Alumni & Friends Societies

Augustus Tolton Society

In anticipation of Fr. Augustus Tolton’s impending canonization, Saint Ignatius College Prep’s Claver Society will now be known as the Tolton Society. Art Reliford ’72 began the Claver Endowment which benefits our African American students in need of financial aid. The Endowment has grown exponentially over the past 10 years with the leadership of the Claver Society, led by Gerald S. McCarthy ’80. Dozens of alumni as well as friends of the school have also been instrumental in reaching the endowment’s current total of over $500,000.

Reverend Augustus Tolton, the first African American slave to be ordained a Catholic priest, paid a “short visit” to the Jesuits as he was beginning his public ministry. Tolton’s education in Rome where he was ordained in 1886 marked him as a rising star among clergymen in the United States. But the hostility he faced from priests in Quincy, Illinois prompted him to look north to Chicago where Arnold Damen, S.J., had founded Holy Family parish and St. Ignatius College. Tolton quickly discovered that the city did indeed offer “a larger and more progressive field” as he began raising funds for St. Monica Church at 36th and Dearborn on the South Side.

Among Chicago’s Catholics, Tolton found a warm welcome in the college at “Twelfth Street” and Blue Island Avenue where he was a guest of the Jesuits in 1893. The Chicago Inter-Ocean reminded its readers that he would preach at High Mass at Holy Family and, according to the Jesuit ledger preserved in the archives of SICP, Tolton appealed “at all the masses” on Sunday January 29, 1893.

The predominantly Irish congregation of Holy Family responded enthusiastically, donating $500 dollars (nearly $15,000 in 2019 dollars) toward the construction of St. Monica’s Church. Fr. Tolton never wavered in his belief that the Catholic Church “is the great institution that must break down the barriers of racial prejudice.” When he died suddenly in 1897 from heat stroke, thousands of Chicagoans—white and black—turned out to mourn him. So great were the crowds that came to his two-day wake that “policemen were detailed there to keep the surging mass of people moving and in line.”

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  • Augustus Tolton Society Annual Members

    as of 4.26.2019
    Valerie Barker Waller '83
    Jeri Bingham '85
    Antoniette Bordelon '04
    Judge William Boyd '70
    Dr. Eden Brandon '85
    Roland Burris II, '85
    Brian and Jeanette Conrad-Ellis
    Yvonne Davis
    Jetaun Davis Pope '98
    Elizabeth Donohue '88
    Barbara Dunlap '86
    Dawne Duparte '89
    Colette English Dixon
    Mary K. Garrett
    Kimberly Gladden
    Dr. Perpetua Goodall '93
    Sheila and Wallace Harris '83
    Alison Hennings Tanner '83
    Darrell and Anisha Hill '87
    Kara Holloway '87
    Samuel Jackson III '05
    Cherya Jenkins
    Tracy Jones '81
    Hon. Kimberly Lewis '88
    Patrice Louis '04
    Lori Lypson '93
    Kimberly Mason '85
    James Miller '92
    Dale and Shadawn Morrison
    John and Sandra Pikarski
    Carr and Marcia Preston
    Christine Riley '93
    Jacquelyn Robinson
    Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer '81
    Patrick Scott '87
    Nicoline and Thomas Shields '59
    Anthony Spalla
    Phillip Sutton '78
    Hon. Anthony Swanagan '77
    Pamela Valderrama
    Dennis and Kellie Welsh
    Jacqueline White
    Curtrice White Scott '90
    Allison and Darrell Williams '77
    Erin Toole Williams '87
    Tanya Woods
    Dr. Carol Worsham-Perry

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  • Augustus Tolton Society Lifetime Members

    Gloria and Alvin Bell
    Felicia Bell ‘96
    Monique Bell ‘99
    Danielle Bell ‘03
    Willard Evans, Jr. '73
    Maria Green and Oswald Lewis
    Rashod Johnson ‘93
    Gerald S. McCarthy ‘80
    Malik Murray ‘92
    Carol and Arthur Reliford Sr. ‘72
    Elisa and Arthur Reliford Jr. ‘92
    Wintrust Financial

Claver Society

Past Event Recaps


The Claver Society hosted the biennial Summer Soiree on Saturday, August 4th to benefit the Claver Endowment. The endowment was established to provide tuition assistance to our African American students in need of tuition assistance.

Over 200 guests gathered to honor Dawn Hasbrouck ’94 for her outstanding service and leadership. The evening was a tremendous success as 100% of the $100,000 raised will be designated to the Claver Endowment. This year we will be able to provide 5 students with tuition assistance.

We are very grateful for the outstanding committee that organized and steered the success of the Summer Soiree. Our 2018 Committee: Sheila Harris, Patrice Louis '04, Kimberly Mason '85, Abraham Matthew '05, Gerald S. McCarthy '80, Malik Murray '92, Art Reliford, Jr. '92, Christine Riley '93, Curtrice White Scott '90, Valerie Barker Waller '83, and Erin Toole Williams '87. See photos from the event.


Thanks to the generosity of the school's St. Peter Claver Society and Art Reliford '72, a large group of Saint Ignatius students were treated to a viewing of the Marvel Comics blockbuster movie, Black Panther. The students began their day by attending the 40th Annual African American Heritage Mass.

Speaker Series - Michael Strautmanis '87

The Claver Society and Saint Ignatius College Prep welcomed Michael Strautmanis ’87, Chief Engagement Officer for the Obama Foundation, to Saint Ignatius on April 19, 2018
More than 80 alums, present parents and friends of the school gathered for a reception and presentation. Mike spoke about the Obama Foundation, his four years as Senior Advisor to President Obama’s Chief of Staff as well as his four years at his alma mater!
Mike also spoke to dozens of students in the Foglia Library and engaged in a lively Q & A and took an extensive tour of the school with BOSS members, Kennedy Springfield, '19, Brittany Mensah, '19 and Helena Gebremichael, '19.
We would like to offer a sincere thank you to Mike for taking the time to spend the day with Saint Ignatius!


Tom Pikarski ’89 and Maureen Gilhooly Pikarski ’90 were the raffle winners for the Claver Society Chicago White Sox private suite raffle! The game was held on Monday, July 31st 2017. (The Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola). Tom and Maureen hosted members of their family, including Maureen Pikarski Murphy '87, Jack Gilhooly '87, John Pikarski '20 and Mr. and Mrs. John Pikarski, Jr. (honorary alumnus) for a memorable evening watching the White Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays.

All proceeds went to the Claver Endowment. Congratulations to the Pikarski family. Thank you to all of our generous supporters who purchased tickets and thank you to Comcast Sports Net for their generous donation.


The Claver Society welcomed back members of the school community to the annual Claver/BOSS Welcome & Farewell Potluck on Sunday, June 4. The event took place in the Fr. Grant Quadrangle and McLaughlin Room where guests enjoyed drinks, burgers, and hot dogs. The event served as a chance to say good luck to outgoing seniors and welcome incoming families. Special thanks go out to Erin Toole Williams ’87 and Christine Riley ’93 for coordinating the event and to David Fuller ’91 for providing his grilling services. 


On Saturday, August 6th, the Peter Claver Society hosted the Summer Soiree and welcomed over 150 guests for a cocktail party and reception honoring Art Reliford '72. All proceeds supported the Peter Claver Endowment which provides tuition assistance for African American students at Saint Ignatius. Thank you to all of the event sponsors and all who attended. See more photos from the event.


The Claver Society and student group BOSS hosted a welcome & farewell potluck on Sunday, June 5, 2016 in Tully Hall. The attendees had the opportunity to say good luck to outgoing seniors and welcome incoming families. Thanks to all who attended. 


On Monday, November 23rd, more than twenty BOSS students along with many Claver Society members and Fr. Michael Caruso, S.J. gathered for the first annual Vision Board presentation and dinner at Saint Ignatius.

The BOSS students created vision boards depicting their goals, aspirations, and mentors. Following the board presentations, all enjoyed a buffet dinner and lively conversation. Thank you to Cheri Smith, Art Reliford ’92 and Curtrice White Scott ’90.


On Sunday, August 6th , Saint Ignatius and The Peter Claver Society welcomed over 150 alums and friends to the Claver Family Picnic. The day was filled with great food, old friends and generations of Ignatius families! We are grateful for all of the support from our alumni and friends of the school who donated their time and services! We will continue this tradition and will host the next Claver Family Picnic in June of 2016.

SPEAKING EVENT - 4.30.2015

Dr. Marcia Chatelain Yapelli ’97, Assistant Professor of History at Georgetown University, visited Saint Ignatius as part of her book tour for her newly released publication, South Side Girls: Growing Up during the Great Migration. She can be seen below with students after her talk in the library. The Claver Society then held an evening reception where Chatelain Yapelli ’97 spoke about her book. Read Marcia's biography on the Georgetown University Website.  

SUMMER SOIREE - 8.2.2014

Saturday, August 2nd kicked off the inaugural Summer Soiree to benefit the Claver Endowment. With the generous help of Gerald McCarthy ’80, Curtrice White Scott ’90, Erin Toole Williams ’87, Valerie Waller ’83, Art Reliford ’72, The Alvin Bell Family and Kevin Conway ’69, the event was a huge success and over $50,000 was donated toward the endowment. Will Evans ’73 was honored at the event. View the event photo gallery
Phone       312.421.5900
Fax 312.432.8389