May 11, 2012
For many former St. John’s University employees, retirement
doesn’t end their attachment to the institution that was such an
important part of their lives for so many years. Their commitment
to the University and its unique Vincentian mission remains strong,
and while they may no longer be on campus on a daily basis,
continuing as an active member of the St. John’s community remains
a source of pride for these loyal men and women.
Many continue their affiliation through participation in the St.
John’s University Retirees Association, an organization created to
provide a strong link between retired employees and the University
by fostering social interaction among its members. One of the more
popular opportunities for the members to get together is by
attending the Retirees Association Mass and Luncheon, held twice
each year on the Queens campus.
“Our retirees are the ones who have really contributed to the
foundation of the University,” noted Rev. Joseph V. Daly, C.M.
’73G, ’75GEd, Special Assistant to the President and Moderator of
the Retirees Association. “They have built it by their hard work
and by their example, by their respect for one another and for all
those who need their help. They really tell the story of St.
is traditional, the Spring Luncheon began with Mass in St. Thomas
More Church. Everyone then gathered for lunch in the D’Angelo
Center where, in addition to catching up on what’s been happening
with each other, they listened as Robert Wile ’99SVC, Senior Vice
President and Chief of Staff, Office of the President, thanked them
for their long-standing loyalty to St. John’s.
“St. John’s is a university that each of us can be proud of,” he
said. “Each of you, in one way or another, is responsible for the
success of St. John’s. You have all been a part of that success. In
many ways the look of the University has changed over the years,
but our roots remain the same, and our commitment to service grows
stronger every year.”
Not surprisingly, whenever retirees return to campus, they marvel
at the changes that have taken place since they were on staff.
Regardless of how long they’ve been retired, they remember what it
was like when they were here and take pride in what St. John’s has
become. For these former employees, the sense of continuity that
links the University’s past and present engenders feelings of
satisfaction for what they have helped to accomplish.
facilities have improved tremendously since I was working here,”
remarked Dick Krempecki, who served as Head Coach of the swimming
team from 1961 to 1985. “They’ve done a good job in the Athletics
Department, especially in the area of academic help for
student-athletes. That was one of the areas that I was involved
with and I’m very happy to see the improvement. And yet, in the
ways that really matter, I believe that St. John’s is still the
same university today that it always was, especially with how it
cares for the students.”
Anne Marie Basso ’93G has wonderful memories of the 22 years that
she spent at St. John’s. As a Laboratory Supervisor at St. John’s
College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, she had the
privilege of working with three different Academic Deans, each of
whom was personally committed to ensuring that the students would
always be their most important priority. As both an alumna and
former employee, she is proud to be affiliated with what she
considers to be one of the country’s finest universities.
John’s is much more progressive today than it ever was, and I like
that,” she said. “ It’s doing such wonderful things to serve the
needs of the students, as well as others in the community who need
its help. I think that’s a reflection of the religious life here,
which is something else that I really like. You know, two of my
children went to school here, and with all of those connections, I
know that St. John’s will always be important to me.”
During her time at St. John’s, Carolyn Browne ’95C held a variety
of positions before retiring after 13 years as an Administrative
Assistant in the Department of Fine Arts. Having worked in
different areas of the University, she was always aware of how the
unique Vincentian mission could be found in nearly every aspect of
the St. John’s experience.
“ I always loved the atmosphere and the mission of St. John’s,” she
said. “Everything about St. John’s
was just wonderful when I was working here, and it still is. The
University is such a special place, and I love coming back. Besides
working here I also earned my B.A. in English from St. John’s
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Honestly, coming back here is
like going back home.”