May 15, 2011
Rain Can’t Dampen Joy of 2,800 Graduates, 20,000 Family and Friends
Repole, 1991 alumnus and co-founder of Glaceau vitaminwater, gave the
Commencement Address to the 20,000 strong who braved the rain and
damp conditions at the 2011 St. John’s Graduation Ceremonies in
Queens earlier today. Honored along with Repole (who received a
Doctor of Commercial Science Degree) was Lou Carnesecca, Basketball
Hall of Fame Inductee and legendary St. John’s coach, who received
the St. Vincent de Paul Medal for his 50 years of service to the
“Think big and dream bigger. Follow your passion and lead with
your heart,” said Repole, who was accompanied by a large group of
family members, his wife Maria, his parents and grandmother.
“I don’t want to put any more added pressure on you (the 2,800
graduates), but the next 10 years you’ll be making the most
important decisions of your life that will impact you forever. And,
always remember to learn, lean on family, friends and faith in
order to help you make these tough decisions.”
Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of St. John’s,
conferred degrees upon the graduates and presided over the
ceremonies, marking the 141st in the University’s illustrious
history. Most Reverend Nicholas A. DiMarzio, D.D., Ph. D., Bishop
of the Diocese of
Brooklyn, was also in attendance and gave the Invocation to
begin the Commencement ceremony.
“Barely a day passes without my hearing of a St. John’s
graduate who has excelled in his or her professional life,” said
Rev. Harrington, C.M. “What a great source of pride this is to me,
to the faculty and to the entire St. John’s community. This is why
we exist as a university – to prepare young people to live
faith-filled and happy lives, and to do so with great professional
success. I thank you, the graduates, for sharing these years of
your lives with us and welcome you to the ranks of alumni of St.
Carnesecca got the biggest ovation of the day from the crowd as
chants of “Lou, Lou, Lou” rang out every time his name was
mentioned. At 86, Carnesecca was a St. John’s athlete, coach
(recording 526 wins in his storied collegiate career), teacher and
graduate as well as special assistant to the President (his most
recent duties) in a long-standing love affair with the University
in this his 50th year of service.
“It seems like yesterday. It’s just been a wonderful ride and this
is a wonderful attribute (St. Vincent de Paul Medal) to go with it.
The thing about being here (at graduation ceremony) is that they’ll
say nice things about me and not boo me,” said Carnesecca,
facetiously. “The most important thing to me is to share this with
your own people and your family.”
student address was given by Patrick Brewer, 2011 graduate of St.
John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who beamed with
pride in speaking to his classmates about his four year experience
at St. John’s. He also had the unique opportunity to serve as
President of Student
“To my fellow graduates...this is the culmination of years of hard
work, and as such, these degrees are an honor and well deserved. I
hope that we reflect on the experiences from our past and I hope
that we embrace the opportunities of our future.”
Interested media can contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant Vice
President for Media Relations at St. John’s University, by calling
(718) 990-6185 or e-mail inquiries to email@example.com.