Before The Campaign for SYA had been formally conceptualized, France alumni and longtime supporters Alexandra Alger FR’79 CN’12P and Jamie Broderick FR ’71 were already considering the possibilities of this first-ever comprehensive effort to secure SYA’s future. It was no surprise to the greater SYA community that this devoted twosome would be tapped to lead the charge. Their genuine love for SYA and their belief in SYA’s role in creating a better world make Alex and Jamie the perfect overseers of this historic undertaking.
Here they reveal their reasons for supporting The Campaign for SYA, and share some lesser-known facts about themselves.
Alexandra Alger FR’79 CN’12P, former trustee and Philanthropy Council member
Current hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Former business journalist
What is your favorite item on your work desk right now?
My weekly planner. Yup, I still have one.
What is your favorite SYA memory?
Sunday lunches chez ma famille française. We’d begin with an apéritf, bien sûr—in my case a glass of Guignolet, a sweet cherry liquor, which really hit the spot. Once à table, my French mother served delicacies previously unknown to me. Coquille St. Jacques! Tarte aux Pommes! Île Flottante!
What are you currently reading?
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. I thought I was enlightened and there was little I could learn about race. Wrong!
Name something that no one would ever guess about you.
I am capable of eating an entire fruit pie in one sitting, and a pint of Haagen Dazs ice cream (though not together).
What was one thing that surprised you about being abroad?
Having never been overseas before, I was in a constant state of being surprised and pleasantly so.
How has SYA changed you?
SYA made Francophiles of my whole family. A few years after my year in France, my parents bought a house in the Dordogne region, and they and my two sisters and I became part of a small community there for about 15 years.
What is your favorite place to visit?
Who is the person or people you admire most?
The clerks at my local grocery store, who came to work during the most deadly days of the pandemic last spring, and didn’t get the accolades that the doctors and nurses did (they were heroic, too!).
Your son (Davison Chung CN’12) attended SYA China. How would you say your experiences compared?
I think the SYA China experience today–the difference in culture, the strangeness and yet the wonder of everything, going it alone, without easy access to social media, because of government censorship—is akin to what France was like for me back in the pre-internet ’70s. He came back more confident in himself and comfortable in the world as a global citizen.
What is your top reason for supporting the campaign?
I remember how special my year was, and I want to do everything I can to ensure that SYA can serve this generation of students and beyond.
What is your greatest hope for the future of SYA?
I’d want every prospective SYAer to be able to go, regardless of their ability to pay.