United by their love of St. John’s University’s Staten Island, NY, campus, 145 members of the St. John’s community joined together at the Campus Center for the Party on the Hill celebration during Homecoming Weekend on Friday, October 27.
Located in the Grymes Hill section of Staten Island, the Staten Island campus is the former home of Notre Dame College and became part of the University in 1971.
“The Party on the Hill brings alumni from different years together to reconnect and remember all the great memories made on the Staten Island campus,” said Alfred “Fred” C. Cerullo III ’83NDC, ’86L, event Cochair. Mr. Cerullo is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Grand Central Partnership and a Commissioner on the New York City Planning Commission. “It provides an evening to hang out with your classmates one more time, and reestablish those friendships that are now (for some of us) decades long.”
Throughout the fun-filled evening, which featured a yearbook display, photo booth, and many toasts celebrating memories of the campus, Staten Island alumni from various decades reminisced about their time together at the 16.5-acre campus. Joseph Salemmo ’87CBA (also known as “DJ Joe Nose”) provided the entertainment, while the event was catered by Montalbano’s Pork Store & Italian Food Specialties, owned by Staten Island alumnus Vincenzo Parrelli ’07TCB.
Last year, it was announced that the campus would cease operation at the conclusion of the Spring 2024 semester. However, the plan is that Party on the Hill will take place each year at an off-campus location.
“It didn’t matter which sorority, fraternity, club, or organization you belonged to—we were all a family, and will always be, even after we close our beloved campus,” stressed event Cochair Maria Tychi-Kefalas ’83CBA, Vice President and Financial Adviser, Santander Investment Services. “Forty-four years flew by in a heartbeat, but the friendships and camaraderie we shared since we started is still there.”
As a fitting tribute to the legacy of the Staten Island campus, the University has established The Staten Island Heritage Endowment Fund, an endowed scholarship, which will provide financial assistance to Staten Island residents who will study at St. John’s Queens, NY, campus.
“I was the first person in my family to attend college and St. John’s took a chance on me,” explained Ed Furman ’85CBA. “They saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself as an 18-year-old. I am who I am today because of this great University.”
Laurie Tritini ’85SVC expressed similar feelings about her alma mater. “There was something special about our beloved Staten Island campus,” she said. “We were all up on that hill together in our own little bubble and we created a family.”
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to be a part of this amazing campus,” Ms. Tychi-Kefalas added. “Thanks for the memories—and thank you, St. John’s Staten Island campus!”