im '09 

This year commemorates the 11th anniversary of my high school graduation from St. Andrew's on June 6th, 2009, which was the starting point for becoming who I am now - a doctoral candidate and a lecturer at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ten years ago, the journey was so challenging but exciting at the same time.

I still remember those days. I submitted applications and was accepted to dozens of colleges but could not attend any of them because my parents couldn't afford to pay for the tuition fees, and I didn't have any other means of support. So I had to return to Cambodia and search for other opportunities. While attending a private university in Cambodia, I was very fortunate to be selected to continue my undergraduate study at the University of Leuven in Belgium with a full scholarship sponsored by the European Commission.

After my graduation in 2013, I went back to Cambodia and started working with an anti human trafficking international organization called Actions Pour Les Enfants. After one year with this organization, I was awarded a Civil Society Leadership Award by the Open Society Foundation to pursue a master's degree at Durham University in the United Kingdom. I graduated with a master's degree in 2015. I started traveling around Asia and Europe, then back to Cambodia, while waiting for my Ph.D. admission to a U.S. university.

The outcome was finally worth the long wait: I received an offer from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a graduate degree fellowship from the East-West Center (EWC) to begin my doctoral studies and research in Fall 2016. After completing my graduate degree fellowship from the EWC, I was competitively selected as a recipient of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Doctoral Fellowship to complete my dissertation. I have survived three years into the program now, and I only have two more years to go before I finally complete academic life. The rest of my journey is yet to unfold!

Alumni News
Henry Willette '66 continues to enjoy his teaching job at Landmark School in Beverly, MA, after serving at Landmark for 27 years as director of education. Henry is now semi-retired; he has left the administration position and has returned to the classroom where he continues to inspire his students. Henry and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch with Bob 'Razz' Ellison '88. Razz is an investment advisor representative at Commonwealth Financial Network. It was wonderful to talk about old times and catch up.

Stephen Shaw '82 and David Shaw '86 have been using their COVID-19 time very productively! They have collaborated on some new music demos. I remember well listening to and enjoying their music here on campus in the '80s. You can hear their music here.

Paul Messerlian '83 and I had a chance to reconnect at his jewelry store, Baxter's Fine Jewelry, Warwick, RI. Paul owns and operates quite the operation. He is married and has two daughters, one of whom works for him. It was wonderful to catch up with my 'old' student and listen to him in his element. Paul took excellent care of us, and I highly recommend Baxter's Fine Jewelry.

Heather and Shawn Eagan '88 have bought their first home in Haverhill, MA. Congratulations to you both!

Russ Ferreira '90 has started a new job as account manager at Greenleaf Foods. This job combines Russ's love of cooking, innovation, and sales. Good luck, Russ!

Kate Dungan '00 married Albert Federico. We wish you much happiness. 

Jeff Oehler '02 began a new job at the University of Massachusetts as an environmental health and safety specialist.

Adam Telford '04 has begun a new job as Director of Technology here at St. Andrew's. Welcome back, Adam!

Bonzie Colson '14 is playing for SIG Strasbourg. Check out some of the awesome clips of him playing and see him score the game winning points. Go Bonzie!
Michael Carter-Williams '11 was featured in The Athletic where he gave his thoughts on NBA staying power and untold Syracuse stories. Michael has been a real leader with the Orlando Magic and an activist with the NBA

Nate Colón '17 is a broadcasting intern at the Providence Pirates, a professional basketball organization. Catch his interview with our own Coach Hart. Give a listen because maybe your name may have been mentioned!

Willcia McBorrough '18 was featured on WPRI as a Hometown Hero.

Brycen Goodine '19 has been cleared to play Basketball for Providence College this year! Did you know that we have another PC alumni among our alumni roles? Ray Cross '04, our Director of Enrollment Management, also was a guard for PC!

Alumni Babies

Congratulations on the new additions to your lives. Welcome to the class of 2038!

Seta and Joey Accaoui '07
Tobias and Taylor Stevenson Schmelz '00
Francesca and Jordan Carbotti '96

Virtual Tour

Missing campus? We can't have you for a visit right now, but you can check out our new 360-degree tour for a little virtual walk down memory lane.

Take our New Virtual Tour 

GivingTuesday, December 1, 2020

Give back to St. Andrew's on GivingTuesday, a global day of philanthropy. We need you now more than ever. And great news: we have a $25,000 matching gift challenge thanks to the generosity of some members of our Board of Trustees! That means your gift will be DOUBLED, making twice the impact.

This year, we are honoring our teachers who are going above and beyond to support our students, and you can make your gift in honor of your favorite teacher, coach, or advisor. You can also consider including a special note or submitting a "Saints Gratitude Gram" using this Google form, and we'll send to them digitally on December 1st. Deadline to submit is Friday, November 27th. 

I'll try and call as many of you as I can on GivingTuesday. Please feel free to call me at 401-246-1230 ext.3128 and make a pledge, or give online at Thank you for your support!

Upcoming Events

St. Andrew's History Kahoots Trivia Night
Sunday, November 22nd, 7:00 p.m. EST