April 21, 2009
Nearly 1,000 accepted students slated to begin their
college experience at St. John’s this fall visited the Queens
campus on Sunday, April 19, to take part in the University’s Annual
Accepted Students Information Day.
In response, hundreds of enthusiastic faculty, staff,
administrators and current students were on hand to welcome the 935
students— and their families— to the St. John’s community.
Nature cooperated by offering a beautiful, sunny day for the event,
which took place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Along with enjoying
excellent weather, the 3000-plus visitors took campus tours, spoke
with professors and reveled in their first taste of the St. John’s
A Personal Touch
The Opening Session began at 10 a.m. with an Invocation delivered
by Rev. Patrick Griffin, C.M., the University’s Executive Vice
President for Mission and Branch Campuses.
Following the Invocation were remarks by
Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of St. John’s; Julia
A. Upton, RSM, Ph.D, University Provost; Karen Vahey, Director
of Admission; and
Andre McDonald, a freshman majoring in legal studies.
“Our intent,” said Fr. Harrington, “is to treat prospective
students better than other institutions to which they may have
applied and to excite them about enrolling.”
The University showcased its academic excellence and breadth of
majors; ran tours of new ultra-modern residence halls, introduced
students to the Institute of
Writing Studies; the Career and Freshman
Centers, the Office of Student Affairs and much more.
Students had a chance to chat one-on-one with deans, faculty and
currently enrolled students as well as to receive personalized
financial counseling, speak with representatives from the
University’s student clubs and organizations and learn about
amazing academic opportunities such as St. John’s Global Studies
Adding a festive air to the program, the RedStorm Pep Band played
throughout the day.
“This is the one opportunity for us to really show accepted
students why St. John’s stands out from other universities,” said
Jennifer Pye, Associate Director of Admission.
“We pulled together every department on campus — including
Residence Life, Public Safety, Office of University Ministry,
Alumni Relations, ROTC and Financial Aid—to give a real sense of
the breadth of a St. John’s education.”
Accepted students also have a chance to visit the Staten Island
campus throughout the spring semester. A series of six Accepted
Students Receptions are scheduled by major, school and scholarship.
The next one takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on April
Students also learned that a St. John’s education extends beyond
the campus gates. “As a Catholic university in New York City, St.
John’s offers opportunities to learn and grow that few universities
can match,” said Dr. Upton.
She added: “Our students become ethical leaders through an
education of remarkable academic breadth and quality, outstanding
cutting-edge technology and a focus on service.”
Striking the same theme, freshman Andre McDonald shared his reasons
for choosing St. John’s. “I wanted to experience the city life but
not actually live in the city,” he said. “I was also drawn by the
University’s Catholic, Vincentian and Metropolitan mission giving
students here an outstanding environment in which to excel
socially and culturally.”
Largest-Ever Applicant Pool
According to Vice President for Enrollment Management Beth Evans,
despite the declining economy, St. John’s has received a record
high number of applications and acceptances. Applications are up by
32% over last year.
She attributes this dramatic increase in part to “the growing
appeal of St. John’s nationwide,” and in part to “the expanded
number of area receptions we have been hosting” throughout
“We created 60 opportunities this year for prospective students to
interact with the St. John’s community, including alumni,” she
explained. “We have run regional events stretching from DC to San
Diego, and from Houston to Miami and Long Island. This year alumni
joined us at these receptions and made a huge difference.”
Ms. Evans also noted the good turnouts, showing a 20% increase over
last year or the equivalent of 500 more students.
Sunday’s visitors were the first to be able to log in to the UIS
system at special laptop stations where they could enroll
The University also unveiled an exciting new software enhancement,
which will be loaded onto all student PCs including those of
incoming freshmen that will allow them to learn foreign languages.
Reflecting the University’s stress on global studies, this TELL ME
MORE Web-based software gives students a familiarity with languages
they will be using inside and outside the classroom.
Visitors also learned about a new option enabling them to use their
freshman winter intersession to study in Rome and stay at St.
John’s Rome campus. This opportunity for global learning along with
the advantages of studying in New York City add a dimension to the
St. John’s experience few universities can match.