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Major Gifts Provide Funds to Ensure Student Success

Friday, April 28, 2017

St. John’s University has received more than $5.5 million in gifts and commitments to date as part of three major initiatives established to strengthen the learning environment on campus and fund new endowed student scholarships.

Paul and Carol Evanson Career Services Center

Helping to strengthen the quality of the teaching and learning environment at St. John’s, Carol and Paul Evanson ’63CBA made a substantial gift to establish the Paul and Carol Evanson Career Services Center at the Tobin College of Business. The suite, comprising roughly 1,000 square feet, features offices, interview rooms, and other resources designed to prepare students with the skills needed in an ever-changing employment market. It is located on the first floor of the new home of The Peter J. Tobin College of Business. Mr. Evanson, Retired Chairman and CEO of Allegheny Energy, is a member of St. John’s Board of Trustees.

The Lesley and William Collins Business Analytics Lab

The Lesley and William Collins Business Analytics Lab, a 1,300-square-foot facility at the Tobin College of Business, was supported by a leadership-level gift from Lesley H. ’83SVC and William L. Collins ’76C, ’12HON. Mr. Collins is Chairman, CEO, and CIO of Brencourt Capital Management, LLC. He also is Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. The Business Analytics Lab is a teaching center that connects theory with modern market and business practices. The state-of-the-art lab has 40 desktops with multiple Bloomberg terminal licenses. The lab also includes a video wall and a color LED stock ticker.

According to Norean R. Sharpe, Ph.D., Dean of The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, the new and enhanced facilities “will dramatically improve the academic preparation of our students and their ability to compete for full-time positions at top firms. These gifts demonstrate the dedication and devotion of our alumni to student success and strategic growth at the Tobin College of Business.”

Partners for Student Success

“The Vincentian Founders of St. John’s issued a challenge that remains valid today, 147 years after this institution opened its doors,” said Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., President. “It was a call to serve all students, regardless of their circumstances. St. John’s maintains this commitment thanks in large part to the extraordinary generosity of alumni, friends, and benefactors who share this University’s mission.”

Dr. Gempesaw introduced the Partners for Student Success Scholarship Program in February 2016 to strengthen the University’s ability to assist students in meeting the costs associated with a St. John’s education. The scholarship program’s goal is to raise $15 million in scholarship endowment funds by the time it culminates in 2020, when St. John’s will celebrate its 150th Anniversary.

To date, the program has raised approximately $2 million in gifts and pledges. The program started with a lead gift from Carol and Paul Evanson to establish the Evanson Family Partners for Student Success Scholarship Fund. Since then, alumni and friends have made pledges to five additional endowments – the Desroches Family Partners for Student Success Scholarship Fund, the Gempesaw/Albay Family Partners for Student Success Scholarship Fund, the Keane/Hajdarovic Family Partners for Student Success Scholarship Fund, the Eileen and Joseph Tarantino Partners for Student Success Scholarship Fund, and the Vetter Family Partners for Student Success Scholarship Fund.

Donors can choose whether to make an outright gift of $100,000 or more, or a pledge of $100,000 or greater (payable over three to five years). St. John’s reinvests contributions for an initial four-year period. During that time, the University matches five percent, six percent, or seven percent of the total pledge or gift depending on the number of years the donor takes to pay the full amount. The match is used to provide student awards while the donor’s gifts generate interest earnings.

“Whichever path our donors choose, their gifts symbolize their commitment to the mission and the future of St. John’s,” said Dionne Dorsey, Director of Donor Relations in the Office of Advancement.

For more information about supporting the Partners for Student Success Scholarship Program at St. John’s, contact Christian Vaupel, Ed.D., Vice President for Advancement and University Relations, 718-990-2781, vaupelc@stjohns.edu.