November 05, 2010
For Kenneth Gorman, going to college wasn’t about leisurely
strolls along quiet walkways or enjoying the day-to-day campus
activities with friends. As a young man, he was well aware that a
good education was the key to achieving success in his chosen
career, and realized right from the start that St. John’s
University was the place for him.
“I was a night student, which made my time at St. John’s
interesting,” he recalled. “I was working during the day for
Equitable Life. They were good enough to pay for my college
education, and by going four nights a week and every summer I
finished my degree in five years. It took a lot of hard work, and
between working and going to class I really didn’t have much free
time back then, but I got it done.”
Gorman was an Accounting major and knew that he wanted a
career in that field. The only problem was that he was so talented
that Equitable continued to promote him into more and more
responsible positions in every area except the one he most wanted.
Luckily, one of his professors at St. John’s knew of his dilemma
and was able to help him solve it.
“I was taking a tax course during the summer,” he said, “and one of
my professors told me that NBC was looking to hire some
accountants. I got in touch with the head of that department at NBC
and they offered me a job. That’s one of the reasons that I give so
much back to St. John’s, because they were the network that got me
my first accounting job, even while I was still a student at the
University. Without St. John’s I would never have achieved what I
did during my life.”
He is currently Co-Owner and Principal of Apollo Partners,
LLC, a principal investment firm specializing in investments
in media, communications and broadcasting sectors.
One of the University’s most loyal and supportive alumni, Gorman
has seen the many changes that have taken place at St. John’s since
he was a student at both the Schermerhorn and Queens campuses more
than 50 years ago. He credits St. John’s University President Rev.
Donald J. Harrington, C.M. with the vision and leadership to create
a world-class institution from what had until recently been a
well-respected but relatively local commuter school.
“Every time I come back to campus I see something new,” he
said. “What Fr. Harrington has done for this University is
mind-boggling. I met him right after he came to St. John’s, and I
remember speaking with him about the possibility of building
dormitories on campus. I told him that I would really like to help
support residences on the Queens campus to help increase the
diversity of the students that we attract. Seeing the on-campus
residences that now serve as home to literally thousands of
students every year is something that I’m really proud to be a part
A member of The Loughlin Society and The McCallen Society, Gorman
is quick to acknowledge that the uniqueness of St. John’s is
directly linked to the Vincentian mission of service to others that
has always served as the heart and soul of the University
experience. He believes that by giving back to St. John’s he is not
only showing his appreciation for what was done for him but also
ensuring that current and future students will continue to benefit
from the same opportunities that he enjoyed.
“My philosophy has always been that you have to give back, both in
business and personally,” he noted. “I feel that giving back is the
only way for the world to grow and get over some of its problems.
People need to help out those in need, and the Vincentian
philosophy is the epitome of that commitment to service. So many
students at St. John’s need and get financial aid to help them with
their education. I’ve met some of the students who are receiving
scholarships and they’re always so very grateful. It really makes
me feel good to be able to help them.”
In appreciation for all that he has done to support the mission and
students of St. John’s, the University conferred upon him a Doctor
of Commercial Science, honoris causa, in 1994 and presented him
with the Pietas Medal in 2002.