Steve Lavin, Very Rev. Perry Henry, Patricia Ann Norris McDonald and William L. Collins Highlight 142nd Graduation Ceremonies at St. John's

Thursday, April 12, 2012

St. John’s proudly announces that Steve Lavin, head men’s basketball coach, will deliver the Commencement Address to the Class of 2012 during the University’s 142nd graduation exercises, to be held at the Staten Island, NY, campus on Saturday, May 12, and the Queens, NY, campus on Sunday, May 13.

The University also will honor the Very Rev. Perry Henry, C.M., D.Min., William L. Collins ’76C and Patricia Ann Norris McDonald during graduation exercises at the Queens campus.

Lavin is responsible for the men’s basketball team’s resurgence after the program’s return to the NCAA tournament and 20-plus-win season in 2011. After battling prostate cancer this past year, he is free of the disease and thankful that his condition was diagnosed early by his medical team at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

“Steve Lavin has a great affinity with our student body and is a popular choice for this year’s Commencement Ceremonies,” said Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of St. John’s University.

A member of St. John’s Board of Trustees, William L. Collins will receive the degree of Doctor of Commercial Science, honoris causa. Collins is founder, CEO and chief investment officer of Brencourt Advisors, LLC. Since 2001, the company has been engaged in fund management on a global basis as well as investment strategies dealing with merger arbitrage, credit opportunities and event-driven activities. Collins, a 1976 graduate of St. John’s, and his wife, Lesley, have served as co-chairs of the University’s annual President’s Dinner.

Patricia Ann Norris McDonald, mayor of Malverne, NY, will receive the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal. Her husband, Steven, is a former New York City police officer who was paralyzed in 1986 by a gunshot wound he received in the line of duty. They overcame this personal tragedy to launch a worldwide crusade for peace and forgiveness. Like Mother Seton, McDonald is a role model for women everywhere who, as wives and mothers, find the grace, faith and courage to live remarkable lives.

The Very Rev. Perry Henry, C.M., D.Min., will receive the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology, honoris causa. He is the provincial superior of the Western Province of the Congregation of the Mission in the U.S.A. He is the former assistant provincial of the Southern Province (2004-2008) and former pastor of St. Joseph Parish, New Orleans. Fr. Henry also served on DePaul University’s Board of Trustees (1995-2000).

 “Bill, Patricia and the Very Rev. Henry are individuals that have given their lives to serve the greater good in their communities,” said Fr. Harrington. “We are honored that they have accepted our invitation to highlight what will be a memorable 142nd graduation celebration this year for our students, their families and the faculty and administration at St. John’s.”


QueensCommencement: Sunday, 10 a.m., May 13, 2012

(Procession of graduates, faculty and honored guests begins at 9 a.m.)

Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement

  •  Approximately 2,300+ graduates will receive their degrees at this ceremony and more than 19,000 family, friends, administrators and students will attend.

Staten IslandCommencement: Saturday, 10 a.m., May 12, 2012

(Procession of graduates, faculty and honored guests begins at 9:45 a.m.)

Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement

  •   Approximately 400+ undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees at this ceremony and more than 2,000 family, friends, administrators and students will attend.

Interested media can contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant Vice President for Media Relations at St. John’s University: (718) 990-6185; sciannad@stjohns.edu.