Joan Reardon Dillon credits SJC Brooklyn’s glowing reputation for giving her an extra boost when she was kick-starting her career as a kindergarten teacher.
Despite not having a teaching certificate, Mrs. Dillon, who graduated in 1956 with a history degree, was still able to secure a teaching job at Public School 75 in Bushwick. Mrs. Dillon said the principal of the school hired her because he knew St. Joseph’s College graduated strong students.
“All the kindergarten teachers there were from St. Joe’s,” she said. “The truth is the school always had a good reputation.”
Mrs. Dillon ultimately became certified as a kindergarten teacher, and she continued working at the school for 32 years.
When Mrs. Dillon speaks of the opportunities St. Joseph’s College afforded her, she radiates with gratitude and acknowledges that they are the reason why she is a frequent volunteer and donor to the College.
“Over the years, I decided that I have the time and I have the interest,” she said. “And if I can help in some way by coming to volunteer, I’ll roll up my sleeves and do something.”
Mrs. Dillon has been a member of the SJC Brooklyn Alumni Association Board for more than a decade, serving as its president from 2013 to 2015. She noted that she didn’t start volunteering “full blast” until 2001 when she attended the grand opening of St. Angela Hall. The College hosted a large event — including a special Mass and reception — for more than 400 alumni, she recalled. It was the first time she saw many of her former classmates since graduation.
“It was a wonderful reunion,” Mrs. Dillon said. “We never had that kind of reunion before.”
Now, Mrs. Dillon facilitates annual reunions for St. Joseph’s alumni as chair of the Spring Reunion 50th Anniversary Committee.
“Joan is the quintessential volunteer — full of energy, commitment and devotion to her alma mater,” said St. Joseph’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement Rory Shaffer-Walsh. “St. Joseph’s is stronger because of Joan’s generous and tireless efforts for the College.”
S. Elizabeth Hill, ’64, C.S.J., J.D., St. Joseph’s sixth president who retired in June 2014, added to that sentiment.
“St. Joseph’s College has been blessed with many wonderful, loyal alumni — women and men who share their time, talents and treasure with the College with great generosity and enthusiasm,” she said. “Among them, and very high on the list is Joan Reardon Dillon ’56. Joan gives new meaning to the word ‘loyal’ … She has set a wonderful example for all of us who love St. Joseph’s and are committed to its goals and values.”