St. John’s University broke ground for its first-ever,
free-standing church in October 2002. The University was able to
begin construction of the St. Thomas More Church thanks to a very
generous, $10 million gift from the family of John Brennan (‘63SJC,
Completed in September 2004, the Church seats nearly 500 people.
It also includes meeting rooms as well as the offices of Campus
On Tuesday, April 13, the University community gathered on the
Great Lawn as the cross was raised atop the chapel.
“Since our move to Queens in the 1950s, we have dreamed of a
free-standing church gracing our campus. Today, we set out to make
our dream a reality,” said Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M.,
President of St. John’s University. “We are truly indebted to John
and his family for their incredible generosity to our University.
Their name will forever be tied to this magnificent structure: the
crown jewel of our Master Plan.”
St. Thomas More Church is one of the major components of the
University’s Master Plan for the Queens campus. Announced in 1998,
the dynamic vision of the Master Plan outlined the construction of
on-campus residence halls, athletic facilities and support
buildings. So far, the University has completed six residence halls
that house more than 2,100 students; a dining hall to service the
resident student population; Belson Stadium, an elevated soccer
field; a softball field; an electrical substation and three parking
garages. In addition, in 2000, a baseball field was constructed on
the site of the old McCallen Field. Projects currently in the
planning stages are: a support building situated between the
baseball field and Belson Stadium; a garage on the Grand Central
Service Road and the St. Vincent’s Staircase, linking the Residence
Village to the center of campus.