News Post

Board Hosts Celebratory 1868 Dinner

The St. Joseph’s Academy Board of Directors hosted The 1868 Dinner on August 28 at the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel. The event honored Donor Society members, families and individuals establishing scholarships in the past year and those who served in volunteer leadership capacities. SJA’s Outstanding Alumnae for 2023 – Mary Lee Eggart ’72 and Jane Bayhi Wood ’74 – were honored, as was Linda Messina, the 2023 Spirit of SJA Award recipient. 

SJA Board Chair John D’Angelo welcomed the large gathering and thanked them for the important role they play as partners in the Academy’s mission. He introduced emcee Nan Murtagh, a member of the SJA faculty and staff for 40 years. Sister Kathy Brazda, president of the Congregation of St. Joseph, joined the celebration. 

A group of talented vocalists, under the direction of Danielle Laird, sang the blessing and performed a special tribute to the Outstanding Alumnae and Spirit of SJA Award recipients featuring popular songs from the 1970s. The performers were Anna Craig, Anna Crasto, Camille Funes, Addison Macha, Soo Park, Molly Kate Skupien, Sophie Stelly and Jackson Whitlow.

SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen ’69 provided an update on some of the accomplishments of the past year. She said that thanks to the Endowed Scholarship program, SJA provided need-based assistance to 150 young women who otherwise would not be able to enjoy the gift of a Catholic education. She also said the Academy had added a third merit-based award for families of incoming freshmen. 

Principal Stacia Andricain outlined some of the many ways SJA lives the three pillars of its mission statement: faith development, academic excellence and personal growth. She said SJA was the top school in the 2023 Louisiana State Science and Engineering Fair and that the class of 2023 had earned $30.6 million in scholarships. She outlined the accomplishments of SJA’s athletic teams, cheerleaders and Red Steppers dance team and said Academy students enjoy 40-plus clubs and organizations that foster leadership, collaboration and fun. 

Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald announced that five new scholarships were established in the SJA Foundation during the past year: the Suzie Toups Adler ’85 Scholarship; the Mary Lynne Haydel Dupont Scholarship Award; the Lorraine and Dan Fourrier Family Scholarship; the Cynthia Andries Litz ’54 Scholarship; and the Trymica Lotten Charles ’92 Scholarship. 

Gerald thanked the volunteer leadership of the SJA Annual Fund for 2022-2023: Holly and Justin DeKeyzer, Parents Annual Fund; Amy Andrews ’06, Alumnae Annual Fund; Kim and Mark Morgan, Friends & Grandparents Annual Fund; and Nan Murtagh and Pat O’Hara, Faculty/Staff Annual Fund.

Also recognized were the new members of SJA’s donor societies in attendance, including new Mother Alice Society members Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Alford, Mr. and Mrs. William Bozeman and Dr. and Mrs. Christopher Funes; new 1868 Society members Mr. and Mrs. James DuBos, Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Knobloch and Mr. and Mrs. Willie Parms III; new Shield Society members Mr. and Mrs. Hedrick Wood; and new Heritage Society members Mr. and Mrs. Richard Leggette.

Members of the Father Jean-Pierre Médaille Society in attendance were recognized and thanked. They were the late Sister Carolyn Brady CSJ ’48, represented by Sister Joan Laplace; The Congregation of St. Joseph, represented by the Sisters in attendance; CSJ Ministries, represented by the Sisters in attendance; Elaine (DeFrances ’65) and Randy Ellis; Andrea (Clesi ’74) and Wally McMakin; Sarah and Shane B. Morrison; Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, represented by Kellie Michelli Barton ’86; Dorren Schmitt; the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille, represented by the Sisters in attendance; SJA Alumnae Association, represented by Amy Andrews ’06; and Kay and Roland Toups.

New Father Jean-Pierre Medaille Society members Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Fife and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Morgan were recognized. 

Members of the Legacy Society in attendance were also thanked. They were Gail Gaiennie ’66, Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Knobloch, Ken Litz, Kathryn Trick Mount ’98, Kristy Roubique ’76 and Dorren Schmitt.

Ron McDaniel and Maradith Boone were thanked for their service as 2022-2023 Dads’ Club and Mothers’ Club presidents, respectively. Also thanked were the chairpersons of SJA’s fundraisers: Michelle Mitchell, The Soirée; Patricia Brignac Talbot ’84, SJA Tennis Classic; and Katie Jeter Valenciano ’04, Sticker Stampede. 

SJA President Jan Rhorer Breen recognized former recipients of the Outstanding Alumnae award in attendance, including Suzie Toups Adler ’85, Grace Guttner Anderson ’69, Kathleen Plaisance Balhoff ’66, Kellie Michelli Barton ’86, Lorna Bourg ’60, Patsy Lambert Brignac ’51, Lisa Westmoreland Collier ’81, Mary T Heffron deBrueys ’72, Maria “Re” Bologna DiVincenti ’71, Staci Deumite Duhé ’81, Elaine DeFrances Ellis ’65, Rose Marie DeJohn Fife ’72, Ann Felice Fourrier ’69, Elise Gauthier Fryou ’57, Pat Carville Hoffman ’73, Sharon Ourso Kleinpeter ’67, Karen Ortego LaCroix ’73, Sister Adele Lambert ’54, Dorothy Bowers McCaughey ’64, Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74, Barbara McManus ’66, Kristy Roubique ’76, Sister Lucy Silvio ’59, Patricia Brignac Talbot ’84 and Roberta Carona Vicari ’74.

Tribute videos produced by Erin Barrilleaux Albarado ’07 introduced Outstanding Alumnae Mary Lee Eggart ’72 and Jane Bayhi Wood ’74 as well as Linda Messina, the 2023 Spirit of SJA Award. 

Sister Joan Laplace led the closing prayer.

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine