St. John’s University welcomed more than 1,700 high school seniors, graduate candidates, and their families as they converged on the Queens, NY, campus on Saturday, April 15, for Accepted Student Day. The institution annually hosts the signature event to enable potential Johnnies to explore academic programs, innovative technology, state-of-the-art learning facilities, athletics, service opportunities, and many other offerings.
“Accepted Student Day is one of the best days of the year as it allows admitted students to fully visualize our beautiful campus, to talk to our professors, and to learn about all the exciting opportunities that St. John’s has to offer,” said Simon G. Møller, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University Distinguished Professor, and Provost Endowed Chair.
Numerous students cued up inside Carnesecca Arena to formalize their commitment to the University by registering for the Fall 2023 semester, before heading over to join a boisterous pep rally underway at Taffner Field House to celebrate their acceptance to St. John’s.
The buoyant crowd was greeted by Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., University President, as he took to the stage to deliver his welcoming remarks. In addressing the gathering, Fr. Shanley offered students some advice.
“One thing I would ask you to do today as you explore St. John’s is to pay attention to your gut,” he said. “Decisions are often made on intuition and on feelings. At the end of this day, when you’re trying to decide about whether to attend St. John’s, the key thing to ask yourself is, ‘How did I feel walking around today? Did this feel like home? Do these people feel like family? Does this feel like where God wants me to be?’”
“There is a part of me, as President, that wants you all to come to St. John’s,” Fr. Shanley added. “But what I care about the most, and my hope and my prayer for you today, is that God gives you the grace to make a good decision about the next four years of your life.”
Before Fr. Shanley’s remarks, the pep rally kicked off with performances by the St. John’s Pep Band, Dance Team, Kickline Team, and Cheerleading Team. University mascot Johnny Thunderbird was a notable presence at the event, mingling with students and posing for selfies with them and other guests. Alpha Psi Omega, a dramatic honor fraternity, also participated in the pep rally.
DJ Zeke, also known as Ezekiel O. Akinyemi ’08TCB, presided over the pep rally, employing his well-known disc jockeying skills to encourage participants to dance and clap along to his musical selections. The crowd’s enthusiasm prompted Mr. Akinyemi, owner of DJ Zeke Entertainment, to enthuse, “I love this energy,” as he turned up the music.
A new feature introduced at this year’s Student Accepted Day was the inclusion of students who will enroll in the University’s graduate programs. Event organizers said they wanted these students, like their undergraduate counterparts, to experience the unique sense of camaraderie that permeates the annual event.
The Battle of the Orgs was also hosted for the first time for visiting families to enjoy and cast their votes for student performances by members of St. John’s numerous arts organizations. The four winning teams of the contest were Alpha Psi Omega, L.I.V.E. Dance Crew, Sensacion Dance Team, and Step Ya Game Up. These groups will be competing at the upcoming Campus Life event, Stormin’ Loud, a highly anticipated, end-of-year festival scheduled to be held on Friday, April 28.
Throughout the remainder of the day, prospective students met with deans, faculty, and future peers to learn more about academic opportunities and the advantages of attending St. John’s.
Justin Cracchiolo, a senior at Xaverian in his hometown of Brooklyn, NY, seemed to have channeled Fr. Shanley’s advice to rely on his gut instincts. “This event really helps me become more comfortable with going to school here,” said Justin, just after he registered for the start of classes this fall as a Computer Science major.
“They do a very good job of making you comfortable and helping you feel that this is the right place to be.”
Accepted student Adrianna Caporale, a senior at Holy Cross High School in Flushing, NY, visits the Queens campus often because it is very close to her home in Whitestone, NY. “I have been here a few times and I keep getting drawn back to this campus because it’s very welcoming,” she said. “The people don’t make you feel lost or out of place.”
“Today, the campus was alive as we welcomed the next generation of talented Johnnies. I hope students were able to enjoy the celebration, have their questions answered, and, ultimately, envision themselves calling this place home,” said Corinne Gentile, Director of Enrollment Management Events. “Each year this event reminds me of the many reasons I am proud to call myself a Johnnie, and today was no exception!”