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Virtual Launch: Austin, Texas Joins Torero Regional Club Roster

Virtual Launch: Austin, Texas Joins Torero Regional Club Roster

Johnny Giangregorio has a few things in common with the virtual Zoom event he’s planning to be part of this Thursday night from his Austin, Texas, residence.

The 2009 University of San Diego alumnus, who moved to Austin in March, has made some friends, but he’s still adjusting to Texas and new city after moving from Los Angeles. He’s eager to network with new people, see a few familiar Southern California faces, and to have a great time as he hears how his college alma mater is doing.

Thursday night, from 5-6 p.m. Central, should offer the right mix of business and fun as Giangregorio, the inaugural president of USD’s new Austin Torero Regional Club, will be involved in USD’s first-ever virtual club launch. Joining him are USD Senior Director of Alumni Relations Charles Bass, USD Alumni Board President Kim Alessio ’87, P’21, and Associate Director of Regional Programs’ Meghan O’Rourke ’15.

“If you want to be part of USD history, I would make it a point to be there on Thursday,” Giangregorio said. “USD has never launched a Torero Club virtually and we are going to need the power of our Austin alumni community to come together to make this a success.”

Said Bass: “We’re excited to launch a new Torero Club in one of America’s most dynamic cities. We have one of our most enthusiastic alumni in Johnny to help us bring a touch of Alcalá Park to Austin.”

O’Rourke noted there are 328 known USD alumni in Austin, but that regional clubs are also open to USD parents. Since it is a virtual event, she invites all USD Texas alumni and parents to join in on Thursday. Attending the event is free, but registration is required.

Maybe stories such as what Giangregorio shared about his favorite USD memory will be one of many great conversations Thursday.

“I had the opportunity to participate in a USD study abroad program in Hong Kong to study commercial real estate finance and investments. Participating in an experience like that broadens your mindset and provides you with an even broader lens to view life through,” he said. “From there, I leveraged that experience to get an internship in the real estate industry that summer. Twelve years later I’m running a division at Keller Williams’ corporate headquarters in Austin. I say this a lot — I would not be where I am without the University of San Diego.”

For Giangregorio, his participation in a regional club is a great way to maintain his relationship and to give back.

“Prior to moving to Austin, I had the opportunity of serving as president of the Los Angeles Torero Club where we had nearly 5,000 alumni members pulling on our side of the rope,” he said. “I understand there are only about 300-plus USD alumni in Austin, so we’re going to need the collective power of each member in this group. I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and come alongside each of them to help build this from the ground up.”

Thursday’s opening makes Austin the 26th Torero Regional Club — 23 in the United States and internationally in Asia, Europe and Mexico — in existence.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the only new launch in 2020. While potential locations discussed include further Texas expansion into Houston as well as a Florida-based club, O’Rourke is focused on the Austin launch, while hopeful to see in-person events return so the club’s location base can grow.

Virtual alumni relations events in 2020, ranging from alumni spotlights, conversations and guest speakers to Homecoming and Family Week, the USD Wine Classic and even a weekly new downloadable Tiny Toreros Story Time bilingual children’s stories, have been a hit.

“When the pandemic first happened, we were planning to launch at about this time in person,” O’Rourke said. “But when we decided to do it virtually, what’s interesting about our virtual programming, is that we’ve been able to expand and have much higher attendance from individuals who don’t live in areas where we traditionally have regional clubs or international clubs. I’ve seen people sign in from Australia, Germany and other places around the country.”

That’s a sure sign that all Toreros like to maintain their USD connection.

“We often hear from alumni about how much they miss being at USD. Our Torero Club programs allow us to take USD to our alumni, parents, and friends around the country,” Bass said. “Our volunteers and staff work to provide enriching opportunities, including programming with current USD faculty, to keep Toreros connected wherever they are.”

Giangregorio looks forward to meet more Toreros on Thursday: “Oftentimes we think about graduating from a university as the ‘end’ of an experience and my goal is to completely change that narrative. A degree from USD is more like a ticket to a lifetime membership of ongoing career resources and networking opportunities. Not only do we get to help each other get where we each want to go, but we get to do life together. Local clubs help create those opportunities, and I’m excited to launch the USD Austin Torero Club to help more USD Texas alumni experience the value of being part of this once-in-a-lifetime community.”

— Ryan T. Blystone

 

For more information about Torero Regional Clubs, contact Meghan O’Rourke by email, meorourke@sandiego.edu or call (619) 260-4819.

 

The virtual launch for a Torero Regional Club in Austin, Texas, takes place on Nov. 19. This marks USD Alumni Relations' 26th Torero Regional Club location.The virtual launch for a Torero Regional Club in Austin, Texas, takes place on Nov. 19. This marks USD Alumni Relations' 26th Torero Regional Club location.

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