Students Flock to St. John’s for Fall 2023 Open House

October 19, 2023

St. John’s University welcomed more than 500 students and their families from as far away as Nebraska and Washington to the Queens, NY, campus on Saturday, October 14, for the first Open House of the school year.

Greeting the visitors were more than 150 faculty, administrators, and staff, who shared their eagerness to showcase what makes St. John’s a unique place and express their pride in calling the University their second home.

“We are excited to welcome our prospective students and their families to our first Open House this fall,” said Samantha R. Wright, Chief Enrollment Officer for the University. “Historically, Open House is one of the best days to visit campus as it provides our future Johnnies with the opportunity to meet faculty, current students, and representatives across the University community to understand how the education and experiences students have at St. John’s can help them achieve their goals—even if they’re still figuring out what their goals may be!”

“At St. John’s, our focus is on our students and, today, our prospective students are experiencing firsthand what it means to be part of a large, global institution with state-of-the-art facilities and a steadfast commitment to each student’s personal and professional growth,” Ms. Wright added.

For the first time, parents of potential Johnnies were invited inside Montgoris Dining Hall, known on campus as Monty’s, for guided tours of the facility.

The University opened its doors to the entire campus, allowing prospective students to explore each of St. John’s six Schools and Collegesdining facilities, and residence halls, either on their own, against the backdrop of some of the best views of the New York City skyline, or through guided tours led by current St. John’s students.

Highlights of specialized tours conducted throughout the day included the Advanced Graphics Lab; College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences laboratories; Cyber Security and Homeland Security laboratories; Drs. E. Lawrence and Adele V. Deckinger Center for Integrated Advertising Communications; Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery; Fashion Institute; Fine Arts Studios; LGBTQ+ Center; Media Arts and Design (MAD) Lab; Technology Commons; and Television, Film, and Radio Center.

At the Academic and Student Services Fair held inside Taffner Field House, students were greeted by representatives from a wide range of programs, majors, and organizations on campus. Students also met throughout the day with deans, administrators, and current Johnnies to learn about numerous courses of study and campus organizations. 

Many students and family members donned clear, plastic rain ponchos the University supplied as they dodged steady rainfall to take part in campus and facilities tours, as well as the fair inside Taffner.

Twins Vanessa and Valerie Savage, both of New Hyde Park, NY, were clearly eager to see all that the University has to offer as they made their way across campus. “My cousin goes to college here and she loves it,” said Vanessa, a senior at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset, NY. “There are lots of opportunities at St. John’s to major in medicine; I want to be a doctor or a physician assistant,” she added.

Valerie, a senior at Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, NY, said she is undecided about a major course of study. “But there are plenty of majors to choose from at St. John’s, and this is a good place to try new things.”

The twins’ mother, Jeanine Savage, said she hears only good things about the University.

“Everyone I know who went to St. John’s loves St. John’s,” Ms. Savage said.

Friends Alicia McMillion and Salem Angol were up before dawn to travel to St. John’s from their homes in East Orange, NJ, to check out the Open House. Noting she was “nervous-cited,” her word for being nervous and excited, Alicia, who is a senior at East Orange Campus High School along with Salem, said the letters, social media posts, and TikTok videos sent to her by St. John’s recruiters made her feel especially welcome before she even set foot on campus.

“They made me feel like they really want me to become a Johnnie,” she said. “So far today, I have met most of the faculty, administrators, and staff, which is wonderful,” said Alicia, who plans to pursue a degree in psychology and minor in sociology.

Gesturing to her bulging backpack, which was full of handouts about majors and student organizations that she picked up at the fair, Salem said, “I have more paper in my backpack than a tree could provide!”

“Everyone here is really cool,” added Salem, who is interested in continuing her high school softball career at St. John’s.

Eoghan Hughes, a senior at Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY, remarked, “My brother goes to school at St. John’s, and I have always known about the University. It has always been one of the schools that I wanted to look at for college.”

St. John’s next Open House is scheduled for Sunday, November 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the Queens campus.