Remains Resolute in Support of St. John's Mission
As St. John’s University celebrates its 150th anniversary, Irene Bozzi Caccavallo ’75CBA reflects on another seminal birthday for her alma mater.
She was a high school junior in 1970, exploring local colleges that were close to her childhood home in Franklin Square, NY, so that she could easily commute to classes by car. “I noticed in my search that St. John’s at the time was celebrating its 100th anniversary, and I was impressed by that,” she said. “I was interested in a school with such a history.”
She enrolled in 1971 as a first-year Marketing major at the College of Business Administration, now known as The Peter J. Tobin College of Business. That is where she first met Steven Caccavallo ’75CBA, her husband of 42 years.
“We had many classes together, and we were part of a group of friends who traveled to away basketball games and participated in club activities on campus,” recalled Mrs. Caccavallo. “So, I thought we were just friends. But he had other ideas.”
They started dating near the end of their sophomore year and married two years after graduating, when they each earned a Bachelor of Science degree.
The couple is part of a family legacy of 13 relatives who graduated from St. John’s. Niece Catherine R. D’Angelo ’19Ed, proudly shared the family’s history with St. John’s to mark her graduation from The School of Education, making her the most recent family member to earn a degree here. The Caccavallos’ youngest daughter will become the 14th relative to join the legacy when she completes her studies next May.
Mrs. Caccavallo enjoys numerous lifelong friendships she nurtured through her participation in student government and other campus activities. She fondly recalls her time as a baton twirler with the former St. John’s University Twirlers, a group that performed during halftime at St. John’s basketball games.
“It was great performing in Alumni Hall (currently Carnesecca Arena), Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and even Madison Square Garden!”
Mrs. Caccavallo “came back home” to the University 17 years ago to accept a secretarial position in St. John’s Speech and Hearing Center. She is currently employed as an Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Provost.
As an employee, she is steadfast in her support of the St. John’s Vincentian mission, participating in the first cohort of the Vincentian Mission Certificate Program, as well as other service work. She also volunteers as a mentor to the students through SAFE, the Student and Faculty Engagement program.
“Being at St. John’s University as an employee is great,” Mrs. Caccavallo said. “I feel blessed to work here.”
She also shared advice for anyone who is considering St. John’s as their choice to spend their college years: “You will always find a helping hand, support, and a place to come home to at St. John’s!”