President's Newsletter

Vol. 3 | Issue 2 | February 2018

Letter from the President

Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D.

Since the founding of St. John’s University by the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians) almost 150 years ago, our University has upheld its mission to provide an affordable, quality, Catholic education to all, especially to those most in need.

Hard work and higher education have long been viewed as the most effective steps one can take to climb the ladder of success. It is a story that I often hear from many of our alumni—that without the financial and academic support they received from St. John’s, they would not have been able to attend college—and they attribute the success they achieved in their careers and personal lives to their St. John’s education.

The impact of a St. John’s education was recently recognized in a National Bureau of Economic Research report published by The Chronicle of Higher Education, which ranked St. John’s number one among US Catholic colleges and universities in a new metric called student-mobility rate. The student-mobility rate measures the percentage of all students in a birth cohort at a particular school whose parents were in the bottom 20 percent for household income and who reached the top 20 percent for individual earnings.

Of all the recent rankings and accolades received by the University, the student-mobility ranking is the most significant because it defines the very essence of St. John’s mission. Being ranked number one on this metric is a testament to St. John’s enduring mission to follow the Catholic and Vincentian tradition of helping those most in need by providing affordable, quality education that enables students to transform their lives and improve their economic circumstances.

I invite you to read how the University continues to work to ensure student success and how our efforts to promote academic excellence have been recognized by external rating agencies. You will learn how innovative classroom upgrades and state-of-the-art technology prepare our students for exciting new careers, and how improvements in academic facilities and in student mentoring and support programs all contribute toward ensuring student success.

I am proud of the work being done at St. John’s to provide students, regardless of economic means, with a quality education that will prepare them for rewarding careers and lives marked by service and achievement. I am grateful for the continuing support of parents, alumni, friends, and partners as we provide the next generation of students at St. John’s with a life-changing academic experience.


Bobby Gempesaw signature




Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D.

Student Enrollment, Retention, and Career Placement Update

  • In September, St. John’s welcomed a freshman class of 2,967 students, the largest cohort of first-year students of any Catholic college or university in the US. The class includes 994 students from Catholic high schools and 115 international students.
  • The average high school GPA of the freshman class is 90, which marks the third consecutive year the entering class has achieved that GPA.
  • Freshman retention rates matched last year’s retention rate of 84 percent.
  • For the Class of 2017, the undergraduate career placement rate was 94.3 percent, matching the record 2016 career placement rate.
  • Seeking a taste of college life at St. John's University, a record number of 2,117 high school juniors and seniors—and their families—made the trip from as far away as California and England to visit the Queens and Staten Island campuses for the Fall 2017 Open House events

Advancement Update

    • On Tuesday, November 28, St. John’s participated in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. More than 1,572 donors contributed $137,680 to the University. Funds raised will support student scholarships, facilities projects, technology upgrades, and other areas.
    • Through the St. John’s Partners for Student Success scholarship initiative, the University seeks to raise $15 million in new endowed scholarship funds. Introduced in 2016, the program has so far secured $3.18 million. A total of $110,000 in scholarship funds made possible from these new endowments has been awarded during the current academic year.
    • On Monday, November 6, nearly 200 Red Storm basketball supporters filled the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan to raise $367,000 for the program. Emceed by legendary broadcaster Bill Raftery, the event also featured Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens, who joined Head Coach Chris Mullin and Assistant Coach Mitch Richmond for a Q&A session with members of the 2017–18 men’s basketball team.