Feeling Connected While Away from Campus

Students hanging out around water fountain
April 14, 2020

St. John’s University is a vibrant community comprised of current and future students, faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni. While our campuses have transitioned to remote learning/working at this time, there are still plenty of ways to feel connected to the University from the comfort of your home. 

Caught on Camera

Throughout the years, a number of TV shows and movies have filmed on campus. While Jimmy Fallon is hosting The Tonight Show from his home now, this past fall the former Saturday Night Live star filmed a cooking segment inside Century Hall. Not far from the Residence Village, the area outside of St. Thomas More Church was used recently in the Fox series, Almost Family, while the Great Lawn was featured in the 2009 film, It’s Complicated.

In 2018, scenes from the popular series Blue Bloods, which stars Donnie Wahlberg, were filmed inside Carnesecca Arena. The episode, “Milestones,” transformed the arena into the home court of a fictitious college.

Sounds like St. John’s

When you are in the mood for music, a lengthy playlist can be created using only the musical artists who have performed on campus over the past eight decades. The long list of acts represents an eclectic mix of genres and includes names like St. John’s alumnus J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Maroon 5, The Beach Boys, Adam Ant, and The Glen Miller Orchestra.

If show tunes are more your style—and you are missing Broadway, too—the cast recording of Hamilton should brighten up your day. St. John’s alumnus Carvens Lissaint ’14CPS has starred in the smash musical as George Washington.

Lots of Literature

Now is a great time to curl up with a good book, and award-winning author Alice McDermott offers a number of superb options. The holder of the 2012 Peter and Margaret D’Angelo Endowed Chair for the Humanities at St. John’s University is a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and has written popular titles, including After This, Child of My Heart, and That Night. You can also learn about the favorite books of St. John’s faculty, including Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, Ph.D., Farah E. Khorassani, Pharm.D., and Ceceilia Parnther, Ph.D., in the “Good Reads” series.

Looking Good

If a picture is worth a thousand words, there are countless stories to be told about St. John’s in the photo galleries section of the University’s website, where thousands of recent images can be found. Historic images and documents dating back hundreds of years reside in the Digital Collections of St. John’s University Archives. Yearbooks from the first half of the 20th century are also available online, as are older editions of The Torch and course catalogs.

If you would like a bird’s-eye view of St. John’s, this video—created for new students—offers a virtual tour of the 102-acre Queens, NY, campus. On a similar note, this time each year the University’s resident red-tailed hawk family can be seen circling high over the Great Lawn in search of prey or reinforcing their nest above Belson Stadium, where they lay eggs each spring.

While houses of worship in the New York City metropolitan area remain closed, rediscover the beauty of St. Thomas More Church, which celebrated its 15th anniversary last fall and was featured in an episode of NETTV’s City of Churches series.

Reaching Out

Social distancing has become the norm for people around the world, and fortunately, there is no shortage of social media channels that can be used to engage the University community from a distance, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Many people use video conferencing services, such as Zoom, to stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. St. John’s has created University-themed virtual backgrounds to allow users to show their school pride, no matter where they are in the world.  

While it is comforting to virtually experience the sights, sounds, and stories of St. John’s during these unprecedented times, perhaps the best way to connect with the University is to reach out to classmates, alumni, faculty, student ambassadors, or other members of the St. John’s community and simply say, “Hello.”