Saint Thomas' Episcopal School

Creating a Culture of Philanthropy at STE
Vernon King (’86)

Several months ago, the STE Advancement Office began receiving regular donations that spurred my curiosity. These donations intrigued me for a couple of reasons. Our typical Saint Thomas’ Fund alumni donor is usually a member of the alumni who graduated from the 1970s or 1980s, gives once a year, and gives a round number such as $100. However, this new donor did not fit any of the categories of our “usual suspects.”  

The amount of the very first gift was $102.37 and it was unsolicited. Subsequent gifts arrived regularly over several months, but never on the same date and ranged from $107.19 to $68.00. The donor graduated from STE in 2014.  

Knowing this was a young alumna still in college, I called her to personally thank her for these gifts and inquire into what drives her to give. Ruby Sigaran (’14) shared with me that she received the Saint Thomas' Fund summer year-end mailing, and upon receiving that request she felt called by God to start giving to STE. Since she attended STE on financial aid, she felt that she should give back to the school that made such a difference in her life. Ruby elaborated that when she went to college she was very well prepared for the classes and easily adapted to the university life: “Integrating into college and balancing classes, work, and extracurricular activities was easy for me, and I credit my preparedness and ability to assimilate into college to my STE background — teachers, classes and friends.” 

Ruby’s act of charity is evidence that the school is fulfilling its mission of forming honorable men and women through a classical education grounded in a Christ-centered worldview.  If Ruby can continue to give at this rate she will be one of if not the youngest member of the STF Pillar Society by the end of this fiscal year.

After graduating from STE, Ruby started her college career at HBU. She eventually transferred to UH Clear Lake and is currently majoring in fitness and human performance, with a concentration in physician assisting. She also works for Petromax Refining Company managing the accounts payable department, volunteers at the bookstore for Grace Church – Houston, and spends her Saturdays shadowing a local physician for her major. Her brother, Ruben, is a 2017 graduate of STE and her mother is a Special Victims Detective for the Houston Police Department.

  • 10s Graduating Classes
  • Class of 2014
  • Saint Thomas' Fund