Black and white photo of students holding signs that read "We Are St. John's" with a red stripe going through the middle of the image

"Who Was St. John's?: A Historical Audit"

Three-Part Lecture Series

During this historic academic year, as St. John’s commemorates its 150th Anniversary, a series of lectures by Susie J. Pak, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of HistorySt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, invites us to take the time to reflect and collectively engage in a study of the history of St. John’s. 

For the last four years, Dr. Pak has conducted primary research at multiple historical archives, engaged in hundreds of informal conversations, and carried out more than 70 formal oral history interviews with Vincentians of the Eastern and Western provinces, St. John’s students, alumni, faculty, administration, staff, and trustees. She has compiled 12 primary source datasets based on several thousand student records since 1877, and has also relied on the writings of many scholars, to put St. John’s history in a comparative perspective with its Catholic and non-Catholic peers.

Through her research, Dr. Pak has collected hundreds of stories that St. John’s and its community have told about the University since its founding, and has mined them for what they can tell us about the history of diversity, equity, and inclusivity at St. John’s. While she explores these stories in the context of historical empirical evidence, Dr. Pak will talk about the ways in which an understanding of the past has played an important role in defining the University’s identity and mission.


Lecture Series – Part 1

Introductions and Origins

In this first lecture, Dr. Pak will describe the origin of the St. John's history project and introduce the historical methods and archival sources she used to investigate the makeup of St. John's student body in the late 19th century. She will also discuss how our history plays an important role in defining the University's identity and mission.

Monday, October 19, 2020
1:50-3:25 p.m.   Common Hour 
(link opens at 1:45 p.m. and session begins at 1:50 p.m.)

Register Here

Moderator:
Michael A. Simons, J.D., Dean and John V. Brennan Professor of Law and Ethics, School of Law

Presenter:
Susie J. Pak, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of HistorySt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Please note: This lecture will be recorded and the video recording will be posted to the website for viewing.


Lecture Series – Part 2

Expansion and Professionalization

In this second lecture, Dr. Pak will study the University during the early-twentieth century when St. John's expanded and introduced professional schools in the fields of education, law, business, pharmacy, and nursing. She will talk about how St. John’s’ identity continued to develop as women, Jews, and ethnic and racial minorities entered the University during this time.   

Thursday, February 4, 2021
1:50-3:25 p.m.   Common Hour 
(link opens at 1:45 p.m. and session begins at 1:50 p.m.)

Register Here

Moderator:
Anita Gomez-Palacio '65Ed, '89PD, Retired Executive Director of Operations, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and Member of the Board of Trustees, St. John's University

Presenter:
Susie J. Pak, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of HistorySt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Please note: This lecture will be recorded and the video recording will be posted to the website for viewing.


Lecture Series – Part 3

Student Activism After Vatican II

In this third lecture, Dr. Pak will study the University after the Second World War when the University moved to Queens, expanded into Staten Island, and left its Brooklyn home. Particular attention will be paid to the changes wrought by the Second Vatican Council, the Faculty Strike, and the rise of student activism through the 1960s into the twenty-first century.   

Monday, April 19, 2021
1:50-3:25 p.m.   Common Hour 
(link opens at 1:45 p.m. and session begins at 1:50 p.m.)

Register Here

Moderator:
André McKenzie, Ed.D., Interim Dean, University Libraries and Vice Provost for Academic Support Services and Faculty Development, Office of the Provost

Presenter:
Susie J. Pak, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of HistorySt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Please note: This lecture will be recorded and the video recording will be posted to the website for viewing.