Community Event Celebrates Ties between Archbishop Molloy High School and St. John’s University

April 25, 2024

Current students and alumni from Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, NY, and St. John’s University gathered together along with their families on Sunday, April 21, at the University’s Queens, NY, campus for a day of networking, barbecue, and baseball. The event allowed current Molloy students to experience the spirit of St. John’s and learn more about the academic ties between the two schools.

“We always knew there was a strong relationship,” said James Lally ’07CPS, Senior Director of Employer Relations at St. John’s, in his welcome address. Between 1990 and 2023, approximately 700 Archbishop Molloy High School alumni who attended St. John’s.

“It’s very real, it’s something to be very proud of, it’s something to tap into, and it’s the reason we’re all here today,” he said.

St. John’s Admission Counselor Francisco Resto was eager to chat with attendees. “I’m really excited to meet with the students and their families from Molloy and learn what they want to do in college,” he said. “This is an extremely valuable experience for prospective students because it allows them to experience a true college environment.”

One such attendee was Aiden DeJesus, a 17-year-old student from Molloy who was accepted at St. John’s. While he had previously visited St. John’s campus, he still had some questions for admission counselors. “Growing up, I came to St. John’s Queens campus all the time for Red Storm Men’s Basketball games,” he said.

Aiden’s father, Jorge DeJesus ’95SVC, ’01GEd is a proud St. John’s alumnus. “The relationship between the University and Archbishop Molloy High School is crucial because it allows for the important Catholic values and skills that the students have obtained in high school to continue into higher education seamlessly,” he explained.

As some families enjoyed the barbecue and networking, others went on a guided tour around the University to get a better idea of the facilities and resources available for prospective students.

Darius Penikas, Ed.D. ’08GEd, Principal at Archbishop Molloy High School, arrived clad in branded apparel from both institutions with his children, Finnie and Liam. Dr. Penikas noted the consistency between the two institutions when it comes to their strong Catholic values.

“We both provide students with a great education and a moral compass to be kind and faithful leaders going forward,” he said.

Craig Katinas, Executive Director of Development for Archbishop Molloy, noted the similarities between Molloy, a Marist institution, and St. John’s, a Catholic and Vincentian University. “I was really blessed with the opportunity to partner with St. John’s University because there is so much overlap of shared alumni and mission values as a Catholic institution,” he exclaimed. 

This event was a collaborative effort among several St. John’s departments, including the Office of the Provost, Office of Alumni Relations, and Career Services teams. One of the organizers, Sara Hunt Munoz, Ed.D., Senior Director of the Office of Alumni Relations, emphasized the benefits of current students discussing their own experience and decision-making process with prospective students.

“I think this is the best way to learn about the school,” she said. “It’s important to hear what the overall experience and academics are like, and learn more about the social scene.”

Aisha Surve, a senior at St. John’s majoring in Biology, attended the gathering because it seemed like the perfect networking opportunity for a soon-to-be alumna of both institutions. “I chose St. John’s because it offered me a quality education close to home,” she said. “I was also motivated by the strong relationship between the two institutions.”

The centerpiece of the afternoon was a baseball game between St. John’s and Butler University at Jack Kaiser Stadium. While St. John’s did not win the game, the afternoon’s guests undoubtedly benefited from connecting with fellow students and alumni and embracing the cherished values of this close-knit community.