September 30, 2013
For Ed Kull ’05MBA, St. John’s University has
always played a special role in his life.
“Even at a young age, I loved St.
John’s, both its Men’s Basketball program and as a University,”
explained Kull, a Queens native who was recently named Acting Vice
President of Institutional Advancement. “There was no better school
locally in New York City, and that resonates even more strongly
with me every day that I’m here.”
In his new position, Kull is responsible
for all aspects of alumni relations and fundraising, and he hopes
to keep the University’s graduates close and connected to the St.
John’s community. Central to this goal is a renewed focus on
targeted giving opportunities.
“I’d like to see Institutional
Advancement go back to basics, so to speak,” he said. “We need to
find those tangible projects that are passion points for our alumni
– they want to see where their support is going,
see that they’re making a difference. That’s what we need
to do to get our community to truly support our colleges and
schools, from scholarships to global studies to other exciting
initiatives here on campus.”
Additionally, Kull hopes to increase the
interaction between alumni and students, noting that mentorship
needs to remain a major component of the St. John’s experience.
From participating in the Alumni Insider’s
View…programs to attending networking receptions, there are a
wealth of ways in which alumni can provide their insight and career
guidance to today’s students.
“Networking and shadowing opportunities
are just a few ways alumni can support our students, ways that
extend well beyond monetary contributions,” Kull noted.
“Ultimately, that connection is vital: if alumni mentor students,
those students will be much more likely to provide guidance
themselves one day when they become alumni. Meaningful engagement -
that’s what keeps their connection to the University strong, so we
want to keep that circle going, starting with today’s alumni.”
Kull is certainly no stranger to working
at St. John’s. Over the past decade, he has worked with the
University in a number of capacities, first coming on board in 2003
as Associate Athletic Director for Marketing and External Affairs.
During that time, he received his M.B.A. from St. John’s and
eventually transitioned his career to corporate sports marketing,
working with fellow alumnus Mike Repole ’91SVC at his breakthrough
start-up company, Glaceau
“That was a fantastic experience,
working with maybe 30 or 40 people in our office, traveling around
the world and turning Vitaminwater into a national brand,” Kull
said. “When Coca-Cola purchased the company, I had the opportunity
to work there as well, which gave me a tremendous education in
regards to how the corporate world works.”
But Kull couldn’t stay away from St.
John’s for long, and he returned to the University in 2011 as
Director of Development for Men’s Basketball, later serving as
Associate Chief of Staff for Athletics and Institutional
Advancement. In that capacity, he played a pivotal role this past
year in the creation of the new BIG EAST Conference, identifying
Fox Sports as the
ideal TV partner and helping to negotiate the Red Storm’s new
apparel deal with
“What I’ve always loved about St. John’s
is that feeling of family, the feeling of home,” he said. “That’s
why I was drawn back – it’s so welcoming, and our mission and what
we stand for is very important to me.”
Kull currently lives in Oyster Bay, NY
with his wife, Sarah, and two sons, Benjamin and Lukas. He is
excited to get to work in his new role at St. John’s, and for this
local Queens kid, coming to work every day in his native borough is
a definite treat.
“Without a doubt, I miss Queens,” he
explained, “so I’m fortunate to get my fix each day when I come
into work. And what’s not to love about this campus? The energy
that our students bring here day in and day out is motivating.
Simply put, this is an exciting time for St. John’s, and there’s
nowhere else I’d rather be.”