What is an archon?“An archon is someone who so passionately enjoys an activity that they are willing to invest their personal time and energy into leading a club or organization, which makes it possible for the whole community to share in that activity.” Evgenia Olimpieva (A14), archon, sailing team
Clubs & Organizations
The Annapolis campus offers a myriad of opportunities to students wishing to pursue their extracurricular interests, which include student government, music, art, journalism, study groups, volunteering, and many more. All clubs are student-founded and run, so if you have an interest that is not listed, you are welcome to start a club yourself!
The King William Players stage one or two classical plays a year, perform one or two modern works, and produce several one-act plays. Recent productions have included Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Urinetown: The Musical, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Titus Andronicus, The Eumenides, and Tartuffe. Every year KWP also presents Too Much Light, in which students write 30 plays and attempt to perform them in 60 minutes. “We have conversations all the time about which plays should be performed and why. I love the fact that everything at St. John’s is meant to enhance your experience here,” says Gabriella Montequin (A15), archon, King William Players.
In addition to the two years of choral performance and musical study required of all students, St. John’s offers many opportunities for musical expression. Clubs include St. John’s Orchestra, St. John’s Chorus, the Madrigal Choir, and Primum Mobile. A few groups require auditions, but most are open to any and all who wish to participate. “Music makes whole the liberal arts education. It has influenced everything we study and has been an important influence on the authors we read and discuss,” says Charles “David” Branan (A13), member, the Madrigal Choir. Each group performs twice yearly for the college, often at Collegium, a formal talent show attended by most students, faculty, and tutors. Students also benefit from 24-hour access to practice rooms, most of which contain pianos.
“We invite students to come out and learn to play anytime.”
Drew Menzer (A13)
Croquet Imperial Wicket
→ Read about the Croquet team
Parties come in several varieties, ranging from the traditional “waltz parties” (though in recent times they feature more swing than waltz) to modern rock dances. “Swing dance is a very inclusive dance—it incorporates the respect of the classroom, is a fantastic way to get involved in the community, both inside and outside of the student body, and is a beautiful way for students to express themselves,” says Virginia Early (A13), co-archon of the Waltz Committee. Students arrange most events, including the Sock Hop, Halloween Party, Mid-Winter Ball, Christmas Party and the Spring Cotillion.
An annual spring festival, Reality Weekend begins with student skits and parodies and provides a full day of picnicking and athletic competition.
Described as “the purest intercollegiate athletic event in America” by Gentleman’s Quarterly, the annual Croquet match between St. John’s and the Naval Academy is a cherished rite of spring. A friendly-and legendary-rivalry since 1982, the event takes place each spring, promising superb competition and a festive atmosphere. The elaborate fashions worn by spectators, reminiscent of the stylish lawn parties depicted in “The Great Gatsby” are often more of an attraction than the croquet. The afternoon is a spring reunion that includes lavish picnics, nostalgic gowns and hats, serenades by the St. John’s Freshman Chorus, and swing music provided by the Naval Academy’s Trident Brass Band.
Students can volunteer in a number of ways: as tutors or mentors for local children, in homeless shelters, nursing homes, with animals, and many more. Project Politae, the St. John’s volunteering club, organizes several trips each semester to help out with projects beyond walking distance from campus. Get details...
Artistic and Cultural Activities
Other things that students on campus enjoy include stargazing from the observatory, guided by the Astronomy club, an open woodshop, darkroom, and pottery studio, free classes in art, ceramics, and writing, as well as other special interest clubs like the Environmental Club and the Photography Club. The catered Freshman Dinner and potluck style International Students’ Dinner are held annually at the President’s house, which is near campus. Around Annapolis, students can enjoy concerts, plays, historic tours, sailing, the United States Naval Academy and Navy football games, hiking, cycling, state government internships and other political work, community service groups, religious groups of various denominations, etc. Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, both within an hour's drive, provide vibrant cultural and professional opportunities, and the senior resident for student activities schedules trips to both cities for students to attend plays and films as well as for individual explorations.
St. John’s abounds in opportunities for students to share their voices. The following is an informal list of student media on the Annapolis campus.
A student-run newspaper, The Gadfly provides a medium for expression of opinion to the community as a whole. Controversy ranges from petty to vital; short stories, art, poetry and news take up the rest of the space.
Another campus publication, Energeia appears less frequently and publishes longer and more polished essays and fiction.
The Epoch, a student-run news magazine, gives perspectives on current events outside the college.
Students occasionally submit work to the alumni magazine, The College.
The St. John’s Review
Students may contribute to The St. John's Review, the college’s official academic publication.
Polity Radio welcomes everyone in the St. John’s community to share their talents and ideas, from one-on-one interviews with President Christopher Nelson to poetry readings and impromptu music performances. “I wanted to create a forum that is fun and entertaining but would also foster greater communication among students, faculty, and staff,” says Jessica Kjellberg (A14), archon for Polity Radio.