Friends of St. John’s University,
As always, it is my pleasure to present this report of
significant events that continue to shape our University.
This year, the theme is “In Focus.” As most of you know so well,
St. John’s is animated by a mission that combines academic
excellence with a set of values that encourages our graduates to
make a difference in the world. Our Vincentian founders imagined a
St. John’s family that would contribute to their communities, the
nation and the world for years to come. This report provides an
opportunity to spotlight several of the defining moments of the
2002 - 2003 academic year, moments that give form and substance to
the ideals which are ours. Let me preview just a few of them:
To ensure that our students continue to have the tools necessary
for success, we launched new academic initiatives and further
enhanced the University’s teaching and learning environment. An
Academic Commons, with space for group and quiet study, opened in
the Library on the Queens campus. A Freshman Center, designed to
assist first-year students in acclimating themselves to college
life, opened on the Staten Island campus. An institution-wide
Honors Program, with new courses and a special Honors Commons, was
To celebrate the feast of St. Vincent de Paul and promulgate his
legacy of service as integral to learning, St. John’s inaugurated
the first annual Community Service Day. Service teams from our
Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan campuses worked for and with
the poor in the communities in which our campuses are located for a
few hours of “Loving God with the strength of our arms and the
sweat of our brow.”
Recognizing their responsibility to work toward worldwide social
justice, students and faculty continued St. John’s global outreach.
Ten St. John’s students met in Vietnam with 10 students from Hanoi
to explore the issue of peace development and sustainability in a
global context. New destinations for study abroad were introduced,
and the University hosted several international conferences.
In focus, on the rest of these pages, is additional evidence of
the many ways by which St. John’s fulfills its mission. While we
rejoice in our accomplishments, we recognize that the future calls
us to even greater achievement. With God’s assistance, we shall
continue the work which is ours.
Donald J. Harrington, C.M.