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Former Employees Gather at Annual Retirees Association Luncheon

Friday, November 18, 2016

The annual Retirees Association Luncheon brought together approximately 100 former St. John’s employees on Friday, November 4, 2016. 

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The day began with a celebratory Mass in St. Thomas More Church, followed by a Thanksgiving-themed lunch in the D’Angelo Center Ballroom. Retired and current employees were  delighted with the opportunity to socialize.

“I like to return to campus and see the ladies I worked with, and the grounds, which are so beautiful,” explained Patricia Andres, a member of the Retirees Association who worked in the Office of Student Financial Services for 16 years. “Why wouldn’t you want to come back? Sometimes I visit even when there isn’t something going on, just to stop in the office and say hello to a few friends.”

Many retirees continue to be active members of the University community, according to Susan M. Damiani ’87CBA, Director of Gift Planning and The McCallen Society. “I think it’s important that retired employees of St. John’s University stay connected to the University because they have contributed to what it is now. It’s important to maintain our tradition.”

 “Also, many of the members had children who received an education at St. John’s through the employee tuition remission program,” explained Ms. Damiani. “So not only do we engage retired employees, but indirectly we’re engaging our alumni.”

Robert A. Mangione, Ed.D., R.Ph., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, reminded retirees that their former service to the University continues to be highly valued.

“This is always a very special event,” said Dr. Mangione. “I am inspired to reflect on the collective contributions people have made to ensure St. John’s University remains a great university,” Dr. Mangione said.

The luncheon also featured an expert panel which focused on financial and estate planning. The panel was moderated by Professor John P. Clarke ’55CBA, ’57L, Chair of the Department of Law, and included  James McTiernan ’80CBA, a financial advisor with BNY Mellon Wealth Management, and Gerard M. Wrynn ’85CBA, ’87L, an attorney in the law firm of Ferguson Cohen LLP.

Panelists discussed the  importance of getting your finances in order prior to retirement. “In many cases, a person’s financial situation has changed because for such a long time they were working and getting a paycheck,” said Mr. McTiernan. “When they retire, the paycheck ends and they have to look for their source of income from other areas. Many people live off their savings so it’s important to look at how best to most effectively manage your portfolio.”

Mr. Wrynn, who is a St. John’s alumnus along with six other family members, also emphasized financial planning. “If you don’t think about your finances early enough, it can be very devastating as we age and encounter things that we weren’t worried about during our working life,” Mr. Wrynn said.