St. John’s University Celebrates Founder’s Week 2023

St. Vincent and Students statue on Marillac Terrace
September 19, 2023

St. John’s University will pay tribute to three individuals and three social-service organizations whose values reflect the University’s Vincentian mission and heritage on Tuesday, September 26. The awards will be presented at the annual Vincentian Convocation, which is part of the University’s celebration of Founder’s Week from Wednesday, September 20, through Wednesday, September 27.

Basilio G. Monteiro, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Division of Mass Communication, will receive the Vincentian Mission Award, which is given to a member of the faculty, staff, or administration who has made a demonstrated commitment to the University’s mission. Dr. Monteiro is Director of the graduate program in International Communication at The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies.

Maureen H. McCullough, J.D., Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of Catholic Relief Services, will receive the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal, which is given to a Catholic laywoman who embodies in her life the values and vision of Mother Seton (1774–1821), who was canonized in 1975.

Kevin Ryan, retired President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Covenant House International, will receive the St. Vincent de Paul Medal, which is given to a Catholic layman who embodies in his life the ideals and values of St. Vincent de Paul (1581–1660), who was canonized in 1737.

The child-welfare organization AMT Children of Hope Baby Safe Haven Foundation, based in Nassau County, NY, will receive the Frédéric Ozanam Award, which is given to an organization that blends quality service with effective and respectful concern for the poor or needy.

The health-care service group SOMOS – We Care, based in the Bronx, NY, will receive the Caritas Medal, given for service to the poor in the New York metropolitan area. For its work in opposition to human trafficking, the ARISE Foundation, headquartered in London, England, will receive the University’s International Medal, given for distinguished contributions to global goodwill.

Mr. Ryan, who as CEO from 2009 to March 2023 led Covenant House to its greatest-ever period of growth, will deliver the keynote address at the Convocation. The ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m. at St. Thomas More Church on the Queens, NY, campus.

A series of additional events celebrating the University’s Vincentian heritage are planned at both the Queens and Staten Island, NY, campuses during Founder’s Week. The week coincides with the September 27 feast day of St. Vincent de Paul, from whose work the University draws its mission.

The theme of 2023 Founder’s Week is “Be Vincentian, Be a Listener.”

Other planned events include University Service Day on both campuses on Saturday, September 23, during which members of the St. John’s community put St. Vincent’s vision into action through volunteer work in soup kitchens, nursing homes, schools, community centers, and more.

University Giving Day—St. John’s largest online fundraising event of the year—is Tuesday, September 26. In keeping with the Founder’s Week theme, members of the St. John’s community can donate to a number of University campaigns that encourage students to listen and respond to the needs of others.