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Future Johnnies Welcomed at Record-Breaking Accepted Student Day

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

More than 2,000 high school students and their families—the largest turnout ever—experienced the excitement of campus life as they took tours and met members of the University community at St. John’s Accepted Student Day on April 8.

Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., President of St. John’s, led administrators and current students in welcoming the guests to the Queens campus. Festivities included an activities fair, music, a photo booth, performances by the dance team, and a DJ-hosted barbecue on the Great Lawn.

Students responded with enthusiastic cheers when welcomed by Jorge Rodriguez, Vice Provost and Chief Enrollment Officer. The University’s Student Ambassadors also were on hand to greet the prospective Johnnies and their parents. More than 70 clubs and extracurricular activities were represented, showcasing the vibrant campus life that awaits students at St. John’s.

Guests also were treated to tours of the new home of The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, located in Bent Hall. The building features a financial lab with an up-to-the second stock market ticker, 11 new state-of-the-art classrooms, and a Career Center exclusively devoted to Tobin College students.

Addressing the guests during a formal presentation in Carnesecca Arena—home to Red Storm athletics—Dr. Gempesaw related noteworthy facts about St. John’s applicants. For example, 27,000 applications were received, with an anticipated enrollment of 3,000 students for the fall of 2017. The average SAT score of accepted students is 1200, and the average high school GPA is 90. This year’s accepted students come from 49 states and 83 foreign countries.

“At St. John’s, our job is not just to enroll and recruit students,” Dr. Gempesaw said. “Our number one priority is to help them graduate to a successful career.” Career placement prospects are extremely bright, Dr. Gempesaw said. In 2016, 94.3 percent of St. John’s students found jobs or were accepted to graduate programs within six months of graduation. He added that more than 150,000 of the over 178,000 St. John’s alumni live and work in the greater New York metropolitan area, providing an enormous base for networking.

Dr. Gempesaw also announced the University’s new partnership with IBM Watson.  Combining artificial intelligence with the most advanced analytical software, Watson is a “question-answering” supercomputer that will enhance student services and other aspects of academic life at St. John’s.

These and other innovations make the University an ideal place for prospective Johnnies to pursue their dreams, said student speaker Andrea Gibau ’17CPS. Crowned Miss Teen New York in 2015, Gibau, a public relations major, said “As I look out on to a crowd of future Johnnies, I’m so excited that you will accept the challenge to do great things—to learn with an open mind, lead with an open heart, take advantage of every opportunity, dream big, and change the world.”

A senior at Midwood High School in Brooklyn, NY, Marwa Saad found more than she expected. She and her father spoke with counselors, and met current students. “The whole day was exciting,” said Marwa, who hopes to become a physician assistant. “Everyone was so welcoming, and I loved the environment. Both my father and I like what we saw.”

The Staten Island campus held its own Accepted Student Day on April 22, and guests were welcomed by James O’Keefe, Ph.D., Vice Provost. “Here on the Staten Island campus, our students experience the intimate and personal side of a major world-class university,” he noted.

“Our accepted students come in, receive personal attention from academic advisors and faculty, and enjoy a 12:1 student:professor ratio, with faculty who know their names, their majors, and their aspirations.  They receive personalized academic guidance, and, most importantly, graduate in four years, with amazing outcomes.”

Staten Island student speaker Danielle DiCanio ‘17C transferred to St. John’s in her sophomore year. “I’ve grown in so many ways since coming to St. John’s,” she stressed. “I can definitely say that I’ve found myself. I know the person that I aspire to be and I’m proud to say that I know what I want to do for the rest of my life.”