The President's Newsletter

Vol. 1 | Issue 1 | September 2015

Letter from the President

Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D.

I am pleased to introduce this first issue of the President’s Newsletter, which highlights several major accomplishments of the 2014–15 academic year.

In my presidential investiture remarks last fall, I said, “A great university is never content with the way things are; it seeks to be better.” I am pleased to say that the St. John’s community continues to embrace this vision as we collectively move forward to build upon our 145-year history of providing an excellent education to generations of students.

While each article highlights an important initiative, I am especially inspired by the work of the Strategic Priorities Working Group (SPWG) and the President’s Advisory Council (PAC). Over the course of the academic year, the SPWG and PAC engaged the entire University community in the process of formulating a framework for an institution-wide plan that will guide and inform our decisions over the next five years and beyond. I am confident that this effort will strengthen St. John’s position as a leader in Catholic higher education.

I am proud to share these achievements with you and thank all the members of the St. John’s community who have played an integral role in our success.


Bobby Gempesaw signature




Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D.

    In This Issue

    Fountains on Campus 1600x900

    Moving Forward: Forging a New Direction

    New measures the president spearheaded to strengthen the University this past year.

    Confetti flying over the heads at Commencement ceremony

    Reflecting Global Reach, St. John’s Celebrates Commencement on Two Continents

    Nearly 4,000 men and women received undergraduate and graduate degrees at Commencement Exercises this past spring.

    'US News' Rankings Recognize St. John's Efforts to Serve Veterans

    The University was ranked in the top 50 for Best Online Bachelor’s, Graduate Education, and Graduate Business programs.

    Students fans supporting Athletics with signage at a game

    Building on Momentum, Red Storm Aims to Continue Winning Ways

    Red Storm players, coaches, and fans look forward to 2015–16 with energy and enthusiasm.

    Enrollment Update

    • For the first time in five years, St. John’s is on its way to enrolling a freshman class of over 3,000 students.
    • Top-10 Majors: pharmacy, undeclared, biology, psychology, criminal justice, accounting, physician assistant, finance, sport management, computer science.
    • Top-10 States: New York, California, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts.
    • The 2014–15 academic year saw an eight-percent increase in study abroad participation over the previous year, with more than 1,000 students traveling overseas.

    Advancement Update

    • 12,206 donors contributed $19.03 million in gifts to St. John’s during the 2014–15 fiscal year, and total donations increased by $1.8 million from the previous year.
    • Of the donors, 8,053 were alumni—1,200 more than the previous year.
    • $3.54 million in gifts were designated for athletics, including $500,000 raised at the Carnesecca Golf Outing.
    • $1.76 million in planned gifts were received by the University.
    • The Pamela Shea-Byrnes Catholic Scholars Fund raised in excess of $458,000.
    • Over 2,800 alumni participated in various University and alumni events.

    Mission Update

    • Twenty St. John’s employees graduated from the 16-month Vincentian Mission Certificate (VMC) program this past January—the seventh cohort to do so.
    • During the 2014–15 academic year, students in the Ozanam Scholars Program studied in Rome and participated in a Vincentian heritage tour in Paris, while those in the Catholic Scholars Program logged 1,000 hours of service at local Catholic parishes and high schools.
    • The Vincentian Center for Church and Society held an Acculturation Seminar to familiarize 27 priests from 17 countries with US pastoral practices in the parishes in which they currently are serving.

    Faculty Update

    • New faculty members will be joining St. John’s this fall, with terminal degrees from such notable institutions as New York University, Columbia University, Harvard University, University of Texas–Austin, Ohio State University, University of Notre Dame, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Georgetown University Law Center.