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On the Road with LJCDS Alumni

By Katie Sigeti ’06, philanthropy manager, alumni programs
Alumni forge connections and share impact at regional events.
Since the fall of 2022, the LJCDS Alumni Office has hit the road, launching a series of regional events that bring together alumni and former faculty in various areas. These gatherings aim to foster connections, build meaningful relationships, and update attendees on the exciting developments at LJCDS. At each meeting, a piece of LJCDS’ heart is brought to our alumni. Current faculty and staff members have also participated, sharing the joy of reconnecting with alumni beyond Genesee Avenue. 

One remarkable aspect of these regional gatherings is witnessing the diverse ways in which our alumni are making a positive impact in their communities and on the global stage. For instance, during the Seattle event in September 2022, Torrey lifer Chase Mertz ’11 provided longtime former faculty and staff member Susie Nordenger, Head of School Gary Krahn, his wife Paula, alumna Sally Davidson ’68, and her husband Tim with a tour of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he serves as a program officer. 

“When you visit the Gates Foundation,” shared Susie, “you’re invited to ‘Arrive Curious and Leave Inspired.’ Our visit with Chase did just that! Every wall is perfectly curated with inspiring stories of decades of global impact. Following the tour, Chase shared how he is making a difference. We also toured the Gates Discovery Center, an interactive timeline exhibition of stories and data from the foundation’s partners, grantees and foundation employees working tirelessly to fight poverty, disease and inequity worldwide.”

In January 2023, as part of the New York regional event, Susie Nordenger, Associate Head of School Colleen O’Boyle, and alumna Talia Mereles ’17 visited Kelsey Jones ’02 at Brooklyn Independent, a middle school she co-founded with Gabriela Tejedor. Inspired by her experiences at LJCDS, Kelsey aimed to provide a high-quality education to students from diverse backgrounds. The school’s unique sliding-scale tuition model ensures accessibility, fostering a vibrant educational community in Brooklyn. The visit revealed bright hallways adorned with student art, engaged students, and dedicated teachers, embodying Kelsey’s vision for an exceptional education.

In October 2023, David Jen ’98 generously opened the doors of X, The Moonshot Factory, where he serves as managing director of finance and corporate development. X is committed to improving lives worldwide through technological innovation. During the visit, David showcased various Google X projects, revealing the organization’s mission to create revolutionary technologies addressing the world’s most challenging problems. He shared insightful information about the process, timeline and how his work impacts the team as he walked through an exhibition of public projects. David’s reflections on the role LJCDS played in his life and career success added a personal touch to the tour.

These past regional events helped forge the bonds among Torreys:
  • September 2022: Seattle (hosted by Sally Davidson ’68 at the Seattle Tennis Club)
  • October 2022: New York #1 (hosted by Harry Nam ’84 at the Yale Club)
  • January 2023: New York #2
  • September 2023: Los Angeles
  • October 2023: Bay Area
  • October 2023: Miami (hosted by Neal Chandoke ’99 at Continuum South Beach)
  • January 2024: Austin

The Alumni Office expresses sincere gratitude to the dedicated alumni who hosted these regional events, contributing to the strengthened connections among our alumni and their continued ties to LJCDS.

Attention alumni! If you are interested in hosting an event in your region, please contact Manager of Alumni Programs Katie Sigeti ’06 at ksigeti@ljcds.org.


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