October 26, 2007
Spirit of Service Awards Honor Elizabeth
Mirante and Arthur J. Mirante II, Esq., Patricia M. Shea and Brian
T. Shea, and Eleanor B. Taffner and Donald L. Taffner at
It was a celebration on many levels at St. John’s University’s
Tenth Annual President’s Dinner last night at The Waldorf=Astoria
Hotel in New York City. St. John’s President Rev. Donald J.
Harrington, C.M., hosted the University’s premier fundraising
event, which raised a record $2.1 million in gross revenue and
in-kind gifts. The annual event honors deserving individuals with
The Spirit of Service Award given to those who possess the vision,
accomplishments and good works that embody the essence of St.
Vincent de Paul. The 2007 awardees were joined by past recipients
in a night themed around a retrospective look at the University’s
humble fundraising efforts of a decade ago, to its unprecedented
achievements of today.
“In 1998, St. John’s provided $39 million institutional dollars
in financial aid to our need students. In 2007, St. John’s provides
$139 million to insure that even students with greatest need can
afford a St. John’s education,” said Rev. Harrington, C.M. to a
capacity crowd of more than 1,300 benefactors and friends of St.
John’s in attendance in The Waldorf’s Grand Ballroom. “We have
certainly come a long way and I believe our success is directly
attributable to so many who have gathered in this room. You shared
your resources and your wise counsel with us as we walked this path
of making St. John’s an even stronger University.”
Rev. Harrington, C.M. presented 2007 St. John’s University Spirit of Service
awards to this year’s esteemed honorees: Elizabeth
Mirante and Arthur J. Mirante II, Esq., ’68L, ’98HON,
President, Global Client Development, Cushman & Wakefield,
M. Shea ’83C and Brian T. Shea ’83CBA, President and Chief
Operating Officer, Pershing LLC; and Eleanor
B. Taffner ‘94HON, Secretary and Treasurer, DLT Entertainment
Ltd. and Donald
L. Taffner ’53C, ’89HON, Chairman, DLT Entertainment Ltd.
Lesley H. Collins ’83SVC and William L. Collins ’76C, Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer, Brencourt Advisors LLC., served as
President’s Dinner Co-Chairpersons, and Dr. Jerrold Ross, Dean of
St. John’s The School of Education acted as this year’s Master of
Many past Spirit of Service Award honorees were in attendance,
including Nina Aversano (2000), Hon. Joseph Bellacosa (2002),
Richard Chapdelaine (2004), Richard DeZego (2005), Kathleen M.
Foley, M.D. (2006), Sr. Judy Garson, R.S.C.J. (2004), Jeffrey
Holzschuh (2006), Joseph M Mattone, Sr. (2004), Paula McInerney
(2005), Thomas E. McInerney (2005), Mary P. Tobin (2005), Peter J.
Tobin (1998) and Salvatore Zizza (2006).
The gala celebration also included Rev. Harrington, C.M. giving
thanks to the heroism of St. John’s Public Safety Officer Dan
Boylan and NYPD student cadet Christopher Benson for their bravery
in apprehending a gunman on September 26 at the University’s Queens
Campus, which met with a rousing ovation from the crowd.
Gifts to the President’s Dinner are traditionally used to
support scholarships and other forms of financial assistance for
St. John’s most deserving students. During the current academic
year more than 95% of the University’s undergraduate students will
receive some type of financial aid, and approximately 41% of our
entering students have been classified within the category of
“greatest financial need”. St. John’s will award over $337 million
in aid during the 2007-2008 academic year, much of it coming
directly from the University’s own funds.
“I believe that there are two distinct reasons why St. John’s
has met such success over the past 10 years. First and foremost we
have been blessed because of our fidelity to our mission,” noted
Rev. Harrington, C.M. “And, in the spirit of St. Vincent de
Paul, we know our special responsibility and privilege is to assist
those in need.”
For more information about the St. John’s University President’s
Dinner contact Jeanne Umland, Associate Vice President for
Institutional Advancement at (718) 990-6776 or e-mail requests to
media inquiries contact Dominic Scianna, Director of Media
Relations at (718) 990-6185 or e-mail requests to email@example.com.