Exterior of Dasilva Center

Staten Island Campus

St. John’s Staten Island campus offers students the best of a global university in a smaller, more personalized setting.

Make your St. John’s education your own.

Superb academics, focused career preparation, extracurricular campus leadership, and the Vincentian mission come together on the Staten Island campus, giving students an engaged, hands- on education that brings out their best. 

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Message from the Vice Provost

James O'Keefe

Welcome to St. John’s University’s Staten Island campus. As academic leader of the campus, I am proud to offer students the best of both worlds—a world-class university education in a small college setting.   

On this webpage, you will find information about our top-quality academic programs, our vibrant Student Life, our global programs, and our commitment to student success. Once you learn more, we know you’ll want to experience the campus in person.

I invite you to contact me directly to learn more about our beautiful campus and academic programs. Our campus’s commitment to personal attention starts with me.

James O’Keefe, Ph. D.
Vice Provost

Our Campus

Three students walking on St. John's Staten Island campus

Campus Life

Our Campus Life activities ensure that there is never a dull moment on campus!

St. Johns University Staten Island front gate

Directions

The wooded Staten Island campus is located in the residential Grymes Hill section, overlooking New York Bay. The campus is just off the Staten Island Expressway, and is easily accessible by car, bus, and ferry.

The Vice Provost International Fellowship

The Vice Provost International Fellowship is a special study abroad program for Staten Island campus students. Vice Provost International Fellows take a two week portion of semester’s course on either the Rome or Paris campuses of St. John’s.  Staten Island faculty members design their course to take advantage of the cities’ rich history and their international professional connections. 

Students on the Staten Island campus also have a direct link to St. John’s campuses in Rome and Paris for portions of their classes or for a full semester of classes. The Office of Global Studies sponsors academic programs on these campus and working with faculty members, creates study abroad opportunities in every corner of the world.   

Personal Focus

Students get close, personal attention on the Staten Island campus.  Instead of large lecture halls and impersonal classrooms, students take small classes with a university professor who respects and recognizes their aspirations.  

A low student-faculty ratio creates deeper learning experiences and more opportunities for advanced undergraduate research.  St. John’s undergraduate students and professors present academic work jointly at professional conferences and win professional society awards. 

On St. John’s Staten Island campus, bureaucratic headaches and hurdles melt away.  Academic deans are always at the students’ side, helping them navigate their course schedules and plan a successful academic career.  Faculty members serve not only as instructors but as mentors, guiding students toward their academic and post-graduate goals.

The administrative leaders of the Office of Student Life, Campus Ministry, Residence Life, and Career Services get to know every St. John’s student who participates in their programs and give them confidence to reach their potential. 

On St. John’s Staten Island campus, students get all the guidance and personal attention they need to start them on their path to success. 

Find Your Future

On the Staten Island campus, St. John’s students don’t wait until senior year to plan for life after graduation.  With the help of e-portfolio, a web-based platform, freshman begin documenting their academic achievements and life-changing extracurricular experiences.  By the end of their four year academic career, St. John’s Staten Island campus students have a virtual resume of accomplishments to show the world. 

Throughout students’ four years, University Career Services helps students plan their careers, find internships, and refine resume writing and interviewing skills.  They provide programs and services for all undergraduate and graduate students that create opportunities for students, alumni, faculty and employers to engage in mutually beneficial partnerships that meet the needs of an evolving and global workforce. It all comes together in the Student Success Center, where students also receive academic tutoring and Writing Center assistance.

 St. John’s professors play a vital role in students’ career preparation, using their experience and extensive contacts to help students secure internships, gain acceptance to graduate schools, and maximize their academic talents.  They help connect St. John’s students to the vast network of St. John’s University alumni, which students with further opportunities for internships, mentorship, and guidance.

With all hands on deck, St. John’s Staten Island campus builds students’ careers from day one.  

Education in Action

St. John’s Staten Island campus students don’t get lost in the crowd or sit back and watch.  On the smaller campus, students gain the confidence and support they need to take their St. John’s education to the next level.  A St. John’s Staten Island campus education grows leaders who serve others, backed by professors and administrators who care about them.   

St. John’s students take the initiative on the Staten Island campus.  The Office of Student Life and Student Success Center are home to a vibrant student government and network of organizations that give students the responsibility to shape their campus and learning experience.  With faculty and administrator support, they also create new clubs and programs that can point the university in exciting new directions.  Just check out our student-made Instagram feed!  Students on the Staten Island campus turn ideas into reality, in the best spirit of St. John’s Vincentian Mission.

On campus and in the community, Catholic Scholars and members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society are ambassadors for St. John’s Vincentian Mission and its connection to the Diocese of New York.  Ozanam Scholars, guided by faculty and administrators of the Vincentian Institute for Social Action (VISA), pursue advanced undergraduate research in social justice that make a real difference to the community organizations they serve.

Classrooms are catalysts and springboards for students on St. John’s Staten Island campus.  The Academic Service Learning program of the Vincentian Institute for Social Action (VISA) assists faculty develop community partnerships and off-campus academic service learning projects that takes students’ learning beyond the classroom into the real world.  Thanks to St. John’s extensive network of alumni and civic engagement initiatives throughout Staten Island, students present their work to decision makers and future employers. 

St. John’s students combine engaged learning, campus leadership, and Vincentian service to bring out their best.  Put your education into action on the Staten Island campus.

Customize Your Curriculum

On St. John’s Staten Island campus, the academic traditions of the liberal arts and the practical applications of professional degrees go hand in hand. With four colleges united on a small campus, faculty and deans work together to make sure that barriers between colleges and majors are turned into pathways.

Academic flexibility is the hallmark of the Staten Island campus.  St. John’s students can connect and combine programs of study to suit their aspirations and career objectives.  Double majors and dual degrees make it easy for students to move between departments and even colleges. Minors in Social Justice, American Studies, New York Studies, and Women and Gender Studies give students an interdisciplinary education. 

The innovative Staten Island Alliance for Interdisciplinary Studies was founded in 2009 to bring together St. John’s faculty for collaborative teaching and research, often in concert with the campus’s civic engagement initiatives.  The Interdisciplinary Alliance also holds lectures and symposium that are designed to address pressing topics in social justice from multiple academic perspectives.

On the Staten Island campus, St. John’s students gain a distinctive, multi-disciplinary approach to learning that is the perfect recipe for success in the changing workplaces of tomorrow.  

History

The Gans Family Estate
The site of the Staten Island campus was originally purchased in the early 20th Century by immigrant John Gans.  He chose the Grymes Hill location for his family estate because it overlooked New York Harbor where he operated a steamship company.  The main house of the estate, a 30 room Georgian mansion, was completed in 1915 and became home to son Herbert Gans and his family.

Notre Dame College
In the early 1930’s, Herbert Gans and his wife befriended Mother Saint Egbert, later known as Sister Helen Flynn, a Sister of the Congregation of Notre Dame.  She had just been named the director of the newly established Staten Island extension of Fordham University which was housed at Notre Dame Academy, a private school down the road from the Gans estate.  When the small college of 13 students received its own charter in 1933, the Gans family sold the family mansion to the new Notre Dame College, a Catholic undergraduate college for women.  The home, re-named Flynn Hall after the college foundress, opened in 1934 and graduated its first class in 1935.

In 1937, Lavelle Hall, an academic building, was added and named in honor of Monsignor Lavelle, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of New York.  A science building followed in 1945 named Mahoney Hall, after its principal benefactor.

In 1955, the college doubled its property with the purchase of the Herbert Gans estate, which included several properties, the largest of which served as the college library.  It was named Spellman Hall after Francis Cardinal Spellman, then archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, who contributed toward its reconstruction.  The final purchase, an English Tudor home at the far end of the campus, was made in 1965.  The Drury family, who had purchased the house from Hans Gans in 1945, sold the house and surrounding property to Notre Dame College.  It was re-named Rosati Hall in honor of Bishop Joseph Rosati, C.M. 1789-1843.

St. John’s University
Notre Dame College served the community as a premier women’s college for over 30 years. During the late 1960’s, when it became difficult for small colleges to survive, Terence Cardinal Cooke, then Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, asked the Vincentian Fathers of St. John’s University, to integrate Notre Dame College, in order that Catholic higher education remain a vibrant presence in the Staten Island community and its environs.

On January 27, 1971, the New York State Board of Regents approved the consolidation and the Staten Island Campus of St. John’s University became a reality. Classes began in the fall of 1971, combining the original Notre Dame College with the Brooklyn campus of St. John’s, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, business and education.

After becoming the Staten Island campus of St. John’s University, the growth of the campus continued. A new building housing the Loretto Memorial Library opened in 1973. It was named in honor of Mrs. Loretto McCarthy, the late wife of Charles E. McCarthy, D.C.S., Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer of the University.  In the 1980s, the Campus Center was added.  It houses dining facilities, student support services and a gymnasium.

The Kelleher Center was dedicated in 1999. A student-centered building donated by University Trustee and alumnus Denis Kelleher and his wife Carol, the Kelleher Center provides the campus with enrollment services, premier meeting space and a state-of-the-art Fitness Center.

In Fall, 2004, the campus welcomed the John J. DaSilva Academic Center, which features computer labs for student and community use, a media lab, computer assisted classroom space, faculty office space and student/faculty meeting spaces.

In Fall, 2005, a newly refurbished Rosati Hall welcomed the College of Professional Studies administrative offices, faculty spaces, student commons and conference space.

The Campus Today
Today the Staten Island Campus has expanded to include 16.5 acres serving over 2,000 students who are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. St. John's College of  Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Peter J. Tobin College of Business, the College of Professional Studies and the School of Education offer degree programs on the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels with an opportunity for a commuter or residential experience. Over 10,000 degrees have been awarded on the campus to date.

This unique campus, where turn of the century buildings stand along side contemporary edifices, has a magical history of design and purpose. It fulfills the promise to bring together the academic rigor of a national Catholic University with the Vincentian mission.  The Staten Island Campus serves individuals beyond its shores including those as close as New Jersey as well as students across the globe.

Don't know much about Staten Island? Don't feel bad. Even those in some areas of New York and New Jersey may not know much about the Island.

Geography
Staten Island is a county in the state of New York. Richmond county, or Staten Island, is also a borough of New York City.

As the southern most point in New York state, Staten Island borders mainland New Jersey, separated only by the narrow Arthur Kill river channel and three crossings (Outerbridge, Goethals and Bayonne bridges). On the northeastern tip of the Island, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge stretches across lower New York Bay to Brooklyn.

Demographics of Richmond County*

  • Population - 468,730
  • 63.7% non-Hispanic White; 17.6% Hispanic/Latino/Spanish; 11.7% African American; 7.9% Asian
  • 70.3% - Own a home
  • 28.5% - Bachelor degree or higher
  • 54% - Catholic
  • Median household income - $71,084

*Sources: 2010 US Census; ARDA

Topography

  • Total area of 102.5 square miles
  • Land comprises 58.5 square miles; water 44.0 square miles
  • Highest elevation - 410 feet (highest point on the east coast, south of Maine)

In its infancy under European regime, Richmond remained a rural community, supporting many farms, mills and a growing fisherman’s industry, mostly shell fishing. The community began to thrive under the control of the British and by 1700 the population was roughly 1,000.

During the Revolutionary War, General Howe landed his ship at the Water Place, today’s neighborhood of Tompkinsville, in June of 1776.  Thirty thousand prepared for the battle known today as The Battle of Long Island. A month later, General Howe attacked George Washington in the western portion of Long Island, know today as Brooklyn. By September of 1776, a secret peace meeting to end the war took place in what is currently known as the Conference House on the south shore, Tottenville. The final shot of the American Revolution was fired on Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island in 1783.

Control over Staten Island was an ongoing dispute between New York and New Jersey for almost two centuries. New Jersey claimed Staten Island because it is much closer in proximity than to New York, and because of original grants. However, New York claimed ownership of land as far south as Raritan bay. By 1833, both states mutually agreed on the current-day boundaries.

The New York colony, or state, legislature divided the island into four towns in 1788.  These towns were Castleton, Northfield, Southfield and Westfield and had their own elected officials. The state, however, did not supply adequate infrastructure as the sewage and road systems were the worst among the counties in New York. In 1799 a quarantine station for new immigrants was set up in Tompkinsville for those who had Yellow Fever and Small Pox due to an outbreak of disease during the time. Later, it was intentionally burned down by angry residents who feared it would spread disease within the isolated community. In 1897, as a means to generate capital investment, provide adequate infrastructure and improve overall living conditions, Staten Islanders agreed to join four other counties or boroughs that made up New York City.

Numerous historical events occurred in 19th Century Staten Island. During the early 1800s, the Staten Island Ferry began regular operation to New York. Slavery was abolished in New York in 1827, a movement led by Staten Islander, Daniel Tompkins. The Island also progressed with major advancements in its infrastructure and technology. Major thoroughfares were created, the county’s first steamboat and railroad began operation, and a magnetic telegraph line reached its shores. Serving the needs of the growing community, the nation’s first home and hospital for retired seamen and the Island’s first Catholic Parish, St. Peter’s, were established. In addition, the oldest existing public school, currently known as P.S.1 was built.

Development on Staten Island greatly increased during the 20th century.  Vehicular traffic on and off the Island became possible thanks to the construction of bridges. In 1928, the Goethals Bridge, and its sister, the Outerbridge Crossing, opened providing access to mainland, New Jersey. The Goethals Bridge connects the Howland Hook section of Staten Island to Elizabeth, New Jersey. Concurrently opening with the Goethals Bridge was the Outerbridge Crossing, connecting Staten Island’s southern shore to Central New Jersey. Both bridges cross the narrow Arthur Kill channel and are in operation to this day.

With the proliferation of investments and growth of resources, the population of the county was estimated at 221,000 by 1960. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge became the largest contributing factor to the Island’s growth since it’s opening in 1964. As the longest suspension bridge in North America, the Verrazano Bridge opened the floodgates of Brooklyn residents who sought suburban life with access to New York City. By 1980, the population grew by 33% from the previous decade. During the 80s, Staten Island became home to a United States Naval Base, Naval Station New York. It consisted of two sections including the Strategic Homeport in Stapleton and a larger section by Fort Wadsworth. The ‘Teleport’, a satellite earth station complex designed to provide telecommunications for New York and New Jersey, was developed in 1986.

By the end of the 20th century, Staten Islanders became disenchanted with the city of New York. Residents were upset over the disproportionate amount of city funding compared with other boroughs, a lack resources, and underrepresentation in the City Council. Ironically, nearly 100 years after Staten Island joined New York City, Staten Islanders overwhelmingly voted to secede from it in 1993. The bill allowing Staten Island to become autonomous was approved by the state senate, however, one member of the City Council refused to allow a vote on the measure. When Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was elected, he fulfilled many promises made to Island residents, including the closing of the Fresh Kills landfill. During his tenure, cries for secession simmered.

Today, Staten Island is a bedroom community which offers the safety and comfort of suburban living along with the many resources found only in New York City. Because its unique characteristics, both demographically and geographically, Staten Island is known for its history, beauty and culture and home to over 468,000 residents.

Sources
Staten Island Historian
Staten Island History
Staten Island Legal Services
Fun Trivia
2010 Census
Statenopoly
Port Authority of NY and NJ
SILive.com
Biography.com