Queens, NY (May 22, 2022) – More than 2,300 undergraduate degrees were conferred to students of St. John’s University Sunday as a full complement of graduates, faculty, and guests experienced traditional commencement exercises that celebrated the resilience, accomplishments, and optimistic spirit of the Class of 2022.
Under warm spring skies, more than 14,000 guests gathered on the Great Lawn of the Queens campus to celebrate the University’s 152nd Commencement. The achievements of the Class of 2022 were recognized in a ceremony that honored students from both the Queens and Staten Island campuses. Graduates ranged in age from 19 to 64 and included more than 100 international students.
University Vice Provost and Interim Chief Diversity Officer Andrè McKenzie, Ed.D., served as distinguished speaker and urged the new graduates to “embrace the challenges and opportunities that new environments bring.”
Dr. McKenzie, a long-serving member of the University’s administration and an authority on issues of diversity, education, equity, and inclusion, was honored with the President’s Medal, presented by University President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P.
Reflecting on the historic Vincentian mission of the University, Dr. McKenzie reminded graduates to “be grateful for the blessings you have received throughout your life. Let your sense of gratitude be the driving force to serve others, as did St. Vincent de Paul,” the 17th century French Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor.
During his welcoming remarks, Fr. Shanley told graduates they had demonstrated grace and maturity in the face of four challenging years, marked by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you think about your mind four years ago, and your mind today, there should be a vast difference,”
Fr. Shanley said. “One of the marks of intellectual maturity is the ability to change your mind in the face of evidence, data, and dialogue. You have learned how to learn, and that process must continue for the rest of your life.”
Student speaker Hajarah Dar urged members of the Class of 2022 to carry throughout life the principles reinforced during their time at the University.
“When we do what we believe is right, we move the world forward in a positive direction and we make our own history,” she said.
FACTS ABOUT THE CLASS OF 2022 OF ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY
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About St. John’s University
St. John’s University is a private, coeducational, Roman Catholic University founded in 1870 by the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians), with its main campus located in Queens, NY. St. John’s University also has campuses and locations in Staten Island and Manhattan; in Rome, Italy; in Paris, France; and in Limerick, Ireland. St. John’s University is comprised of six colleges, including the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business (including the Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science), The School of Education, and the School of Law.
As of Fall 2021, the University has 1,410 full-time and part-time faculty, 15,452 undergraduate students, and 4,206 graduate students who come from 48 states and 118 countries. St. John's offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, including 15 doctoral programs.