St. John’s University Mourns Loss of a Pioneering Educator

Prof. Missere
February 4, 2020

Earlier this month, the St. John’s community lost a talented and dedicated educator when Professor Anthony M. Missere suddenly passed away while teaching a Study Abroad course in Rome, Italy. Prof. Missere was Associate Professor and Chair in the Division of Sport Management.

“Tony was bigger than a giant,” observed Katia Passerini, Ph.D., PMP, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins Distinguished Chair and Dean of the The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies (CCPS) at St. John’s University. “A dedicated member of the faculty for so many years, Tony was always ready to do the right thing for the College, the University, and above all, our students.”

She added, “This is an incredible loss for the Collins College of Professional Studies, and I am thankful for the incredible support we have received from the entire St. John’s community, which is a true testament to his legacy.”

Glenn Gerstner, Ed.D. ’81SVC, Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Associate Professor of Sport Management, was a former student of Prof. Missere and became a colleague and close friend after joining the faculty of the former St. Vincent’s College in 1989. “I have known Tony since 1979, and he was a fantastic teacher. When I joined the St. John’s faculty 10 years later, he welcomed me with open arms, eventually becoming a trusted confidant and mentor.”

Dr. Gerstner estimated that Prof. Missere had advised thousands of students throughout his many years at St. John’s. “Students would reach out to him, and he would do his utmost to help.” He added, “This is a big loss for the University, but on a personal level, I am going to miss him terribly.”

A standout college athlete, Prof. Missere received his Bachelor of Science degree from Pratt Institute in Dietetics and Hotel Management in 1968. Ten years later, he received his Master of Arts degree in Physical Education and Administration from New York University.

Prior to arriving at St. John’s, Prof. Missere taught at Pratt Institute from 1973 to 1978. There, he served as Facilities Manager, Instructor, Assistant Athletic Director, Head Basketball Coach, and Head Baseball Coach. From 1979 to 1984, he served as Consultant to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Sports Club Management, Media Relations, and Youth Programming for the 1984 Olympic Games. Prof. Missere also played professional basketball in Naples, Italy.

Hired by St. John’s University as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in 1977, Prof. Missere became a full-time faculty member the following year. He foresaw the growth of the Sport Management profession, making sure that St. John’s was always on its cutting edge.

From 1995 to 2008, he served as Director of the University’s Sport Management program, which doubled in size during his tenure. He also spearheaded the division’s Master of Professional Studies in Sport Management program, which prepares students for a variety of careers in international sport management.

From 2003 to 2008, Prof. Missere was Chairman of the Division of Hospitality, Tourism, and Sport Management. He conceived, developed, implemented, and oversaw the first US-global Sport Management Semester Abroad program at Leicester University, England. Prof. Missere was honored by St. John’s with the Outstanding Faculty Achievement Medal in 1991.

Several of Prof. Missere’s former students fondly remembered their beloved teacher. Frank Caruana ’07CPS, Box Office Manager at Madison Square Garden (MSG), said, “This news hurts me a lot. Prof. Missere was my teacher and my advisor. He was the one that pushed me to do my internship at MSG, and that is something I will never forget. I am forever grateful for everything he did for me.”

Joseph Giordano ’14CPS, TV Scheduling Supervisor at MSG, recalled Prof. Missere as more than just a teacher. “I cannot find the words to properly describe him. All I can say is that without him, I would have never gone to Rome in 2012, and without that trip, I would not have met some of my best friends in the world. I will be forever grateful for what he brought to my life. The memories from Rome will last forever, as will our advisement appointments, and everything in between.”

The Professor Anthony M. Missere Memorial Scholarship Fund:

In memory of Professor Missere, a new memorial scholarship fund has been established to support future Sport Management students at St. John’s. Please consider contributing to this fund online.