Chris Colgin '89 is a chiropractor who has a passion for helping people. Tushar Zalpuri '11 is a financial advisor. Sam Walsh '05 is a project manager at Facebook, and Tim Kirby '00 manages new technology and product business development for Apple. These distinguished alumni joined 40 more Padres and friends of Serra on Friday who participated in Career Day.
The day began with the presentation of The Junípero Serra Award, which recognizes an alumnus who has shared his gifts and talents with the community, making a difference in the lives of others. World-renowned photographer Michael Collopy '76 is this year's recipient. He was joined by his wife, Alma, and son, Paul.
"Michael Collopy could not be a more perfect example of the spirit of the Junípero Serra Award," said Alumni Director Bob Greene '85. "Michael uses his artistry to tell the stories of peacemakers. Since the 9/11 tragedy, Michael has dedicated himself, through his photography and his foundation, to inspiring students across the country to get involved and find ways to create a more peaceful world."
Collopy shared the important qualities he learned at Serra - a sense of curiosity, recognizing humility, and developing compassion and empathy. He is known for his wonderful ability to spread peace throughout the world. Referencing a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, he said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
In 1996, Collopy released Works of Love are Works of Peace with the cooperation of Mother Teresa. In the fall of 2001, he released his second book, Architects of Peace. In 2008, Collopy formed the Architects of Peace Foundation, which is involved with peace education. The Architects of Peace project is permanently exhibited at the National Civil Rights Museum, Santa Clara University, Marquette University, Anaahuac University in Mexico City and the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. In 2009, Collopy was honored with Stanford University's Martin Luther King Peace Award.
After a special Junípero Serra Award ceremony in the Morton Family Gymnasium, students broke off into small groups to attend workshops that highlighted all sorts of interesting professions.
Chief Exploration Officer of Playground Global Ralph Ho '89 talked to the Padres about start-ups and shared how exciting that world can be.
"Pursue your passion and get really good at what you do," he added, "Learn to think logically and communicate clearly. Demonstrate a skill that will be useful to a company, and don't be afraid of failure."
Serra Assistant Director of Advancement Jonathan Allen '01 talked to students about digital media and explained how to shoot creative and interesting photos and videos. The Padres asked lots of questions about photo selection and wondered what Allen likes best about telling stories through videography and photography.
"Career day is a microcosm of our outstanding school community," Allen said. "It's a chance for our alumni to share the knowledge they have acquired over decades of life experience with our Padres. Today, Serra graduates from myriad decades came back to campus for this meaningful event. It was a great day!"