Alumni Association Fosters Brotherhood
St. Lawrence Seminary High School is a private, Catholic boarding school for boys in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin, just outside Fond du Lac. For more than 160 years, St. Lawrence has formed leaders in the Church, who make up the ranks of clergy and professed religious as well as catechists, religious scholars, parish pastoral councils and church workers across the United States. St. Lawrence has formed 10 bishops and archbishops and has had a hand in the formation of many men to other vocations.
With public and charter high schools educating the plurality of Catholics, a rural single-sex boarding school offers a unique experience and a throwback to a bygone era. First-time visitors to St. Lawrence, perched atop a hill in rural Wisconsin, often note the distinctly Hogwarts vibe of the buildings and the setting. “I think the experience would not be the same if St. Lawrence were in a metropolitan area,” said Bill Burge (SLS 1985), president of the St. Lawrence Seminary Alumni Association (SLSAA). “I think its isolation out there in The Holyland is part of what lends itself to that unique experience because when you're living there, that's your whole world.” Removed from the hustle and grind of life in a major American metro area, students at St. Lawrence can find brotherhood and fraternity more readily than is commonly found in a public or charter high school in a city, suburb or small town.
Alumni stay connected and continue to build brotherhood and fraternity after graduation. The SLSAA hosts numerous events throughout the year to keep alumni connected and engaged with one another, with the institution and with current students. The Alumni Reception is held annually on the third Saturday of September and coincides with the Hilltopper race. In addition, service days take place around the country where alums come together to perform works of mercy and acts of charity in their local community. For example, alumni in Southeast Wisconsin recently met up at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Milwaukee for a day of service beautifying the grounds of the church.
More recently, the Association began hosting an annual 3-on-3 alumni basketball tournament on the Hill. Anywhere from a dozen or more teams compete each February for bragging rights. “It's a great interactive opportunity where the alum and the students can connect, talk, and converse, and share common interests, so it's really been great that way,” said Burge. “It's probably the single greatest add we've made to the events in a very long time.”
The most recent addition to the Alumni Association calendar is the annual Sons of Calvary Alumni Ride and Pilgrimage event where participants can walk, bike, drive a classic car or motorcycle and converge on the Hill for a day of fellowship and brotherhood. Pilgrims came from Wisconsin and beyond via various modes of locomotion for the third annual Ride and Pilgrimage in 2023. The event takes place the second Saturday in June. Once the pilgrims converge on the Hill of Happiness, there’s Mass in the Chapel, followed by a cookout.
The St. Lawrence Seminary Alumni Association is open to all who attended and there are no membership dues. “I love being connected with the school. I was there as a student. I think after I graduated, I probably was away for 20 years, or 18 years, or something like that. I didn't give it a whole lot of thought,” said Burge. “When I finally went back, I just was overwhelmed with emotion, and just nostalgia, and all that stuff. At that point, I decided I was not going to disconnect myself.”
We invite you to visit the St. Lawrence Alumni page on the school website and receive news and information about upcoming Alumni Association events. And connect with fellow alumni on the SLSAA Facebook Group!