Commencement Information

Important Contacts

General Information - Staten Island Campus

Baccalaureate Mass and Family Dessert Reception718-90-4475 or 718-390-4473 - Campus Ministry
Ceremony DVD718-990-7588  -
Family Graduate Dinner718-990-4345 - David Gachigo
Ceremony Photography1-800-261-2576 - Customer Service
[email protected]
Diploma Applications
   Change of Address/Contact Information
   University Information System Issues
718-390-4425 - Office of the Registrar
General Information718-990-7588 - Office of University Events
Office of Student Affairs
   Bus Transportation
Yearbook and Senior Portraits718-390-4131 - Office of Student Affairs

School/College Deans Offices ~ Staten Island Campus

College of Professional Studies718-390-4449  
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences718-390-4411  
The Peter J. Tobin College of Business718-390-4517  
The School of Education718-390-4506 

General Information - Queens and Manhattan Campuses 

Baccalaureate Mass718-990-6255 ~ Campus Ministry
Family Graduate DinnerNatalie Storelli at 718-990-2103, [email protected] or Jenn Grauso at 718-990-1325, [email protected]
Ceremony DVD718-990-7588 -
Ceremony Photography1-800-261-2576 ~ Customer Service
[email protected]
Diploma Applications
Change of Address/Contact Information
University Information System Issues
Office of the Registrar
718-990-1339 - Queens Campus
212-962-4111 - Manhattan Campus
General Information718-990-7588 - Office of University Events
Senior Week Activities718-990-1357 - Office of Student Affairs
St. John's Central Issues and Internet Browser Issues718-990-5000 - Information Technology
Yearbook718-990-6040 - Office of Student Affairs
Senior Portraits
To schedule your appointment: School code: 87128
    1(800) OUR-YEAR
For more information: 718-990-6040 - Office of Student Affairs

School/College Deans Offices ~ Queens and Manhattan Campuses

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Undergraduate Division ~ 718-990-6275
Graduate Division (Ph.D. and Masters) ~ 718-990-1412 
Graduate Division (Pharm.D.) ~ 718-990-1675

College of Professional StudiesUndergraduate / Graduate Divisions ~ 718-990-6414  
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate ~ 718-990-1312
Graduate Divisions ~ 718-990-8079 

The Peter J. Tobin College of BusinessUndergraduate Division ~ 718-990-6212
Graduate Division ~ 718-990-6417
SRM, Manhattan Campus ~ 212-277-5190
The School of Education

Undergraduate Division ~ 718-990-2664
Graduate Division ~ 718-990-5654

Academic Heraldry

The caps, gowns and hoods (academic attire) worn at college and university functions date back to the Middle Ages. Monks and students of those days wore them to keep warm in the damp and drafty 12th century castles and halls of learning.

The gown for the bachelor's degree has a semi-stiff yoke, long pleated front and intricate shirring across the shoulders and back. It is primarily distinguished by its long pointed sleeves.

The holder of a a master's degree wears a gown with the same yoke effect of the bachelor's. The gown, however, is worn open, and the very long sleeve is squared and closed at the end, the forearm coming through a slit near the elbow.

The gown for the doctor's degree is also worn open; it has broad velvet panels down the front and three velvet bars on the large, bell-like sleeves. This velvet trimming may be either black or the color distinctive of the field of learning to which the degree pertains.

Generally, all caps may be of serge or broadcloth. In addition, doctor's caps may be of velvet and adorned by a gold tassel.

The hood gives color and distinction to the academic costume. The hood - a black shell-like affair of varying size for the three degrees and material to match the gown - is silk-lined stressing the colors of the institution conferring the degree. The hood is then bordered with velvet of the color signifying the respective fields of learning.

The colors indicative of the various fields of learning are as follows:

Arts, Letters and HumanitiesWhite
AudiologySpruce Green
Business AdministrationDrab
EducationLight Blue
Fine ArtsBrown
Library ScienceLemon
PharmacyOlive Green
PhilosophyDark Blue
Public HealthSalmon Pink
ScienceGolden Yellow

It is important to note that the field of learning having prior mention in the conferment of a degree, and not the department governing the major work, determines the color that is proper for the velvet of the hood. The doctor of philosophy degree requires the dark blue velvet irrespective of the major field. If more than one degree is held, the gown and hood of the highest degree are worn.

Some of the institutional colors to be seen at an academic ceremony are as follows:

  • Catholic University, lemon yellow with white chevron
  • Columbia University, light blue with white chevron
  • Fordham University, maroon
  • Harvard University, crimson
  • Manhattan College, white with emerald green chevron
  • New York University, violet
  • St. John's University, bright red with white chevron

University Mace

St. John's University Mace

The University Mace was created at the request of the President of the University in the early 1960s by Rev. Lawrence Lonergan, C.M., M.F.A., M.L.S., Chairman of the Fine Arts Department.

The academic mace traces its origins to the heavy, armor-breaking club knights used in the Middle Ages. In the less-militaristic climate of today’s Academy, the mace, a symbol of faculty and students, announces by its presence that those who follow bear the power of higher learning, which dispels the darkness of ignorance and oppression more certainly and peaceably than any weapon of war.

The mace bearer is the Grand Marshal, a faculty member chosen by the Provost for distinguished service and accomplishments. The Grand Marshal leads the procession at the Commencement Exercises.

The University Mace measures 39” and weighs 5 lbs. 2 oz.

The symbols on the St. John’s University mace are all based on the iconography associated with St. John the Baptist, patron Saint of the University.

  • The Dove at the top symbolizes the Holy Spirit. According to the Gospel narrative, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended on Christ while being baptized by John the Baptist. The circle around the dove symbolizes a halo indicating holiness.
  • The red enamel CHI/RHO design is an emblem of Christ.The wavy lines surrounding the globe symbolize the waters of the River Jordon/waters of baptism.
  • The silver knop is seven sided. Three sides carry design:
    • The University Crest
    • The University Seal
    • The Seal of the Congregation of the Mission