March 17, 2009
Tuesday, March 17 was a great day for the Irish and the
Irish at heart as more than 200 St. John’s University alumni,
students, faculty and staff jauntily marched down Fifth Avenue as
part of New York’s 248th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Reflecting the luck of the Irish, the weather was great for a
parade as a bright sun lifted the spirits of the marchers who
represented one of the world’s most respected Catholic universities
in one of the world’s most famous parades.
“Being Irish for the day, I couldn’t miss the chance to
represent St. John’s and see fellow alumni and friends,” remarked
John Kowalski ’76CBA, ’83MBA. “Marching up Fifth Avenue is an
experience everyone should have.”
“This is my first time and so far it has been fantastic,” echoed
Patricia Ahern ’60PD.
Prior to stepping off along the Queen of Avenues many
alumni gathered at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for a
hearty pre-march breakfast buffet. Laughter and stories
filled the air in typical Irish fashion as everyone looked forward
to taking part in one of the most enjoyable and popular St. John’s
For Karen Madden ’68UC, it was her “…first time celebrating St.
Pat’s in years. I came because I wanted to show school spirit
and spend the day with other alumni.”
It was a day for St. John’s red to stand out against a sea of green
as the marchers were cheered along the route by numerous friends of
the University who recognized the bright banner carried at the head
of the contingent as well as their green caps and the red and white
St. John’s sash worn by the marchers. Onlookers happily waved
and shouted greetings that were just as quickly acknowledged from
within the line of march.
Participation in the parade is a striking reflection of the
Catholic traditions that have played such an important part in St.
John’s history. Traditionally a day for friends and faith, it
is also a reminder that for more than 139 years the University has
been a vibrant force in the educational, spiritual and cultural
life that is so unique to the people and city of New York.
The marchers ended the day tired, happy and proud of their
association with the University that means so much to them.
“As usual, St. John’s has done a first-rate job,” remarked
Elizabeth Meismeyer ’57CBA.