St. Thomas community members gathered Saturday, Nov. 25, at the Mayflower Pub in London to celebrate Thanksgiving. Those gathered included current study abroad students, U.K.-based alumni and London Business Semester program directors.
A group of London alumni hosted the celebration, with sponsorship from St. Thomas Office of Global Learning and Strategy. Alumni said they were grateful to meet current students and to feel more connected to their alma mater.
“The Thanksgiving dinner was very special; I really felt connected again as a Tommie, even from this far away,” Mavreen Ananura-Kabagambe ’08, ’11 MBA said. “It was fun to hear about the students’ exciting study abroad experiences and I felt very proud of St. Thomas’ international spirit, especially as a former international student myself. I immediately bragged to my family in the U.S. after telling them about my ‘London UST Thanksgiving.’”
“Some of us stayed after dinner to chat and talk about the things we love, about our time at St. Thomas or our lives here and in Minnesota,” said Maria Eugenia Sestini ’05. “There is a strong sense of community that makes St. Thomas such a unique university, and I definitely left the Mayflower feeling grateful!”
Attendees also took the opportunity to reflect on life in London.
“I was surprised with how much of a global city London is,” said current LBS student Matthew Deakin. “Every morning on the tube I am taken back that there are people from all over the world speaking in different languages to one another, making this city so diverse and unique.”
Throughout 2018, Mark Weeks ’92 and Kate Jeter ’00 will look to increase engagement with other U.K. and European-based alumni. They plan to partner with the university to collaborate and network with students spending time in their home country.
“The Tommie network of alumni can be a support system for new arrivals as well as for those of us that have made London our home,” Jeter said.
Expanding the St. Thomas global network is a priority for both the university and Senior International Officer Tim Lewis.
“The world is shrinking and there are Tommies across the globe. International Tommies are forming alumni groups, with London leading the way,” Lewis said. “We want to reach out to any of you alumni living outside the United States. If you would like to join our international alumni network, just email Sam Boyd, Office of Global Learning and Strategy, at email@example.com.”