June 11, 2012
Staten Island alumni have always had a special place in
their hearts for the campus they called home during their student
days, and that connection was there for all to see at the Staten
Island Barbeque and Family Fun Fair. There were smiles all around
and laughter in the air as alumni and their families gathered on
the Great Lawn for an afternoon of good times with friends from
days gone by.
“Campus affiliation is important to our Staten Island
alumni,” noted Victor Ramos ’91CBA, ’93MBA, Associate Vice
President, Institutional Advancement and Interim Director, Office
of Alumni Relations. “They made close friends during their time
here, and those connections have always led to a strong support of
both the campus and the University as a whole. It’s nice to see
everyone here today having so much fun.”
One of the most popular alumni events on the Staten Island campus,
the many activities taking place simultaneously ensured that there
was always something of interest for everyone. While alumni were
taking advantage of the opportunity to catch up and network with
former classmates, their kids were spending time on the bounce
rides, climbing aboard an actual fire engine, having their face
painted and meeting Johnny Thunderbird, St. John’s mascot.
“This is a great event,” said Michael Bart ’85CBA,
newly-elected President of the Staten Island Alumni Association.
“I’ve been to this one for the past couple of years, and it gets
better every time. It’s nice to see people that you don’t get to
see a lot. I have to say that the alumni are terrific and we really
want to support the University.”
For many alumni, their connection to St. John’s is part of a
multi-generation family tradition. They are happy to participate in
University activities because, for them, their personal family and
their St. John’s family are really one and the same.
“I’m here today, because I have a legacy from St. John’s,” noted
Joan Rowley ’73NDC. “My father taught at St. John’s and my mom went
here. My brothers, sister, cousins and even my sister-in-law share
the special love that I have for the University. I feel that as
alumni we need to support these kinds of functions, because things
can only exist if people continue to support them.”
Attendance at University events is nothing new for many of
the nearly 150 alumni and their families who came back to enjoy a
festive summer afternoon of food and fun. They see St. John’s as
much more than simply the place where they went to school, and
their connection to the University has actually grown stronger with
the passage of time.
“I’m a member of the [Staten Island] Alumni Association,” remarked
Christopher Porcu ’85NDC, “and if I can, I come out for everything
that St. John’s does. This is a nice event, and it’s something that
everyone should take part in. So many people here today want to buy
hats and t-shirts, so maybe a suggestion for next year would be to
have the bookstore open to accommodate these sales.”
Although it’s been nearly 40 years since JoAnn Howard
’74NDC earned her degree on the Staten Island campus, she continues
to stay in touch with some of her favorite faculty members who
inspired her during her student days. She considers the
relationships between herself and her former professors to be one
of the most important factors that have kept her connected to St.
John’s for such a long time.
“I had lunch with Dr. Teresa Trimarco [’00HON], my former Education
professor, not so long ago,” she recalled. “I graduated in
1974 and here it is in 2012 and I still see my Education professor!
That’s the kind of relationships we have at St. John’s. I find that
amazing, because you don’t have that in any other places. St.
John’s has always been near and dear to my heart, so when I heard
about this event, I decided to come and see some of my old friends.
Even after all this time, I have such a love for St. John’s!”