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Alumnus Prizes “Moral Compass” Found at St. John’s

Friday, April 1, 2016

Jeffry Wengroff  ’73CBA has prized traditional values all his life. During the turbulent 1960s and early ’70s, he found St. John’s University a haven for those standards.

“I guess the most important thing that St. John’s instilled in me is a moral compass,” said Wengroff, who has achieved success in the construction industry. “It’s important to conduct one’s business in a fair and reasonable way. I’ve found that if you’re fair to your colleagues, it comes back to you tenfold.”

As a student at St. John’s, Wengroff prized the emphasis on strong values. “It had a great tradition—that’s what appealed to me from the beginning,” he said. “I’m Jewish, so even though attending the University wasn’t the continuation of a Catholic education, I knew it would be a great fit.”

He was not disappointed. “I had some great discussions with some of the priests about the practical implementations of what we were learning, including business ethics,” he said. “I decided I would apply those principles in my everyday life.”

Wengroff has achieved that goal as owner of HE2PD, Inc., a firm that provides specialized project management in the field. Recent projects include the restorations of St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, NY, and a synagogue in New York City that is more than 100 years old.

“We manage the entire construction process,” he said. Moreover, approximately 85 percent of his company’s projects are for nonprofits. “It’s very rewarding at this point in my life. I get to take jobs that are meaningful to me.”

Working in the construction industry for nearly 50 years, Wengroff stressed that along with strong values, another key to success is being methodical and detail oriented. St. John’s instills those skills as well, he noted. Appreciating his St. John’s education, Wengroff has maintained close ties to the University. My office is filled with St. John’s memorabilia,” he said. “And I’ve had season tickets for basketball since 1970.”

He also has expressed his appreciation as a generous benefactor. He has been a member of the Loughlin Society and served on the President’s Dinner Committee and the Carnesecca Golf Classic Committee. Wengroff is a past recipient of the University’s Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award as well as its Pietas Medal, awarded for a lifetime of fidelity to St. John’s. His daughter is also a graduate of St. John’s University’s School of Law.

 “St. John’s helped me get my start in life,” he said. “The least I can do is to help them. I’m a firm believer in the axiom, ‘If you can’t give it away, you can’t keep it.’”