Xavier Magazine

Chapter Spotlight

In the fall of 1963, Leonard “Rod” Rodriguez left the small, desert town of Blythe, Calif., to study biology at Xavier. It was a long journey. “Maybe someday I will write of my travels to and from Cincinnati during those years along Route 66 and the characters I met along the way,” says Rodriguez, who was named president of the national alumni association in November. The 1968 graduate’s relationship with the association began in 1993 with the establishment of the Los Angeles chapter. Rodriguez served as its first president, when membership included 200 alumni. “We started with simple gatherings for dinner and we grew to hold annual events at Santa Anita Race Track and viewing basketball games,” says Rodriguez. “Over the years we have been involved in projects with Habitat for Humanity and attending plays written and/or performed by Xavier alumni.” Now he represents more than 60,000 alumni in 50 chapters around the world. The middle school vice-principal and former Army captain is serving his two-year term from his home in Pasadena, Calif., traveling to Cincinnati for quarterly board meetings. One of his goals includes informing alumni of the many changes that take place at Xavier and continually inviting them, as he says, “back home.”

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