Alumni Keep Colorado College Close to Their Hearts and Lives
When Julie Johnson and Preston Sargent headed to Colorado College in the fall of 1975 for their freshman year, they had no idea how significant that first room assignment would be.
Julie came from Chicago and Preston from New Jersey. Mathias Hall was the campus destination for both. As it turns out, Preston had to walk through Julie's wing to get to his room on "2-east," so they had many opportunities to become acquainted. Smart kids—it didn't take long to find out they had a lot in common.
Preston took the next year off to ski-bum and travel while Julie continued her studies at CC. But that didn't mean total separation. Julie visited Preston in Vail to ski and their friendship continued to grow (you might say snowballed—Ha-ha). Preston returned to CC in the fall of 1977 and the rest, as they say, was history.
Their college memories are similar to other alumni of those days at CC. They loved the Block Plan and studied hard as political science and economics majors, enjoying classes and professors (like Ray Werner) that influenced them deeply. They attended hockey games, played Frisbee and softball in the quad while music blared across the campus, skied and participated in Greek life.
Well prepared to write and communicate clearly and think critically, the two went on to their next adventures. For Preston that meant law school and a career in real estate investments/advisory. Julie headed onto graduate school and a career in the executive search field. It also included having a family—a son and two daughters. Today, Julie and Preston live in the Seattle area.
Giving Back and Looking Forward
Through it all, CC has remained a constant in their lives, including keeping up to date on the latest news, following the hockey team's successes, planning and attending reunions, CC events in Seattle, and interviewing prospective students for CC. It even included sending one of their children (son, Blair) to their alma mater. Blair graduated with a degree in mathematical economics in 2010.
They have a busy life, with many family, career and community obligations. But Julie and Preston have also made a point to always remember Colorado College in their philanthropy. "CC has played a critical role in who I am and in my life so it only seems natural that I would want to give back," Preston says. In addition to making annual gifts and being members of the President's Circle, the Sargents have included CC in their estate plan, making them members of the Barnes Society.
"We certainly hope this gift is still a ways out, but we're aware of the importance of thinking through issues around retirement. It seems only prudent to consider how philanthropy fits into our overall estate planning," Julie says. "There's no reason not to commit early to supporting the next generation of CC students, especially when you know your feelings won't change."
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