The President's Newsletter

Vol. 1 | Issue 2 | January 2016

Letter from the President

Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D.

In my State of the University address at the beginning of the academic year, I said that “St. John’s is moving in the right direction” with progress in setting our strategic priorities, enrollment and fundraising goals, and other academic initiatives.

This is evident in the achievements of students, faculty, and other members of our academic community outlined in this newsletter.

From a soccer star gaining national attention, to high-achieving freshmen, and our premier fundraising event of the year, you will see that the St. John’s community does not rest on its laurels but continues to provide even greater opportunities for student success.

Finally, you will be updated about the University’s strategic priorities as the action plan formulated by the diligent work of the Strategic Priorities Working Group (SPWG) is sent to the Strategic Priorities Review Team (SPRT) charged with monitoring performance under each of the recommended action items.

As we begin 2016, I thank you for supporting St. John’s and extend to each of you my very best wishes for the new year. 


Bobby Gempesaw signature




Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D.

    In This Issue

    President Gempesaw presenting the State of the University Address

    President’s First "State of the University" Address Highlights Vision

    Dr. Gempesaw opened the 2015–16 academic year with his first “State of the University” address.

    Dinner in Ballroom with speakers on screen at podium

    Transforming Lives: President’s Dinner Raises $2.1 Million for Student Scholarships

    St. John’s University teaches students not only to succeed as leaders in their careers and communities, but as generous citizens who make a positive difference in the world.

    St. John's Crest on Gate

    Staying on Course: New Group to Continue SPWG Progress

    SPWG was originally charged with enlisting various sectors of the University community in developing approaches to the implementation of the four strategic priorities.

    Great Lawn Queens Campus

    Assessing Progress: Strategic Priorities Review Team (SPRT) Members

    The 43 members of SPRT represent a broad cross-section of the St. John’s University community.

    Athletic Field

    Soccer Milestones Highlight Promising Year for St. John's Athletics

    Over the course of his 22-year career in St. John’s athletics, women’s soccer coach Ian Stone has had many reasons to be proud.

    Commencement Image 960x640

    High School Valedictorians Join Freshman Class

    The Class of 2015 was St. John’s largest in seven years.

    Two female faculty members looking at laptop screen

    Faculty Highlights

    Dedicated scholar-teachers are the heart of a St. John’s education. This edition of the President’s Newsletter features some of those faculty members.

    Rome Colosseum

    St. John's Ranks Among Top-40 Universities for Study Abroad Participation

    The IIE has named St. John’s among the top-40 doctorate-granting American universities.

    Student wearing St. John's University backpack infront of Eiffel tower

    Anniversaries Mark St. John's Continuing Dedication to Study Abroad Programs

    The Office of Global Studies celebrated several milestones in 2014–15.

    Sharing Knowledge Presented by St. John's University

    St. John's President Hosts New TV Talk Show

    Beginning in February 2016, Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., president, will host a new television talk show on the Telecare Catholic Network.

    Enrollment, Retention, and Career Placement Update

    • In September, St. John’s welcomed its largest number of freshmen in seven years—3,253 new students, a 16 percent increase over last year’s entering class. The freshman class included 957 students from Catholic high schools, a 27 percent increase from last year.
    • The number of new graduate students rose to 1,395 this fall from 1,352 in 2014, a gain of 43 new students. The Peter J. Tobin College of Business alone added 28 more entering graduate students over the past year.
    • Freshman retention for the class of 2014 reached 80%, the highest freshman retention rate in the past decade.
    • For the Class of 2014, survey results show that the career placement of undergraduate students was 93.2% and 92.3% for graduate students. For the Class of 2015 the undergraduate career placement rate increased to 94.1% while the graduate career placement rate increased to 93.1%.

    Advancement Update

    • The Pamela Shea–Byrnes Catholic Scholars Fund drew $500,364 in support since its inception.
    • Since this past summer, some 1,300 participants have attended Alumni Relations events. Visit for information on how to be involved!

    Mission Update

    • Sr. Margaret John Kelly, D.C., Ph.D, completed 21 years of distinguished service as founding executive director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society. Under her direction, the Center furthered St. John’s commitment to supporting local parishes, promoting research on the causes and alleviation of poverty, and enhancing the role of the Church and University community through interdisciplinary educational programs on social justice.
    • More than 2,000 members of the St. John’s community signed up to volunteer throughout the city for University Service Day, on Saturday, September 26, part of our annual Founder’s Week activities. The theme of the 2015 celebration was “Be Vincentian: Look with Love, Move with Mercy.”
    • Campus Ministry celebrated Pope Francis’s historic visit to the United States through events honoring the Pontiff’s encyclical letter and coverage of the remarks he delivered to Congress, at the United Nations, in Madison Square Garden, and at the focus on family at the Philadelphia synod.