They are a couple joined in love – love for each other, for those in this world whose needs are great, and for their University. That unique and powerful combination marks the lives of Peggy and Bill Montgoris, both of them longtime and loyal members of the St. John’s family.
Bill graduated from St. John’s College of Business Administration in 1967 and stepped into a world where traditional values were being shaken to the very core of their existence. Anchored by his Catholic faith and blessed with a superior ability to be both intellectual and practical, he embarked upon a long and successful business career, culminating is his position as Chief Operating Officer of Bear Stearns and Company, Inc. Peggy’s career went off in a different direction. After graduating from St. John’s School of Education in 1968, she spent her professional life within the academic world, inspiring students to make the most of their abilities while following her example by never losing sight of the importance of service to others.
And service is an area in which both Bill and Peggy have made a profound and lasting impact where it is most needed. They support a wide range of institutions and initiatives, including Colby College, Dartmouth College, the Hackensack University Medical Center, the Immaculate Heart Academy and Covenant House, where Bill was a member of the Board of Directors for 10 years. Not surprisingly, this exceptional couple has also shared their time, talents and resources with St. John’s in ways that have had a significant effect on all that we do. They are members of The Founders Society, the University’s most prestigious donor recognition group reserved for those who have made cumulative gifts of $1 million or more to St. John’s during the course of their lifetime. They served as Co-Chairpersons of The Campaign for St. John’s – Fulfilling the Dream, the most successful capital campaign in University history. And Bill served St. John’s well as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and its Executive, Fiscal Resource Management, and Facilities committees and as longtime Chair of the Institutional Advancement committee. He was named Trustee Emeritus in September 2009.
St. John’s has recognized the accomplishments of this extraordinary couple on many occasions. Bill received an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree in 1988, was awarded the President’s Medal in 1997 and received the Medal of Honor in 2002. In 2007 the University honored Bill and Peggy with the Fidelitas Award, presented to alumni couples who attended St. John’s, married, and over the intervening years have demonstrated their deep commitment to and love for the University. Tonight, with gratitude, profound admiration, and deep affection, St. John’s University takes pleasure in presenting the Spirit of Service Award to Peggy Montgoris and Bill Montgoris.