March 19, 2012
New York City became the Emerald Isle for a few hours and everyone
was Irish as marchers in the world’s most famous St. Patrick’s Day
Parade made their way proudly up Fifth Avenue. Alumni and friends
of St. John’s University were well-represented in the festive
celebration, taking part once again in one of the University’s
“The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a special event for New York,”
said Mark Andrews, Associate Director, Office of Alumni Relations,
“and St. John’s has always been an important part of this city.
We’re proud to be here. The University’s mission transcends all
boundaries, and so with us today are alumni, students and employees
all representing the St. John’s community.”
in the St. John’s contingent adding green hats and scarves to their
easily recognizable red sash, the nearly 300 marchers made an
impressive showing as they reminded New York what St. John’s pride
is all about.
“This is a great event,” said Brian Browne ’93C, ’97G Assistant
Vice President, Office of Government Relations. “Since 2005 I’ve
been the keeper of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade at St. John’s and
our group gets bigger and bigger every year. This is our largest
Taking advantage of the opportunity to get into the spirit of the
day before actually stepping off, many alumni enjoyed a hearty
breakfast at St. Andrews Restaurant and Bar, an authentic Celtic
pub complete with kilt-wearing bartenders and genuine Scottish menu
specialties. The short walk from the restaurant to the designated
assembly point gave everyone a chance to experience the early
spring sunshine in the company of their University family.
“I’m third generation at St. John’s,” noted Erin Reilly ’10C.
“I’m very Irish, especially on St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m here to
support St. John’s and be a part of this great New York City
(’62C) and Brendan Ryan ’64C, working together to help plan the
event was a perfect way to combine their Irish heritage with their
to St. John’s. Both
are members of the University’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee
and are proud of how the crowds lining the parade route always
responds when the St. John’s distinctive banner comes into
“It’s a great feeling to walk along Fifth Avenue, especially when
the cheering starts,” remarked Brendan. “We are St. John’s and
everybody knows who we are. My brother and I are very active at St.
John’s, and this is always a great day for us.”
“Brendan and I go [to the parade] almost every year,” agreed
Thomas, “and we love to see a blending of the red and the green.
St. John’s gave me a wonderful education and prepared me for life.
This is the 50th Anniversary of my graduation and I have to say
that I still have friends that I made 50 years ago. I’m very happy
to be a part of St. John’s.”
Students and alumni marched side-by-side, joined by a common
appreciation of the uniqueness of the St. John’s experience.
Hospitality Management major Christiana Lee ’15CPS and her
roommates were participating in the parade as a way to share their
pride as St. John’s students. She was particularly impressed with
the number of alumni who came back to show that the University is
still very much a part of their lives.
“This is our first year as students, and we wanted to be a part
of St. John’s by marching in the parade,” she said. “We really try
to be involved in anything that has to do with school spirit. St.
John’s is more than just a school, it’s a great community, and
alumni are involved in it. That makes me feel good because I know
that even after I graduate I’ll still be a part of St.