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President's Newsletter

Vol. 1 | Issue 3 | May 2016
Letter from the President

Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D., President

This President’s Newsletter opens with a sense of celebration as we announce the launch of a new St. John’s tradition. The University’s first Grand Alumni Homecoming Weekend in June offers a full slate of campus activities for graduates from all decades and their families.

The inauguration of this event—like the features within this newsletter—recognizes the enduring bond between St. John’s and its graduates while paying tribute to their personal and professional achievements.

Highlighted in this issue are some of the notable ways the University continues to transform students into successful alumni: from faculty scholarship—and its impact on classroom learning–to the role of faith and service in a St. John’s education; from the strength of our career placement programs to the character-building value of Red Storm athletics.

Our graduates succeed, and St. John’s is proud of their accomplishments, as evident in the honors bestowed at University convocations this past year.

I remain grateful for your continued support and commitment to St. John’s.


Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D.


Enrollment, Retention, and Career Placement Update
  • The fall to spring freshman retention rate was 95.2 percent, the highest since 1997.
  • More than 94 percent of the Class of 2015 found meaningful employment or were pursuing advanced study within six months of graduation.
  • The number of undergraduates using University Career Services programs increased by 11 percent over last year.
  • Graduate applications for Fall 2016 have increased by 11 percent over last year.
  • The graduation this month of 4,216 new degree recipients adds to the ranks of St. John’s 175,000-plus alumni network.
  • As of April 2016, more than 1,500 graduates have participated in Alumni Relations-sponsored events this year. In February and March 2016, the President, the Executive Vice President for Mission, and Alumni Relations met with more than 500 alumni and friends, including members of The McCallen Society, in Florida through University-sponsored events and individual get-togethers.
  • The Alumni Insider’s View . . . Day on Wall Street and US Capital—two alumni- and student-engagement programs—connected 100 students with successful graduates from various professions and industries.
  • The annual gathering of The Loughlin Society was held on May 4 with 200 people attending. President Gempesaw, Clavel Gempesaw, Ph.D. and Rev. Bernard Tracey, C.M., welcomed the Society members and gave brief remarks.


Athletics Update
  • For the first time in nearly three decades, the St. John’s Women’s Basketball Team won the BIG EAST championship. The Red Storm captured its fourth BIG EAST title with a 50–37 victory over Creighton on March 8 at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, IL.
  • Two of St. John’s premier undergraduate sports figures are recipients of the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Rachel Daly ’16CPS (Sport Management), a forward on the women’s soccer team, and Thomas Hackimer ‘16C (Physics), a relief pitcher on the baseball team, were selected by the BIG EAST Conference’s Academic Affairs Committee. As part of their awards, both students will be granted a $4,000 scholarship, which can be applied to graduate or professional studies.
  • St. John’s Dance Team captured its first national competition on January 17 with a routine that swept the Division I Hip-hop Dance category at the 2016 UCA and UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship.
Mission Update
  • More than 100 students participated in University Ministry’s service plunges this year, joining the Vincentian Family in praying for and assisting those in need locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • More than 200 people attended the Ninth Biennial Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Conference hosted by the Vincentian Center for Church and Society (VCSS) at the Queens campus in January. Rev. Bryan Massingale, S.T.D. ’01HON delivered the keynote address on issues related to Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.
  • The Catholic Scholars Program commissioned its first graduating class, comprising 21 students, in April. The program welcomes 32 new students this August.


Alumni Recognition
  • St. John’s alumna and former men’s basketball student manager Kathryn Smith ’07CPS was named the Buffalo Bills’ Quality Control-Special Teams Coach. Smith is the first female to be named to a full-time coaching position in NFL history.
National Recognition
  • The University’s commitment to online learning has been recognized once again by the editors of U.S. News & World Report, who ranked St. John’s graduate business, graduate education, and undergraduate online programs in the top 100 nationwide in their respective categories. The listing of the 2016 Best Online Programs was released in January 2016.
  • Consistently strong student outcomes and high New York bar examination pass rates have propelled St. John’s School of Law to a ranking of number 74 nationwide on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 list of America’s best law schools. In addition, the Law School ranks number four among the New York City-based institutions on the list, and number five among law schools in New York State.