Marching Proudly, St. John’s Draws Cheers
In New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
New Yorkers are used to the thunderous cheers as millions of
spectators pack Fifth Avenue each year for America's oldest and
largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
This year, some of the loudest cheers erupted for the nearly 200
students, professors and staff from St. John’s University who
marched in the 2006 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“It was amazing to see the crowd’s reaction to St. John’s,” said
Brian Browne, the University’s Assistant Vice President for
Government Relations. “It just goes to show the close tie that’s
always existed between St. John’s and the people of New York
“The crowd went crazy when St. John’s went by,” said April
Reagan Kelly, a freshman who marched with the St. John’s
contingent. “There must have been a lot of St. John’s alumni in the
crowd. They were chanting the University’s name."
"For me," Kelly added, "it was definitely one of the year’s
high points.” Kelly is a member of the University’s “School Spirit”
A New Tradition
According to Browne, this marked the second year of a new St.
John’s tradition. St. John’s began participating in the St.
Patrick’s Day Parade last year, when Denis Kelleher, ‘63CBA,
’91HON, served as Grand Marshal. A native of Country Kerry,
Ireland, Kelleher is a trustee and generous benefactor of St.
“We look forward to marching in this Parade for years to come,”
said Browne. “It’s a tradition that we started only last year, but
it’s already generated an enthusiastic response from the
University community, our alumni and fans of St. John’s across the
In fact, Browne added, the crowd’s response reflects "the
growing name recognition St. John’s enjoys on a national
As they marched, students, faculty and staff wore red ribbons
bearing St. John’s name. Paul Leone, a senior and president of St.
John’s Gaelic Society, carried the University’s flag.
“It felt wonderful to represent St. John’s at a nationally
televised event like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” said Leone.
“It’s great to be part of a tradition that brings the campus
together like this.”
Larger, More Diverse
Browne noted that the group representing St. John’s reflected the
University’s impressive diversity. The group also was larger than
last year’s contingent.
“It was uplifting to see students, faculty and staff of all
backgrounds marching behind the St. John’s flag,” said Browne. “Not
only has our group grown, but they’ve also become more
According to Christin Urbanski, a freshman from Minnesota,
marching in New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade reflected the
varied cultural opportunities the city offers St. John’s
“How many people get to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade?"
she said "The best part was being able to do something like this
with my friends."
Urbanski encouraged other students to take advantage of the
cultural opportunities New York offers, whether through courses
like "Discover New York" (required at St. John's) or by going to
see a show.
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade allowed the St. John’s
community to add Red Storm spirit to the sea of green on
Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. We warmly invite you to relive the energy
of the event by viewing our Photo