Scarlet & Brown Stories

Jabari Bowen '18

June 06, 2023 St. Lawrence University Season 2 Episode 10
Jabari Bowen '18
Scarlet & Brown Stories
More Info
Scarlet & Brown Stories
Jabari Bowen '18
Jun 06, 2023 Season 2 Episode 10
St. Lawrence University

Jabari Bowen '18 joins us to discuss his St. Lawrence experience and how it has translated into having a life of meaning. Jabari also shares his thoughts prior to attending his 5th Reunion and why he is excited to serve as a Co-Chair for the Class of 2018. 

Show Notes Transcript

Jabari Bowen '18 joins us to discuss his St. Lawrence experience and how it has translated into having a life of meaning. Jabari also shares his thoughts prior to attending his 5th Reunion and why he is excited to serve as a Co-Chair for the Class of 2018. 

[Theme music plays and ends]

Dennis:   Welcome back to another episode of Scarlet & Brown Stories, the podcast where we record and share the news and oral history of St. Lawrence University and the wider Laurentian community. I'm your host, Denny Morreale, St. Lawrence class of 2007, alongside my co-host, Megan Fry Dozier. Megan, how are you doing today?

Megan:   I'm doing great, Denny. How are you?

Dennis:   Very good. I'm delighted today about the guest that we have, someone that I think several of us have had on our short lists for a while, so it's exciting to finally get him on here. Our guest today is an alum from the class of 2018. I'm just going to go through some of the stats here. An English and government double major, HEOP student, track and field athlete, ATO member, community assistant, senior fellow for admissions, Multicultural Visitation Program assistant, communications intern, St. Lawrence University Fellowship, and, as an alum, a LINC mentor, and more recently the co-chair of the Class of 2018 Reunion Committee and a, if I may say so myself, rising star of the Young Alumni League. Jabari Bown, welcome to the podcast.

Jabari:   Thank you. Thank you for having me. I didn't realize I did all of that. I am still doing all that. Sounds like a lot.

Dennis:   It does sound like a lot it. And you were no slouch, that's for sure. Has this always been your style, going back to high school and that kind of thing? Were you jumping in as being a leader in various organizations and whatnot?

Jabari:   Yeah, so I think it really started in high school, like my junior, senior year. So I don't know if a lot of folks know. I actually lived in Jamaica for about four or five years.

Dennis:   I didn't know that.

Jabari:   Yeah, I moved back to...

Dennis:   You mean Jamaica, not Jamaica, New York.

Jabari:   Yeah, not Jamaica, Queens. Montego Bay, Jamaica. And so I moved back to the States and actually moved to Brooklyn, New York in 2012. And the school I went to was actually started by a St. Lawrence alum. So shout out to Matt Brown.

Dennis:   No kidding. Nice. All right.

Jabari:   And Becky Van de Water. Absolutely love her. She's my third grandma. And so there, the biggest thing was students doing stuff outside of the classroom. And so I just got really involved. I started doing bunch of volunteering stuff. Obviously, sports was in there, but if any opportunity was shown, and I thought it would be fun or interesting or just doable, I would try my hand at it. So I did New York Cares, which was really cool. In the two years that I was there, we did a couple hundred hours. I remember a big initiative that I was a part of was a gay-straight alliance. It was a small cohort of people.

Dennis:   Very nice.

Jabari:   Yeah, and it was one of those first moments of advocacy that I remember being a part of. A very secluded group, and it was more about having dialogues and seeing how our group can reach the general populace in the school. But yeah, anything that I just felt was cool or was asked to do, I was like, "Yeah, let's try it. Worst case scenario, I fail."

Dennis:   Love that. So let's go back to the night before you matriculated. So you got your bags packed, going to bed, planning to head up that long trail, up to St. Lawrence University for your first day of orientation. Who were you then? What were you most excited about, and what were you most nervous about?

Jabari:   I'd say I was much more into sneakers than I am now. I just remember. So I was fortunate enough for my sister and brother-in-law to drive me to campus with my nephew, his son, and one or two of our childhood friends. So it was a loaded van, and most of it was filled with sneakers.

Dennis:   No kidding.

Jabari:   So you can imagine how many pairs of sneakers I had. So it was a lot of packing the night before. But I mean, as you mentioned, I'm a HEOP student or was a HEOP student, so I'd been on campus for-

Dennis:   That's right.

Jabari:   ...what felt like most of my summer. And so I got back to Brooklyn, I want to say for about a week or two, and then was, essentially, back to St. Lawrence. So I wasn't super nervous to be back on campus just because I kind of knew the lay of the land. I got a sense of what the rigor of the classes would feel like.

Dennis:   That orientation they do is pretty rigorous. I think you chose the right word. My understanding is have you guys working hard during that time.

Jabari:   Oh, yeah. There is such a steep learning curve because, I mean, public schools, they vary in terms of what you learn. I just remember reading Hobbes and Thoreau. I was like hard...

Dennis:   Yeah.

Jabari:   And Bill Short's always like, "There's a reason for it." I was like, we'll see! So yeah, it was a rough summer, but learned a lot. It really helped me and built that confidence to know that, at the very least, I can get by at St. Lawrence. But I knew if I applied myself, I could do well. So yeah, I wasn't really nervous. I don't think there was anything I was nervous about, but I was excited to meet a lot of people. I know you both, and I think out of the conversations we have, you guys know I'm a Chatty Patty, and I tend to ramble. I really just meeting people. And so that was one of the biggest things. I was just excited to meet new people on campus.

Dennis:   I can attest to this, from a kind of different perspective. So, my primary role, I am the Young Alumni person. So I coordinate the Young Alumni League, and I travel and visit with people on the road that are in the 10 youngest classes and try to recruit people for the Young Alumni League and whatnot. And so when I'm talking to people in the anywhere range that you went to school with, and we're asking who's involved already, everyone knows who you are. It's just you're one of those hubs that has so many spokes going in all directions. It's remarkable.

Jabari:   Yeah. I actually don't know because my freshman year, I was pretty much hiding in a dorm room. Yeah, I was in Priest, and I felt like I really just went to class, ran track, hung out with my same three or four friends, maybe five, and that was it. I don't feel like I did anything. I think it was sophomore year I started living in the CBL suites.

Dennis:   For people not familiar, could you speak to what the CBL suites, what that stands for?

Jabari:   Stands for community-based learning. So shout out to Brenda and Alie. I know Alie's not there anymore. I think she's in Vermont, but and even Erin. They were not huge in pushing us to do it, but just letting us know about the opportunity, knowing what it is.

Dennis:   Erin Colvin and Alie Sarhanis. Am I remembering right?

Jabari:   Yes.

Dennis:   Yeah.

Jabari:   Yes. I ended up putting together a group with myself, my friend Moe, my friend Bubacar, and our friend John. And we lived in there, and we actually worked with NYSARC Fitness. I will say, if you ask me to say the meaning of NYSARC, I probably couldn't right now.

Dennis:   Yeah, that's okay.

Jabari:   That's a long one. But it was a lot of fun. And we essentially were able to live in a suite, the four of us, while also doing community based learning. And we actually were able to put together a project for the Impact conference that was hosted in Massachusetts at the time, which was my first trip to Massachusetts. And we went to UMass Amherst with, I forget everyone's there, but Ashley Downing was the one in charge.

Dennis:   Oh, nice. Very nice.

Jabari:   So yeah, that was it. It was a really fun time. But I think living in that suite, a lot of people tend to hang out in the suites.

Dennis:   Yeah, I never lived in the suites, but I certainly spent, it was a drop by on the circuit of places to stop on a Friday or Saturday. The suites were often in the mix.

Jabari:   Exactly. And so I think that introduced me to a lot of people. And then you also are just doing a little bit more, bit more confident on campus. I knew people from classes, my FYP, and then you just start to get introduced to people. And I think the one thing that I always did is if I met you once, even if I couldn't remember your name, I would still be like, "Oh, hey, what's up?" So and so. I definitely got some weird looks, but people usually would joke around, that's definitely not my name. And so just having that conversation. And I think I was always just willing to let people know that I have met you before, so don't be weird or act strange.

Dennis:   Yeah.

Jabari:   Break that ice.

Dennis:   Love that.

Megan:   I was going to say, as an introvert, I appreciate that because that's how we make friends is we find an extrovert and we get them to adopt us. And then that's how get introduce to the rest of the social circle.

Dennis:   Right.

Megan:   So I guarantee that you've helped a lot of people out there.

Jabari:   Maybe.

Megan:   So following that thread through your college experience, what has stuck with you about St. Lawrence? When you think about your experience, what lesson is still applying to your life today? What was that defining class, club, project, team experience for you?

Jabari:   Man, I'm trying to think. There are a couple that come to mind, but I think they all have the same theme. I think the St. Lawrence taught me how to prioritize.

Megan:   Ooh, that's a good one.

Jabari:   I think my freshman year I had a group project for, I think the class was violence, non-violence with Christopher Buck. And I was in a two person project and I just wasn't carrying my share of the load. And I remember having a talk with Professor Buck and I just, I'll never forget, he said. "You are a student athlete, emphasis on the student first." I think that was one of the first times where I realized if you have major competing interests, you really have to prioritize them. And you can't just juggle them all and like, "Oh, it'll work itself out." Because I think in high school you can kind of do that, but as you get older, you really have to make a choice and make a decision. And I mean it fluctuated, but I would think now I'm way better at it than I was then.

Because I remember in London, when I studied abroad, something similar happened and I just needed a slight reality check as well. I think maybe definitely by my senior year as things are starting to get relaxed and you're kind of like, I kind of want to be done with schoolwork. Unfortunately, I kind of had that creep in a bit. And so I needed another pulling back. But I'd say that would probably be the biggest thing I learned, just understanding how to prioritize things. Because even if you're drowning, if you prioritize well, you can dig yourself out of that hole. And you usually have the help around you to get it done. So just have a plan to figure it out.

So I think that's probably the biggest lesson I've learned from St. Lawrence because now that I'm older and I'm an adult in the "real world," you have a bunch of things that you're trying to manage and juggle, whether it's friendships, work, hobbies, a lot of things compete with one another. And so you kind of have to manage it. It's one of those things where everyone's like, "We're not just down the hall in our dorm anymore." If you want to actually see, you got to make the effort.

Megan:   Yes, that is the absolute truth.

Dennis:   Yeah.

Megan:   It does not get easier.

Jabari:   No, it's not.

Dennis:   So as an English major, was there any course material that changed your outlook in a way that you didn't expect or had an outsized impact? Sometimes I can think of, I wasn't an English major, but certain books that still shaped my outlook years later that I read in school at one point or another.

Jabari:   Yeah. And Paul Grant's probably going to be mad at me for this, because I can't quite remember the author, but it was a book about writing. I think it was Joyce Carol Oates, I think so. I can't remember.

She was speaking on the very specific things that good writing usually has. And outside of writing, I think storytelling is just something that I gravitated to towards. And I think in college, short story writing was my way of doing that. As I've moved on from that. And I don't have to, or I don't necessarily feel the need to write, I still oral storytelling or visual telling, I go to the movies at least two or three times a month, see Open in Boston. And so I think, I can't quite remember, but it was a book that we were reading from an author that was just going over how to appropriately write a story.

Dennis:   Yeah, that's really interesting. Those kind of books that I've read, a few I can think of that it's sneaky, it's like a Trojan horse that it's on its face. It's simply instructional, nonfiction, kind of educational material that smuggles in these deep insights about the universe. The one that comes to mind for me, there's a book by a guy named Scott McLeod who wrote, you talked about visual storytelling. The book was understanding comics, and you think it was just that. And then you start reading it and you quickly realize, I think I learned more about art. And I finally understood abstract art for the first time reading that book. All of these things I did not see coming about the way time works in a two dimensional image and things like that. So we'll have to figure out who that is. I'd love to look into that more.

Megan:   Would it be The Faith of a Writer ? That's what I'm seeing for Joyce Carol Oates.

Jabari:   I can't remember.

Megan:   It'll come to you. 4:   00 AM give us an email.

Jabari:   Also, I'm a bit of a hoarder. My girlfriend probably hates it. I think I have almost every book that I bought from St. Lawrence except for the ones from freshman year. I still have all.

Dennis:   No kidding.

Jabari:   Yeah.

Megan:   I love that.

Jabari:   I have those. I have the calendars and I have the magazines and I have them sorted by season.

Dennis:   Oh, that's wonderful. I did that for a couple years. I had kept all my books and I thought it was going to be this great book collection. And then I found myself moving a lot and I had this sort of just purge phase. And now that I'm settled and actually have this space and don't move around nearly as often, I wish I had held onto to them. But you sort of live and learn.

Megan:   So I want to stick to this train of thought. What is on your to be read pile right now?

Jabari:   To be read pile? Honestly I haven't been, I was never an avid reader, but I knew in order to be a good writer or even just storyteller you had to read, I'd probably say there, there's a autobiography, I'm forgetting his name now, but he was on SNL and he's in a couple other movies. But he had a really good story. And that was an autobiography that I wanted to read because the Seth Rogen autobiography was a really good one.

Dennis:   Oh, interesting.

Jabari:   And I'm not usually a autobiography guy. I usually, I want to say fiction and probably short fiction at that, or mystery.

Dennis:   Oh, interesting.

Jabari:   Dean Koontz, oddly enough, is probably my favorite writer, which is a very random thing to say.

Dennis:   I was going to say, if you had asked me to guess who would be in your top author's list, I don't know that I would've come up with that one. That's a very fun character trait, hidden character trait for you.

Jabari:   Well, the thing was, so when I graduated, I had a lot of time in the summer because I hadn't landed a job yet. And I went to Vermont to spend the weekend with my friend Rachel Starr, while I was doing my SLU Fellowship In 2016. No. She was doing her SLU Fellowship in 2017, and I was a HEOP mentor on campus at the same time.

Dennis:   Oh, nice.

Jabari:   That's how we met and developed our friendship. So post-grad, I'd never been to Vermont. She was living there for the summer and I was like, "Oh, I'd love to visit." And we went to a bookstore in downtown and I just picked up a book by Dean Koontz, I think it was Velocity.

Dennis:   Okay.

Jabari:   And I just remember reading that and then being like, "I got to read more." And then I read a couple more and I was just like, "Maybe this is my niche."

Dennis:   That's great. So were you couch surfing that summer?

Jabari:   No. So I was in Brooklyn. I was back home. My folks didn't kick me out. But I definitely took the chance to visit people and see things.

Dennis:   Yeah.

Jabari:   I think one of the best pieces of advice I heard or got was late our senior year for my friend Robert Ryan. He said that a family friend that was much older and successful, told him the one regret he kind of had was not enjoying the summer or year post grad because I most freedom.

Megan:   Yeah.

Dennis:   Yeah, it's true.

Jabari:   So what I... Oh, sorry.

Dennis:   Oh, no. I was just going to say, I remember that summer so fondly now, I felt so much discontent and I felt very lost in a way that, in a kind of profound way that I don't know that I've ever felt that lost before. But in retrospect, I think about it and it's such a riveting time that were just so free. And it was a lot of that for me, it was crashing on people's couches for four days at a time and bouncing around the northeast in my little hatchback.

Jabari:   I did a couple trips that summer. I was looking for a job, but if something came up I wasn't, and I could do it, I was saying yes, which I think is a theme in my life. I should probably learn to say no more often.

Dennis:   I don't know. Yeah, I feel like that's your charm and from what I've seen, have found your way into interesting connections and interesting opportunities.

Jabari:   I mean, most times a yes is more exciting than to a no, it's really easy to stay at home, get on the couch, watch a lot of movies, which I very much love to do. But for instance, I rode bike now mostly because my friend Robert Ryan, he's an avid biker and I'd say most of our friend group now is.

Dennis:   That's right. Because you guys have a nice little crew going there. In Boston, if I remember correctly.

Jabari:   Yeah. A lot of folks in Boston, specifically Beacon Hill. So me and my girlfriend who both class of 2018 live in Beacon Hill, my friend Mo and Willie Jay lived together, they're in Beacon Hill. Robert Ryan lives in Beacon Hill, Glenice Gallagher, Haley Wilson, Gregor Petakovic, big SLU population because we see a lot of stickers on cars.

Dennis:   Yeah.

Megan:   I will say shameless plug, we at the time of recordings, SLU Connect Boston is next week. So we're excited.

Dennis:   That's right.

Megan:   I think we have over 70 volunteers next week coming out to talk to current students about different careers and stuff. So Boston is definitely one of our hubs through the generations of Laurentians.

Dennis:   So hearing you talk about that makes me want to give a little bit of unsolicited advice. I can sort of remember that phase of my life. I don't know if... You can tell me if this is true for you, but yeah, that period, especially your fifth reunion, which is coming right up, is in some ways meaningful distinction because the period between when you graduate in the fifth, for me, I didn't recognize it as this another kind of golden years period of life. I knew in college everyone seemed to know when you were a student that this was really precious and it needs to be savored.

Jabari:   Yeah.

Dennis:   I didn't realize to the same extent at the time how that five years after, when you're living in these really kind of bohemian little communities with many of your classmates still in close contact and your roommates together in apartments, that that's also a golden period that also doesn't last forever. So anytime I talk to people who are in the thick of it, I always just want to say, really treasure this time.

Jabari:   No, I mean, even to speak to that a little bit, I think offline we were talking about, I went to watch the Celtics game with my old townhouse mates. I was walking back to Beacon Hill with Mo and we tried to live together post grad but just couldn't get it together. But just the feeling of knowing that we missed that moment to probably room together in a city when we're like we early to mid twenties and can really just enjoy life without many responsibilities or large responsibilities. It's like, "Geez, we're never going to get that chance again possibly."

Dennis:   Yeah, you've still got some good years left of that, I would say.

Jabari:   Oh, for sure.

Dennis:   Yeah.

Jabari:   But I mean, I don't know how much longer I'll be in Boston. I don't know how much longer he'll be in Boston. I'm in a long-term relationship. He's single as a Pringle.

Dennis:   Yeah.

Jabari:   So I don't know. I don't necessarily know.

Dennis:   But on that note though, you do have the reunion coming up and you along with Maddy Rice have been the co-chairs for your class of 2018, which is in a cluster with classes of 2017 and classes of 2019. You've been involved in a wide range of different activities as an alum. What made you want support St. Lawrence as an alum after graduating?

Jabari:   I think it's twofold. I think the opportunity to go to St. Lawrence and get an education, make the connections I did and learn what I did was super beneficial in getting me to where I am now. So I think just being grateful for the opportunity and what it's provided me is one part. But I think the second half is just out of pure love for St. Lawrence. I don't know how many people spent as much time in Canton, New York as I did when they were at St. Lawrence because I was there obviously for every semester except for when I went abroad in the fall of 2016. But I was there for about four to five summers as well. So I spent a lot of time up there. I met a lot of great people, whether it was students, faculty, staff, people around the community. I'm a city boy in terms of wanting to live in New York or Boston, but it's something about being in Canton or even on campus that just was very calming or really soothing and I just fell in love with everything.

And I was like, "If I can give back in any way, I definitely will." I think it was just the idea of paying it forward and letting someone else get that feeling. Because when I did my visits, I was kind of weirded out with how much people love St. Lawrence. They could have just been the very specific people that I spoke to. I can't talk to if admissions was nudging or not, but they were all so into St. Lawrence. And I've come to realize that I'm just one of those people. I can't explain it. It's like, "Why do I love New York City so much? I don't know." It's just a feeling. I'll go back any chance like that.

Megan:   Absolutely.

Jabari:   I give back.

Megan:   So on that note of paying it forward, what advice would you give a high school senior who's just committed to SLU and maybe what advice do you think that they should ignore?

Jabari:   Advice. What I would ignore is I would ignore the bad accounts of St. Lawrence that some folks might mention. I know that was a big contention between Mo and I with some of the older folk that we spoke to when we first got there about certain aspects of being on campus. And I think the biggest thing was just go and live your own experience, right? Because everyone, I know people that absolutely love St. Lawrence and I know some people that were like, it was all right. And I think depending on who you talk to and how true they make it seem, they can skew your idea of it going in. And so I would just say, just go in there and just have fun. I mean, classes are going to be hard some are going to be easy, but it's the things that you do outside of the classroom that really shape your experience.

And so, if you already go in with the mindset that I might not want to do this, I might not want to do that, or I can't make time for that, I think you'll have a very limited experience. I think if you just try a couple things or even say yes to some things that you might not necessarily have envisioned yourself doing, you'll find that you're having a great time. Some of the things I did at on campus, I didn't think I would do. I never thought I'd join a fraternity, but having conversations with people that I didn't think would join a fraternity made me want to rush. And just some of the things that they were talking about, I was like, "This seems like a lot of fun. It seems like people are doing things and everyone's pretty accepting. I was like, yeah, why not?'" So yeah, don't listen to the bad, just go up there on your own accord and live your own experience when you'll get the truest form of St. Lawrence, in my opinion.

Dennis:   No, I love that. So as we've alluded to a few times here, you do have a fifth reunion coming up. What are you most looking forward to about your fifth reunion?

Jabari:   Seeing Becky Van de Water? No. I think it's really just seeing everyone. If the meetings that I have in Boston are any indication towards to expect on campus, it'll be a lot of, "What are you up to? And do you remember when?" And I think those are the conversations that, I mean, it's not that I peaked in college, but you definitely get to enjoy on those moments. Some of my years at St. Lawrence were some of the best years of my life so far. Granted I'm only 27, so it's not many. But to be able to talk on those shared experience with folks and be in the place to where we had that is I think one of those few feelings or moments that can't really be compared to others.

And so I think just linking up with people on campus was probably going to be my most favorite thing. Outside of that, in all seriousness, seeing a few people that really made my St. Lawrence experience what it was. So Bill Short, Aaron Coleman, hopefully I can get her out to seeing Ashley Downing, Becky Van de Water. I know I'm probably leaving a bunch of names off there. But seeing those folks. And then I'd say lastly, getting a pizza roll from Serges.

Dennis:   Of course.

Jabari:   Or about special.

Dennis:   Yeah.

Jabari:   One of those two

Dennis:   That's mandatory on reentry.

Jabari:   Yeah, my girlfriend's, she's probably going to hate me. She's a big ranch person, so she's just like, "I can't wait for the ranch." I was like, "That's most oddly specific thing."

Dennis:   No, that's wonderful. I've always say about, I've said it on the show before, but you only get one fifth reunion. The things you alluded to are absolutely big parts of it. But also a big part is the acquaintances, the people who were not in your immediate circle of friends, but that you had every other class, you seemed to be in with that person and you said hi whenever you passed. And how easy it is to pick back up with those people when you're in the buffet line. And the whole thing is just remarkable. And each reunion milestone year is really kind of special in its own way. You can say the same thing is true, but there's nothing like the fifth, you never get another one. And so it's an exciting time.

Jabari:   Yeah, no, I'm excited. And that's kind of my spiel when I talk to folks that are kind of on the fence about it. I'm like, "I'll never get this chance or opportunity again. Who knows where we'll be in the next five years when it's our 10 year. We'll have kids and this, that, and the third. It just makes it a little harder."

Dennis:   I mean it's great in its own way. It's just fundamentally different.

Jabari:   Yeah.

Dennis:   Even if any individual doesn't, many people in the class do. And so that the whole tone takes on a different field that it's itself, its own a really special occasion. There's something incredible about going and seeing, looking around and seeing your peers with their toddlers is its own kind of profound experience. But it's not the fifth. The fifth is its own beast.

Jabari:   Yeah, no, I mean I'm excited to see, I think the list has been growing. I think all of my townhouse is going for sure. So hopefully we can get them to get more folks to RSVP.

Megan:   That's awesome. I know you alluded to a lot of you and your SLU friends are into cycling and road biking. Is the bike coming back to Canton with you?

Jabari:   Yes. So I begrudgingly ask that question on a bike ride on Saturday I want to say, we were doing a 50 mile ride and I was like, "Are we biking when we get to St. Lawrence?" Because St. Lawrence is a fairly hilly place. I don't really do well on hills. I'm short, but I'm stocky or stopped. But I think the plan is to do a bike ride on that Friday morning hopefully. Maybe I can rope in Victoria. We'll see if she has the time.

Dennis:   But I would think not just because of the position, but because it's Victoria, I honestly don't know.

Jabari:   Hopefully I'm not doing anything over 25 or 30 miles. Anything that'll just take too long.

Dennis:   Yeah.

Jabari:   I want to be able enjoy my time up there and not be sore. But the bike's coming up, hopefully there'll be at least four to five of us with bikes up there.

Megan:   That's awesome.

Jabari:   That's great.

Megan:   And could you tell us, we've talked a lot about your volunteer work with St. Lawrence, but could you tell us a little bit about Bike MS, how you got involved, what their mission is and why it's important to you?

Jabari:   Yeah, so I really started doing Bike MS because of my friend, excuse me, Robert Ryan. So his uncle actually has multiple sclerosis and I believe he did the Pan-Mass Challenge in 2019.

But I think he wanted to do something very specific to multiple sclerosis. And so he found Bike MS and just started to put together a small team just to fundraise for it. Convinced me to get a road bike. And I was like, "Okay, yeah, let's do it." And I think through that and having discussions with my family, I actually found out that my oldest sister or oldest sister has MS and she doesn't have bad MS and I'm probably seeing that terribly. So I never really knew and it wasn't something that she ever spoke about. So it started off as something that I was there in solidarity with my friend and it turned out to be something that I actually had skin in the game for. And so what we do is every year, I believe at end of June, we bike about 175 miles, which is usually a little more than that over two days to raise funds for research for multiple sclerosis.

It's a huge event. We raise millions of dollars collectively, not me and my team, every year, but it's a really dope thing. We usually do the Cape Cod route. I say usually because during the pandemic when we did it was all on our own accord. You could do it virtually. But we actually went out there, Robert, mapped out the entire route. And so we did about 180 or so over two days we were supposed to do and we just kept going. But it's something that I hope to continue to do every year that I get the chance to, even if I do leave Boston. But sorry I just started to get a little emotional thinking about it because it's coming up next month, June 24th or fifth. So it's right around the corner for us.

Megan:   That's wonderful.

Dennis:   We'll be cheering you on. So I think that's a great cause and great to see are Laurentian involved with it.

Jabari:   And kudos to Robert as well. He's really grown the team a lot. It started off with just a couple of us as friends doing it and the next year more friends and the next year, friends of friends and family. And we're starting to get a pretty big team. And it's really all because of his efforts. Obviously, I try when I can too, we all do. But I'd say he's the largest driving force in it and we really look to him as a captain because I mean, he is the captain for us and it really comes to. We've done a couple events in Boston with it for fundraising. Couple raffles. Yeah, we're trying a couple different things.

Megan:   That's really great. Is there something that we should have asked you that we haven't yet?

Jabari:   I'm not quite sure. I feel like we touched on a lot of different things and I kept interjecting with random thoughts every now and again.

Dennis:   That's what we're here for.

Jabari:   I was thinking about this question a bit in terms of what do I hope they asked me about? And I feel like we kind of touched on everything, or at least I was able to mention bits and pieces of everything. No, I don't think there's anything I wish you guys had touched on that we didn't.

Megan:   Awesome.

Dennis:   We'll have to have you back on for the 10th, but right before your 10th and we'll see if any of this has changed or where it stands.

Jabari:   I want to say that I really do want to try and win the Young Alumni League this year. I don't know how feasible.

Dennis:   You're in it, man. I mean it's tough because there's like this wall of just extreme titans towards the top, but you, there's nothing in your way. And if not this year, I can already just see it in your drive. And it's been thrilling to see your whole cohort that you're kind of coming on this year with is very strong looking. But there's this a crew of what I think of as very young alums that it's you and Sonya Jensen and Nicole Gotham and a handful of others that are just like, wow, these guys could win a championship this year maybe but we'll see.

Jabari:   Yeah, I definitely got a text from Sonya.

Dennis:   That's great.

Jabari:   Last week or but the week before, she was like, "I'm one point behind." I was like, "Are you watching this day by day?"

But no, I don't think there's something else I wanted to touch on. I kind of just wanted to have a great conversation and talk about St. Lawrence and not feel guilty to, I feel like that's the one thing when a bunch of people get together, in least for me in Boston, if we are at a house party or something and people start talking about St. Lawrence, I kind of almost feel guilty, especially for the people around us that didn't go to St. Lawrence because they're just there and they just watch us geek out about something they have no idea about.

Dennis:   The thing that always struck me was when you'd go to a wedding that was one person was St. Lawrence and the other wasn't, there's always this really funny dynamic where the St. Lawrence side is you just know who they are and the other side is looking at you and being like, "What's wrong with you people?" You're obsessed with each other. And yeah, that I've seen it many times. And I don't know, it's great.

Jabari:   I will say St. Lawrence has some great dancers. I've been to three SLU weddings so far.

Dennis:   That is for sure.

Jabari:   We usually tear up the dance floor. I'll give you that.

Dennis:   Glad to hear that hasn't changed, but that is for sure. Well, thank you so much. It's been a pleasure to have you on. We're very excited to have you on campus this year and I'm excited to see how things go with you and the Young Alumni League moving forward. But it's been our pleasure to have you on the show. And before we close, I did want to say that wish congratulations and also a farewell and announced that this is Megan Fry Dozier's last episode as she... Congratulations Megan. She has found an exciting new opportunity for her, but is a bit of a sad loss for us. Megan has been an integral part of this podcast production team since it was just a flicker of an idea way back in, I don't know, 2020 or something. And it's been a pleasure to work with you, Megan, and we'll certainly miss you.

But thanks for all you've done to help get this whole program up and running and we appreciate everything you've done for the show.

Megan:   Thank you so much. I will say St. Lawrence will always hold a very special place in my heart and I'm so happy that this got was my last conversation on the podcast. Jabari, as I said before, you were my tour guide when I did my job interview. So you're part of the reason that I came to SLU five years ago in spite of that I think it was a 15 degree snowy, awful day that you showed me around campus and you sold it. So, thank you so much and thank you for chatting with us today.

Jabari:   Of course, full circle moment like you said.

Megan:   Absolutely.

Jabari:   Definitely will be missed. I was hoping to see you on campus, but I know you're going to have a great time at your new spot.

Megan:   Thank you.

Dennis:   So till next time, have a great month.

[Music plays over credits]

Beth:   Scarlet and Brown Stories is produced and edited by Amanda Brewer, Beth Dixon, Megan Fry Dozier and Dennis Morreale. Our music was written by Christopher Watts, inspired by Eugene Wright, class of 1949. Subscribe to Scarlet and Brown Stories, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Consider leaving us a rating review as well. If you have a story to submit to us, you can email us at

[Music ends]