'Relationships Don’t End at Commencement'

He may be a fund-raiser for St. Lawrence by day, but each year John Pezdek ’03, M’07 spends several fall nights in Burkman Gymnasium, serving up advice and counsel as the volleyball team’s University mentor.

“I attend a few practices a week and our home and local matches, lead team and one-on-one sessions on the mental side of the game, and help players figure out classes and other opportunities to take advantage of, like studying abroad,” he explains.

Each St. Lawrence sports team has a faculty or staff member who volunteers to work with them, strengthening the ties between being a student and being an athlete.

John played volleyball in high school, coached the St. Lawrence golf teams, taught in the University’s First-Year Program and now builds relationships with alumni. Working with the team gives him the chance to interact with and help students again. “I enjoy seeing how the students grow from when they’re recruits until after they graduate and knowing I played a role in their development,” he says.

One of the best parts about John’s dual roles at St. Lawrence is that the two are connected. “I keep in touch with the players I’ve worked with after they graduate,” he says. “That’s because at St. Lawrence, relationships don’t end at Commencement. They last a lifetime.”