When Alan Ruffin ’20 was a brand-new freshman in the fall of 2016, he already had the wisdom to reflect on his short time in the high school and his experiences as an Academy student—and he decided he wanted to give back to his community for all he had received. After “a lot of thinking,” he said, he came up with the idea of giving ties to freshmen because he felt the ties “best represent what this school is all about.” Ruffin also recognized that he had few ties to choose from when he came to St. John’s because he had never really needed them before entering SJJ.
He began by asking shop owners in his grandmother’s neighborhood for donations. They were generous, of course, and gave him a great start for the collection. Then others heard about the project and began donating more ties. Very soon, Ties for Titans, as the project had been named, had 220 ties ready to present to new freshmen as a symbol of the first step on their SJJ journey. Now, at the beginning of each school year, freshmen Titans are encouraged to select a tie from the collection. Some students might need the ties to supplement their wardrobe, but others receive ties simply as a welcome to the school.
“Ties for Titans” is the result of Ruffin’s understanding of what being a Man for Others means and will be his legacy to future freshmen Titans for years to come. To donate to “Ties for Titans,” please mail to “Ties for Titans,” c/o Sue Matuszak, 5901 Airport Highway, Toledo, Ohio 43615. Donations may also be dropped off to the Main Office! Summer hours are 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and until Noon on Friday. After August 12th, school hours are 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday – Friday. Donations will be accepted through September 1st.