November 03, 2005
Spirit of Service Awards; Record Gross
Revenue of $1.75 Million Highlight Night
Queens, NY -- St. John’s President, Rev. Donald J. Harrington,
C.M., called it “a historic night” as the eighth annual President’s
Dinner, the university’s premier event raised more than $1.75
million in gross revenue, the most in the event’s history. The
President’s Dinner convened on October 27 at the Waldorf = Astoria
The dinner honors deserving individuals with the prestigious
Spirit of Service Award given to those who possess the vision,
accomplishments and good works that embody the essence of St.
Vincent de Paul. St. Vincent de Paul's followers formed the
Vincentian community, which founded St. John's in 1870.
Co-chairman for the evening, Arthur J. Mirante II, Esq., ‘68L,
‘98HON and William L. Collins, ‘76C welcomed the more than 1,000
benefactors and supporters who were in attendance in honoring 2005
Spirit of Service Award recipient’s Richard C. DeZego, Senior
Executive Vice President Commercial Real Estate, HSBC Bank USA,
N.A., Paula G. McInerney, CEO, Bluff Point Associates, Thomas E.
McInerney '64UC, '01HON, General Partner, Welsh, Carson, Anderson
& Stowe and Mary P. Tobin '00HON.
Richard DeZego was the first honoree to step to the podium and
was overcome with emotion as he spoke of his mother who had
graduated from St. John’s in the 1930’s. Thomas and Paula McInerney
shared their continued commitment to the cause crediting the
university with a clear vision for future generations of St. John’s
students and Mary Tobin, humbled by the Spirit of Service Award,
conveyed how St. John’s has changed her life and given her and
husband Peter (namesake of the St. John’s School of Business) a
rich and fulfilling relationship with those in the university
An evening filled with emotional speeches and success stories
portrayed through videos elegantly produced by the A&E
Television Network had an effect on most in attendance especially
touching WFAN sports radio personality and master of ceremonies
Mike Francesa. A self-described “local boy from Long Beach,
NY,” Francesa, SVC ’77 announced the formation of the Francesa
Scholarship Fund at St. John’s in honor of his mother Marilyn who
passed away in April. Francesa said he is committed to funding the
effort to benefit students in need.
Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M. capped the historic night by
responding to the often asked question, How is St. John’s Doing?
“St. John’s is doing very, very well,” he admitted and cited the
following record numbers (see below) for enrollment, academic
prowess and fund raising efforts to the emotionally charged crowd
of St. John’s supporters as a fitting close to the festivities.
St. John’s Record Numbers in
- 20,346 students are currently enrolled at St. John’s – The
highest total in the school’s history.
- 20,600 applications for freshman admission – Third only to NYU
and Cornell for first year applicants in greater demand among
colleges and universities in New York State.
- 3,159 new freshman and more than 2,000 other new transfer and
graduate students enrolled – The highest totals in school
- 43 states are represented among the student populace at St.
John’s and approximately 131 nations are represented.
- Composite SAT scores have increased by 19 points in 2005 and by
a total of 66 points since 1999 (the first year residence halls
opened on the Queens Campus).
- More than 40% of St. John’s University’s undergraduate students
are, by federal standards, from families who are most in need of
financial help and opportunity (which is inherent in the Vincentian
- St. John’s Capital Campaign goal of $250 million has reached
$247 million to date. The completion of this successful
campaign will be reached by the spring of 2006.
For more information on the St. John’s President’s Dinner please
contact Dominic Scianna, Director of Media Relations at (718)
990-6185 or e-mail requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.