Join Us for Grand Alumni Homecoming Weekend 2019

Thursday, May 30, through Sunday, June 2

April 12, 2019

Alumni from every generation and class year are invited to reconnect, reminisce, and create new memories at St. John’s University’s fourth annual Grand Alumni Homecoming Weekend (GAHW), scheduled to take place from Thursday, May 30, through Sunday, June 2.

The weekend offers something for everyone—whether you are celebrating your 10th or 50th reunion. “Grand Alumni Weekend gets bigger and better every year, and it is truly a special celebration for generations of alumni,” said Mark A. Andrews, Director of Alumni Relations. “It is a special time for alumni and their families to remember and renew friendships, and to share the common experience of St. John’s University.”

Because of its growing success and popularity among the University’s vast alumni community, GAHW is scheduled over four days and has events at both the Queens and Staten Island, NY, campuses.

“Cultivating an engaged and supportive alumni network reaps benefits to the University and to our alumni themselves, and Grand Alumni Homecoming Weekend helps to make that happen.”
—Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., President

A Weekend Filled with Activities

Thursday, May 30

Featuring a wide array of social, academic, and recreational events and activities, many of which are new this year, GAHW begins on Thursday, May 30, with a pregame reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. followed by a baseball game between two historic rivals, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, at the iconic Yankee Stadium.

The same evening, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., a special sunset dinner cruise around Manhattan departs from Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, for Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) and others.

Friday, May 31

It is “back to school” time on Friday, May 31, when the Meet the Experts panel discussion, featuring financial planners and experts, guides you through financial planning and recent changes to tax laws.

For culinary explorers of all tastes, the Culinary Backstreets Food Walk in Queens is a must. Known as the “World’s Borough,” Queens County is home to more than two million people, half of them born outside of the United States, speaking more than 150 languages. This culinary tour of the nearby neighborhoods of Corona and Elmhurst provides a wonderland of local and ethnic cuisine to sample—and the opportunity to experience some of the best gastronomic variety that Queens has to offer.

Adding to the celebratory spirit, on Friday evening from 6 to 7:30 p.m., alumni and guests will join in lauding fellow graduates as individual schools and colleges of the University highlight special honorees with the Distinguished Alumni Award at school-specific award ceremonies and receptions. Catch up with former classmates, network with your peers, and get timely updates on your respective college from academic leaders and current professors.

Friday night concludes with the “After-Party" Alumni Gathering in Lourdes Hall Plaza from 7:30 until 10 p.m., featuring live music under the stars. Catch up with fellow alumni and relive memories while enjoying the camaraderie of the St. John’s alumni network.

Saturday, June 1

Saturday’s events kick off with an early 7:30 a.m. start for the annual St. John’s 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run on DaSilva Memorial Field. This event is followed by a guided campus walking tour at 10 a.m. Reacquaint yourself with alma mater as student ambassadors highlight changes and new developments on campus. Many alumni, who have not been back to St. John’s in years, will see the complete transformation of campus, including new academic spaces such as the newly created Media Arts and Design Lab, the Technology Commons, and the Sanford Family Cyber Security Lab.

An annual highlight on Saturday is a special brunch with Dr. Gempesaw, “An Update on St. John’s,” from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The President delivers an insightful presentation that updates attendees on outcomes, points of pride, and accolades received by St. John’s in the past year. In addition, Dr. Gempesaw shares exciting new initiatives planned for the University in the future.

Brooklyn Reunion: Celebrating Lewis Avenue and Schermerhorn Street Alumni

Reunite with classmates and make new friends, sharing stories and great moments from those memorable days on Lewis Avenue and Schermerhorn Street. Bring in your yearbooks, memorabilia, and photos to the Faculty Club between 2:30–4:30 p.m. and enjoy reminiscing. St. John's has grown by leaps and bounds in Queens and around the world, but we will always embrace and cherish our Brooklyn roots. 

The Grand Alumni Signature Celebration 

The Grand Alumni Signature Celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. in St. Thomas More Church. Alumni are invited to celebrate the University’s Catholic and Vincentian identity with the Celebration of Eucharist and, immediately following Mass, recognize fellow alumni during a formal awards ceremony. A number of awards will be bestowed on outstanding alumni, including

Outstanding Alumni Achievement Medal

This medal recognizes alumni who demonstrate outstanding professional achievement and leadership, deep commitment to serving others, and a substantial dedication to St. John’s and its mission.

Sandra Rogers ’69GEd, ’75PD, Director of Mathematics, District 14, New York City Board of Education 

Paul C. Wirth ’79CBA, Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer, Morgan Stanley

Heritage Circle

Induction is granted to alumni who graduated from the University 40 or more years ago, and maintain a close association with the University through their participation, interest, and extraordinary support for alma mater.

Teresa A. Mason, Esq. ’79SVC, ’02HON
Chief of Staff, Office of the Bronx District Attorney

Thomas J. Principe, Esq. ’69C, ’73L
Lawyer and Partner, Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore

Pietas Medal

The Pietas Medal is given to alumni who demonstrate devotion and loyalty to St. John’s; it recognizes their longevity, leadership, and consistency of service to the University.

George E. Devine, Esq. ’52C, ’55L 
President (retired), Grumman Infoconversion 

Evelyn J. Paola ’57Ed, ’59GEd 
Adjunct Professor, SUNY Old Westbury, and Educator (retired)

Charles J. Sullivan ’79CBA, ’89MBA
Executive Director and Group Head Real Estate (retired), Gaming and Hospitality Finance, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

President’s Medal

The President’s Medal is awarded to individuals who achieve exceptional personal and professional success and render outstanding service to the University or society.

Paul M. Carroll ’69CBA, ’71MBA, ’79APC, ’17HON
Banker (retired)

Paul F. Naughton ’69MBA 
President (retired), Potomac Capital Investment, and Managing Director, P.F. Naughton, LLC

University Lifetime Achievement Award

The University Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to alumni who, over the course of their lifetimes, have exemplified the true Vincentian spirit of service to others and have had a major impact on the life and mission of the University through generosity, dedication, and loyalty. 

Paul J. Evanson ’63CBA, ’10HON
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (retired), Allegheny Energy

At a reception and dinner to follow, special tribute will be paid to the Class of 1969 as they observe their 50th reunion celebration. Students who graduated that same eventful year as the moon landing, the “Miracle Mets,” and Woodstock will have much to recall as they make new memories with each other.

Sunday, June 2

Calling all Staten Island Campus Alumni

The Grand Alumni Homecoming Weekend concludes on Sunday, June 2, with the Staten Island Alumni Mass that will be celebrated at noon in St. Vincent de Paul Chapel. Mass is followed by the Staten Island Alumni BBQ from 1 to 4 p.m. Similar to the Red Storm Alumni Festival, this event welcomes alumni and their families back to campus for outdoor rides, food, and family fun.

“Grand Alumni Homecoming Weekend is truly a gathering of the extended St. John’s family,” observed Mr. Andrews. “Whenever families get together, new and special memories are sure to be made.” 

To learn more about Grand Alumni Homecoming Weekend, or to register for events, please visit