After visiting St. John's on a campus tour, Ada Lee fell in love with St. John's. Even so, her acceptance into the University’s Honors Program is what sealed the deal...
Jeffry Wengroff ’73CBA
Traditional Values Have Always Guided Jeffry Wengroff ’73CBA Along the Road of Life
Like many of the young people who grew up during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Jeffry Wengroff ’73CBA was influenced by the turbulence that was taking place throughout society. Traditional values were being questioned nearly every day, and many colleges and universities seemed to be giving up their identity in the face of a seemingly chaotic world.
Which is why Wengroff chose to come to St. John’s University.
‘I always knew that St. John’s was a great school,” he said. “I had earned my Associate’s degree at Nassau Community College, so when I was deciding on where to go to complete my education, the University was high on my list. I really liked the fact that St. John’s had maintained its identity and values during that time much better than many other institutions. I felt that the students who were going there were more conservative and were there to get an education, and that appealed to me. I had similar values, and knew that St. John’s would be the right place for me.”
His prediction proved to be accurate, and after earning his B.S. from St. John’s College of Business Administration he began what would become a highly successful career in the construction industry. He is currently Executive Vice President of HE2 Project Development, Inc., a company that provides comprehensive owner’s representative and construction management services for a wide variety of projects in specialized fields. His depth of knowledge and extensive experience in all aspects of construction rests upon the solid academic experience that he got at St. John’s.
“To be successful in any industry, you first need to understand the basic principles that serve as the foundation of all businesses,” he said. “St. John’s gave me a great education, which is something I’ll always appreciate. Even today, if someone comes to me from St. John’s, they get an additional 10 points on their interview because I know that we share a similar background and that they’ve got a good work ethic.”
Wengroff knows what St. John’s did for him, and is always willing to show his support for the University that still remains an important part of his life. He has been a member of The Loughlin Society for more than 20 years and has served as a member of both the President’s Dinner Committee and the Carnesecca Golf Classic Committee. Always an avid fan of the University’s highly respected athletic teams, he is a long-standing member of the Red White Club and has been a basketball season ticket holder since 1970.
His respect for values that underscore the St. John’s mission are as important to him today as they were when he first joined the University family more than 40 years ago. For him, they reflect a sense of stability that can be genuinely comforting in a world that frequently seems to be in a state of permanent flux.
“The values that St. John’s stands for, and has always stood for, are very important in today’s world,” he said. “Looking back throughout history, those values become a little shaky at times, and too many people have strayed away from them. But things are slowly coming back in our society, and it’s important to have a university like St. John’s still professing the same values so that people will know what the right thing is all about. That consistency in the face of change is one of the University’s greatest qualities.”
In 2008 St. John’s honored Wengroff with the Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award, and at the Alumni Convocation in May presented him with the Pietas Medal, awarded to an outstanding graduate who has demonstrated a lifetime of extraordinary loyalty and fidelity to the University. It was a recognition that acknowledged four decades of mutual admiration between St. John’s and one of its most cherished alumni.
“Receiving this award is a great honor for me,” he said. “I love St. John’s and I love being involved in St. John’s, and I do it because it’s a great institution. The University has done an enormous amount for me personally. It set my moral compass when I graduated, and really set the path on which I traveled for the past 40 years. I’m very happy to be here, and I’m very happy to be honored.”