Future Johnnies Attend Accepted Student Day in Record Numbers

St. John’s Dance Team poses with new students by St. Augustine Hall
April 16, 2018

More than 2,100 prospective students—a record-setting turnout—and their families got a taste of the St. John’s student experience as they gathered inside Carnesecca Arena at St. John’s University’s annual Accepted Student Day, held on Saturday, April 7, on the Queens, NY, campus.  

Carnesecca Arena held the capacity crowd of 6,000 high school students and their loved ones as they came together to hear from members of the University community, a student speaker pursuing and achieving her dreams, and Dr. Gempesaw. 

During his remarks, Dr. Gempesaw shared information about the admitted class. More than 27,000 applications have been received to date for an available 3,000 slots for the fall 2018 entering class. The average SAT score of accepted students is nearly 1200, and the average high school grade point average is 90—making the academic credentials for this year’s admitted class the highest and most stellar in the past several years. 

The accepted students come from 49 states and 100 foreign countries. The Class of 2022 can take comfort in knowing that, during the last two years, 94.3 percent of St. John’s graduates began careers or were accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation. 

Dr. Gempesaw enthusiastically conveyed the power of a St. John’s degree when he explained that 150,000 of the University’s approximately 181,000 alumni live and work in the New York metropolitan area. “Think of the networking possibilities if you attend and graduate from St. John’s,” he told the crowd. 

Highlighting the importance of a diverse student body, Dr. Gempesaw noted that the cultural backgrounds of the St. John’s community mirror the demographics of America today, and what those demographics will increasingly look like in the future. “It is important that our students have a good understanding of different cultures and traditions, and engage with a diverse group of classmates, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, and even their own University President,” he said.

Dr. Gempesaw also shared the results of a recent study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research about student mobility. The Student Mobility Index measures how effectively institutions of higher education enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into well-paying careers. St. John’s was ranked first in student mobility among all Catholic colleges and universities; second among all four-year, private colleges and universities; and 15th among all private and public universities in the country.

Jorge Rodriguez, Vice Provost and Chief Enrollment Officer, was met with thunderous applause when he told the overflow crowd that St. John’s is a place where students grow not only intellectually, but culturally.

“St. John’s has many opportunities—our students travel the world, and they have access to more than 100 student organizations,” he observed. “We are thrilled you are here today. Welcome!” 
—Jorge Rodriguez

Student speaker Jillian Perota, a Psychology major who is graduating next year, explained to the gathering how St. John’s is helping her attain her dream of becoming an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Jillian will also complete her master’s degree in Criminology and Justice in 2020.

The University’s Vincentian mission inspired Jillian to pursue a career that will allow her to serve her community and the world. “We are tasked with engaging in service as early as freshman year. These experiences have opened my eyes to the daily struggles that others encounter.”

Jillian participated in an internship at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, NY, working alongside social workers who serve Alzheimer’s patients. During her time at St. John’s, she has also volunteered at a school in Queens, interacting with students who have emotional and intellectual disabilities, and visited Riker’s Island Prison Complex, inspecting the facility’s mental health facilities.

When Jillian shared the news from the stage that she was recently accepted for a summer internship with the FBI’s New York field office, the crowd spontaneously commended her achievement with a round of applause. She replied to their cheers with an important fact about her St. John’s experience: “I never thought some of the most important lessons I would learn would happen outside the classroom.”

Accepted Student Day at St. John’s included a barbeque on the Great Lawn; informative sessions on academics, financial aid, and study abroad opportunities; and campus tours. The tours, led by the University’s student ambassadors, allowed the high school students and their families to see the complete experience students enjoy on the nearly 100-acre campus and the new, cutting-edge academic spaces on campus, such as the recently completed home of The Peter J. Tobin College of Business.

“Our students are enjoying the state-of-the art Lesley and William Collins Business Analytics Lab, and our faculty is filling the modern classroom and incubator space with innovative electives,” said Norean R. Sharpe, Ph.D., Dean, Joseph H. and Maria C. Schwartz Distinguished Chair, and Professor of Decision Sciences in the Tobin College. “Thanks to a talented team of faculty and staff, we continue to create new degree programs, and collaborate with our colleagues in the Paul and Carol Evanson Career Services Center to strengthen career opportunities and outcomes.”

The College of Professional Studies (CPS) was a highlight on campus tours as it also touts a suite of new learning spaces including the Homeland Security/Emergency Management Simulation Lab—the first of its kind in the Northeast; the Cyber Security Lab, a specialized venue for learning, applying, and practicing the principles of computer and network security; the Innovation and Design Enhancing the Arts (IDEA) Lab, an incubator for student creativity; the Innovation Lab, a new hub of high-tech discovery for emerging entrepreneurs; and the Computer Science Lab, a flexible space where faculty and students collaborate in any number of areas and interests.

“These new, state-of-the-art spaces demonstrate the University’s strategic commitment to enhance the teaching and learning environment for faculty and students,” said Katia Passerini, Ph.D., Dean of CPS.

“Many of my family members came to St. John’s,” said Nina Dalli, a student at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, NY. “When I visited for the first time, I just fell in love with it,” the prospective Psychology major exclaimed.

Last summer, Kristen Dejesus, a current student at Cathedral High School in Manhattan, was on the St. John’s campus for a medical internship. During that time, she experienced life in the residence halls and had an opportunity to see the University’s offerings, including its state-of-the-art facilities, laboratories, and classrooms. “That cemented my desire to come here,” she observed, adding that while she plans to live in the University’s Residence Village, she is happy she will be close to home.

Accepted Student Day was held on St. John’s Staten Island campus on Saturday, April 14. Attendance was up 25 percent from the previous year as the University welcomed 180 high school students and 540 guests in total. Emmanuel Flores, the Staten Island student speaker and an Actuarial Science major, stressed to the crowd, “With the personal attention you’ll receive both inside and outside the classroom, the faculty-student engagement at St. John's is unparalleled.”

View photos and video from the Queens Campus Accepted Student Day.

View photos and videofrom the Staten Island Campus Accepted Student Day.