Purple Tie DinnerSaint Joseph’s College is pleased to announce the inaugural Purple Tie Dinner honoring Chicago Bears legendary coach Mike Ditka!

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Special Thanks to the 2018 Purple Tie Event Committee:


Saint Joseph’s College is pleased to announce the inaugural Purple Tie Dinner honoring Chicago Bears legendary coach Mike Ditka to take place on Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the Fair Oaks Farmhouse off of I-65 north of Rensselaer. This event will provide an opportunity for many Pumas and friends of St. Joe’s College to re-engage and move forward with new plans for the next 127 years. The 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears were a legendary team, and Coach Ditka has graciously agreed to join us because of his affection for the College and the people of Jasper County.

”I enjoyed the people that I met as a Bear during the preseason workout camps in Rensselaer. They were good to me, and I look forward to seeing them again.”

-- Coach Mike Ditka, January 2018

The proceeds from the dinner will support the renovation of Schwietermann Hall, which will be the first residence hall to be used with the re-opening of the Rensselaer campus.  For those who may not be aware, Schwietermann Hall has four floors, one for offices and three for residents.  The three residential floors have 22 rooms each with individual bathroom facilities that can hold 2, 3 or 4 students per room, accommodating 198–264 occupants.  Most of you remember the “group showers” in many of our dorms, but millennial students expect private accommodations.  It is unlikely that this new generation of students will experience one of our favorite memories of St. Joe’s – being scalded with extremely hot or cold water whenever there was a restroom flush.  Merlini Hall, in particular, was famous for this!

Many of you may still be questioning the rationale behind renovating Schwietermann.  We have full intentions of returning to the Rensselaer campus in the foreseeable future.  The SJC renewal has been a tough challenge, but we are moving forward with full vigor and expect to accomplish this goal. Will you help us by supporting the Purple Tie Dinner?  Please invite friends to share a table or participate individually with other Pumas. 

Schwietermann Hall is named after Fr. Richard Schwietermann, C.PP.S., who lost his life while serving the Sacraments to a parishioner. In the homily the week before, Fr. Schwietermann noted that “a pastor lays down his life for his sheep.”  The building was named in his honor in 1963 and served primarily as housing for the C.PP.S. Priests, brothers, and seminarians.

The Purple Tie Dinner, an event we plan to hold annually going forward, has a special meaning.  Attendees will be encouraged to wear purple ties or scarves to create an atmosphere of school spirit. Yes, we will have special long ties, bow ties and scarves available for purchase if desired. At one of our many meetings preparing for this event, Purple Tie Dinner Committee member Tim Conroy ’89 noted that the color purple stands for unity, confirmed by the trend forecaster, Li Edelkoort, during the 2016 US Presidential election.

The Purple Tie Dinner Committee hopes this event will provide friends, alumni, and supporters of Saint Joseph’s College with the opportunity to move forward in unison to renew the College.  Alumni, Jasper County residents, and friends can take advantage of this exciting event to come together for a common cause to renovate Schwietermann Hall and be the catalyst for the return of our beloved St. Joe’s.

Please join us for a fun-filled evening and support a terrific cause to include many live auction items (Notre Dame 50 Yard Line Tickets, Bears memorabilia, trips to Costa Rica, Italy, Seattle, Puerto Rico, Ft. Myers, and many more).  Also, we will have live music and dancing after the dinner. Please RSVP ASAP at purpletiedinner2018.eventbrite.com as seating at the Farmhouse is limited to 200. For questions not covered here please feel free to email us at purpletie@saintjoe.edu.

The 2018 Purple Tie Committee Members

Ned Tonner, Co-Chair SJC Trustee
Mindy Beier, Co-Chair 96’
Tracy Fox, ‘91
Sheila Maxwell, 93’
Tim Conroy, 89’
Renee Egan, 85’
Michael Kohlman, SJC CIO
Tyler Conroy, ‘15
Julie Hesson, SJC Fellow
Chuck Fox, Auctioneer
Michelle Searer, former Director of Alumni Affairs
Tom O’Brien, 69’
Lana Conroy, 87’
Terry Ann Defenser, 85’
Bill Hogan, 74’