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Move-in Weekend 2017 Marks a New Beginning for Students

Monday, August 28, 2017

St. John’s welcomed more than 3,200 freshmen and returning students to their new homes on the Queens and Staten Island, NY, campuses on August 26–27 as the University marked the start of the fall semester with its annual Move-in Weekend.

Move-in is part of St. John’s Red Carpet Welcome, a month of activities that help students make the transition to campus life. On Saturday, more than 1,300 freshmen checked into residence halls on the Queens campus with help from parents, siblings, and student volunteers. On Sunday, 21 freshmen settled into the garden-style apartments at the Staten Island campus.

Returning undergraduate and graduate students also arrived on Sunday at both campuses. New international and transfer students moved in from August 10 to 24.

Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., President of St. John’s, greeted incoming freshmen and their families outside the Queens campus residence halls. He also visited some of the suite-style rooms within. “Welcome to St. John’s,” he said, as he thanked parents for sharing their children with the University. “We’re happy to have you here.” 

The Excitement of a New Semester

Kathryn T. Hutchinson, Ph.D., Vice President for Student Affairs, was also on hand to greet residents. "The start of a new academic year is an exciting time on campus,” she said. “We’re proud and honored to welcome students from New York City, the nation, and the world who have chosen to make St. John’s their new home.”

For parents, it was a bittersweet moment in their children’s lives. “I’m happy for him, though I know there’ll be some tears later,” said Linda Forletta of Ronkonkoma, NY. Her son, Jake, checked into his Donovan Hall suite. “The University’s location is great,” said the Television and Film major. “It’s so close to Manhattan, which is going to help with getting internships. But it’s near enough to home to visit my family whenever I want.”

Savannah Mangram '21C, a Government and Politics major from Phoenix, AZ, was excited to begin the new semester. “I’m so happy to finally be here,” she said. “I can’t wait for classes to start.” Her mother, Alicia, was equally pleased. “Savannah’s thrilled to be going to school in New York—I’m happy she’s attending a Catholic university,” she said.

The Right Choice

“As the students arrive on campus, you can feel their energy filling the air,” said Eric M. Finkelstein, Director of Residence Life. “The atmosphere of Move-in Weekend is one of excitement and anticipation as we look to the year ahead. It’s a milestone moment to watch.”    

After settling into their residences, freshmen at the Queens campus were invited to an evening Block Party in the Residence Village, featuring food and music. A Glow Carnival followed, with laser tag, music, and glow-in-the-dark games. At the Staten Island campus, resident students were treated to a special Movie Night.

“I definitely made the right choice,” said Jake LaChapelle ’21C, a Journalism major from Latham, NY. “I visited St. John’s three or four times over the past year. It felt like home then, and it does now.”