November 14, 2008
greats came together on November 13, 2008 when Brooks Brothers in
New York City hosted an in-store event with Coach Lou Carnesecca
'50C, '60Ed, '00HON.
A crowd of alumni and friends of St. John’s were on hand at the
Brooks Brothers flagship store to spend time with the legendary
basketball coach and help raise funds for the Carnesecca
Initiative, a multi-phase renovation plan for Carnesecca Arena on
the Queens campus. The star of the evening graciously shook hands,
chatted, posed for photos and signed autographs with the multitudes
who just wanted a chance to spend a few moments with “Looie.” “It’s
wonderful to see all these people come in,” said Coach Carnesecca.
“It’s amazing how people get involved with events like this and how
they come out to support the University.”
Shoppers enjoyed complimentary passed hors d’ oeuvres, drinks
and a three piece jazz band as they shopped for Christmas presents
and treats for themselves. The event came about thanks to the
generosity of alumnus Brian Baumann '78CBA, Chief Financial Officer
of Brooks Brothers, whose company offered a 15% discount on sales
for the evening with 10% going towards the Carnesecca Initiative.
“It was important for me to do this because of who St. John’s is to
me in relationship to myself and my career,” he said. “I wanted to
give back to the school. Brooks Brothers is classic, Coach
Carnesecca is classic and St. John’s is classic so it was a perfect
The damp weather did little to dissuade attendees from venturing
out to meet the Hall of Famer. Bob Dugan '96NDC traveled from
Staten Island bearing floor boards for Coach Carnesecca to sign. “I
haven’t seen Coach since I was a student so it was a chance to get
to see him again,” he said. “He embraces the University and
everything it stands for.” Michael Gotkin was excited to be present
because his father Java Gotkin played basketball at St. John’s from
1932 to 1936. “I was so pleased to be able to attend,” he said.
Dana Schiller '03TCB agreed. She works in public relations for
Brooks Brothers and said it was thrilling to see the store filled
with so many admirers of Coach and St. John’s. “I was a student
worker when I was at St. John’s and I would see Coach on campus all
the time,” she said. “It’s great to see him again here.”
Former St. John’s star and NBA veteran Mel Davis '75CBA serves
as Director of Leadership Gifts for the Carnesecca Initiative.
Alumni Hall was renamed Carnesecca Arena in 2004.