St. John's College Booklyn black and white

Our History

Welcome to a digital timeline of St. John’s University. The selected milestones provide a glimpse of the university from 1870 until today.

Most Rev John Loughlin Headshot

The Most Rev. John Loughlin, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn, NY, reaches out to the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians) to establish “a day College where the youth of the City might find advantages of a solid education.”

Farmhouse in Black and White

The Vincentian founders purchase three former farms in north-central Brooklyn to serve as the future site of St. John’s College.

Black and White drawing of Lewis Avenue Campus in Brooklyn

St. John’s College is founded with 47 students and six faculty on Lewis Avenue in Brooklyn.

Students from 1880 sitting at table studying

St. John’s awards its first scholarships.

St. Johns Queens Campus Gate

A New York State charter grants St. John’s the powers of a University.

1908 Basketball Team

The men’s basketball team makes its first appearance.

The School of Pedagogy is founded, admitting men and women.

Students from the School of Education in the 1950s

The School of Pedagogy is renamed the College Extension.

St. John's College Announces the Opening of A Law Department in 1925

The School of Law is founded.

Students sitting at desks in the 1900s using typewriters

The School of Accounting, Commerce, and Finance is established.

Schermerhorn Street building in downtown Brooklyn.

To accommodate growing enrollment, construction begins on the Schermerhorn Street building in downtown Brooklyn.

School of Pharmacy Class of 1932 Class Photos

The School of Pharmacy is established.

St. John's University Doorway with people walking out onto the sidewalk

The name officially changes from St. John’s College to St. John’s University, Brooklyn.

The School of Accounting, Commerce and Finance is renamed the School of Commerce.

The School of Pharmacy is renamed the College of Pharmacy.

University Seal

The College Extension is renamed Teachers College.

Hillcrest golf course

The Vincentians purchase the Hillcrest Golf Course, the future Queens, NY, campus, for the relocation of the University.

College of nursing students standing infront of desk for photo.

Department of Nursing is established at Teachers College.

Female faculty member infront of classroom in 1958

The Department of Nursing becomes a separate School of Nursing Education.

Teachers College separates its undergraduate and graduate divisions.

Construction trucks clearing land in 1954

The name officially changes to St. John’s University, New York.

Construction begins on the Queens campus with St. John Hall.

School of Education Crest Logo

Teachers College is renamed The School of Education.

Alumni Hall 1961

Alumni Hall is formally dedicated.

The School of Commerce is renamed the College of Business Administration.

University Seal

The Junior College is established.

Black and White image of St. Augustine Hall

St. Augustine Hall, the University’s hallmark building, is constructed.

University Seal

The Junior College is renamed the School of General Studies.

Rosati Hall on Staten Island

The University acquires its Staten Island, NY, campus, formerly Notre Dame College.

The School of General Studies is renamed the College of General Studies.

University Seal

The College of General Studies becomes St. Vincent’s College.

The College of Pharmacy is renamed the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions.

Exterior shot of tulips outside the School of Education

The School of Education is renamed the School of Education and Human Services.

Sculpture of the Globe during the sunset

The first study abroad program, College Europa, launches in Budapest, Hungary.

Student in Rome

St. John’s establishes a graduate campus in Rome, Italy, marking the beginning of the University’s global presence.

Students at outdoor basketball courts next to Residence buildings

The first residence halls are completed on the Queens campus.

St. Vincent’s College is renamed the College of Professional Studies.

student_walking_down_stairs_infront_of_the_peter_j_tobin_college_of_business

The College of Business Administration is renamed The Peter J. Tobin College of Business.

101 Murray Street Building

The University acquires The College of Insurance, which is renamed the School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science, as well as its Manhattan campus at 101 Murray Street.

The School of Education and Human Services resumes its former title of The School of Education.

St. Thomas More Church 1600x900

St. Thomas More Church, the first free-standing church on the Queens campus, is dedicated.

Alumni Hall is renamed Carnesecca Arena.

Paris Campus

The Paris, France, location is established.

D'Angelo Center Building

The D’Angelo Center, the hub of Queens campus student life, opens.

Pharmacy Student Microscope

The College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions is renamed the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Exterior of 101 Astor Place building

The Manhattan, NY, campus relocates to 101 Astor Place.

Top of St. Augustine Building

The College of Professional Studies relocates to its new home following office renovations in St. Augustine Hall.

Peter J. Tobin College of Business

Renovations for The Peter J. Tobin College of Business are completed.

St. John’s University Receives Historic Gift from Lesley H. and William L. Collins

The College of Professional Studies is renamed The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies.

School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science

The School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science is renamed the Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science.

Digital History Exhibit

Bishop Loughlin Headshot

A History of St. John's University

Featuring images and artifacts from the St. John's University Archives

Archives

Students sitting at desks in the 1900s using typewriters

Digital Collections

The University Archives include a vast array of materials, including yearbooks, newsletters, programs, photos, manuscripts, films, videotapes, and memorabilia. The Archives holds records dating back to the founding of St. John’s University in 1870.

For more information or to donate items to the Archives, please contact University Archives at 718-990-1465 or [email protected]