Prospective students celebrated their acceptance to St. John’s University at a synchronous virtual Accepted Student Day event on Saturday, April 10, that enabled them to have direct contact with faculty, students, administrators, and staff.
Chat rooms and Zoom gatherings were offered for every phase of the signature admission event, allowing future Johnnies to speak with admission counselors, meet the deans of the University’s schools and colleges, and take tours, conducted live by current student ambassadors, of the campuses in Queens and Staten Island, NY.
Accepted students also attended “mock classes” taught by professors and participated in a live question-and-answer session with staff representatives from the Office of Student Financial Services. They interacted with a panel composed of current students who utilized live streaming and an online chat function to answer numerous questions that were posed about the University.
The newcomers were additionally invited to enjoy a lively deejay party that took place throughout the day and fueled the celebratory atmosphere.
Normally drawing record crowds on campus, this year’s Accepted Student Day was held virtually because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the 2020 festivities were also rolled out digitally, this most recent celebration marked the first time it ran as a wholly live event, without assistance from prerecorded videos or drones.
“Accepted Student Day is always a jubilant day for our accepted students and their families,” said Jorge L. Rodriguez, Vice Provost and Chief Enrollment Officer.
Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., University President, kicked off the event with welcoming and congratulatory remarks that were livestreamed to the attendees and their families.
“The St. John’s community exists for a single purpose: to serve you, our students,” said Fr. Shanley, who began his tenure as the University’s 18th President on February 1, 2021.
“If you decide to come to St. John’s, you will find a nurturing, welcoming, inclusive community where you will grow and flourish over the next four years.”
Simon G. Møller, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, shared statistics about the incoming Class of 2025 as he addressed the virtual audience.
“You are one of the highest academically qualified classes that St. John’s has ever had, with an average high school grade point average of above 90 percent and an average SAT score of 1225.”
He also noted the University received more than 22,000 applications for the Fall 2021 semester from across the US and around the globe; that the accepted students hail from 49 states and 137 countries; and the student farthest away from St. John’s will travel 10,500 miles from his home in Australia to get to campus.
Dr. Møller recalled successful solutions the University community devised to enable St. John’s to remain open during the pandemic since the start of the Fall 2020 semester, allowing many students to attend classes in-person on campus. He noted that classrooms were reconfigured for social distancing, daily cleaning protocols were implemented for University spaces, and a certified Covid-19 testing facility was established “so that we can test our community, keep everyone safe, and get the test results back on the same day.”
Turning his attention to the upcoming fall semester, Dr. Møller said that because of the increase in vaccinations throughout New York, the nation, and the world, “our academic schedule for the fall will look very much like the pre-Covid-19 academic experience, while at the same time, keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe.”
“An overwhelming majority of courses will be delivered in-person on campus,” he pledged. “However, we will still have the flexibility of offering some courses and academic programs in an online format.”
Dr. Møller said the University is also making plans to resume other campus activities in the fall, including extracurricular events, athletic competitions, special events, internships, faculty research, and Study Abroad.
“Fall is, in many ways, a new beginning,” he said, “and we cannot wait to share this experience with you.”
Mike Anderson, St. John’s Men’s Basketball Head Coach, told the prospective students, “We try to win national sporting championships—and we want championship students here on our campus.”
DJ Zeke’s party attracted a steady stream of online visitors throughout the day who interacted directly with each other online.
“I can’t wait to be on campus!” declared a student who identified herself as Brianna, as she enjoyed the party.
Another high schooler, Codi Cano, observed in her chat, “These people seem like fun and are really nice.”
As the party concluded, DJ Zeke summed up his feelings this way: “Take care, students! You are blessed because you are coming to a great university.”