Saint Peter's University
|Latin: Universitas Sancti Petri|
|Saint Peter’s College|
|Motto||Ad majorem Dei gloriam (Latin)|
Motto in English
|For the Greater Glory of God|
|Roman Catholic (Jesuit)|
|President||Eugene J. Cornacchia|
|Provost||Gerard P. O’Sullivan|
|Location||Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
|Campus||Urban - 30 acres (12.1 ha)|
|Colors||Blue and White
|NCAA Division I – MAAC & NEC|
Saint Peter's University is a private, coeducational, Jesuit, Roman Catholic college in the United States. Located in Jersey City, New Jersey, the school was founded as Saint Peter's College in 1872 by the Society of Jesus. Today, Saint Peter's is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Saint Peter's University offers over 60 undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 2,600 undergraduate and 800 graduate students. Its college mascot is the Peacock and its sports teams play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, of which it is a founding member.
The school is located on a 30-acre (12 ha) campus just south of Journal Square, and is 2 miles (3 km) west of New York City. Evening and weekend classes are offered in Jersey City, Englewood Cliffs, and South Amboy.
In 2015-16, Saint Peter's was ranked fifth nationwide by Money magazine in the category of "Colleges That Add the Most Value." According to the magazine, the top value-added colleges are those "that best help students exceed expectations." The University was also ranked in the top 18% of all American colleges for educational quality, affordability, and alumni outcomes. The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2016 guide ranked the institution among the top 100 universities in the Regional Universities North region.
The college was chartered in 1872 and enrolled its first students in 1878 at Warren Street, in Jersey City, on the present site of its former high school section, St. Peter's Preparatory School. In September 1918, the college was closed, along with several other Jesuit colleges and high schools, because of declining enrollment in the face of World War I. Although the war ended only two months after its closing, and despite clamoring from alumni, it took until 1930 to re-open the college. The college was temporarily located on Newark Avenue, before moving in 1936 to its current location on Hudson (now Kennedy) Boulevard, between Montgomery Street and Glenwood Avenue.
Unlike other institutions in New Jersey, the school was racially segregated for many years. It was first integrated in 1936, when the college admitted its first black student. The college granted an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1965.
The school became co-educational in 1966, though women had been admitted to the school's evening program in 1930 and a group of 35 women had been admitted due to low enrollment during World War II.
The college has made an effort to reach out into the New Jersey suburbs, with a satellite campus in St. Michael's Villa at Englewood Cliffs opened in 1975 and an extension at South Amboy's Cardinal McCarrick High School opened in 2003.
Recent years have seen much construction for the college. In 1975, the college constructed the Yanitelli Recreational Life Center, a sports complex. Beginning with the 1983 acquisition of its first residence hall, the college has converted four apartment buildings to dormitory use, and constructed two new dormitories.
Gannon Hall, the science building and one of the first structures on campus, underwent an $8.2 million renovation.
In 2004, the long-awaited pedestrian bridge over Kennedy Boulevard linked the East Campus and the West Campus. In 2006, the college began a $50 million capital campaign. Further expansion of the east side of the campus included the new McMahon Student Center, completed in 2013. It houses offices for many of Saint Peter's administrative branches, as well as numerous student led organizations such as the Student Government Association.
On December 24, 2006, sitting college President James N. Loughran, S.J., was found dead in his home. On May 10, 2007, the Board of Trustees appointed Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., as the 22nd President of Saint Peter's College. Dr. Cornacchia is the first layperson to serve as President of the 135-year-old Catholic, Jesuit institution.
In 2008, Saint Peter's was awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to create the Center for Microplasma Science and Technology. This grant allowed the college to expand upon its 20 years of studying microplasma as part of its research on water purifiers in conjunction with United Water. Saint Peter's graduates U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and U.S. Representative Albio Sires helped secure the $2 million grant.
In March 2012, it was announced the college had been granted the university designation by the New Jersey State Secretary for Higher Education and would thus change its name. On August 14, 2012, Saint Peter's announced the official change on its website, becoming Saint Peter's University.
In 2013, the new McMahon Student Center was completed.
In 2014 the University opened a center for undocumented students, providing them a safe space and mentoring, a resource library, legal support, and advice for them and their families about deportation defense and immigration issues.
Student clubs and activities
Saint Peter's University has numerous clubs and organizations that participate in a broad range of activities. There are over 50 active student-run organizations, in addition to the new McMahon Student Center.
Competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), the college fields 19 athletic teams. All of the sports teams are now known as the Peacocks. Until recently, the women's teams were known as the Peahens; Saint Peter's is the only NCAA Division I institution with this mascot. The baseball, softball, and soccer teams play at Joseph J. Jaroschak Field, in Lincoln Park. All other teams play at the Victor R. Yanitelli, S.J. Recreational Life Center, located on campus. The school also uses the Jersey City Armory for some events. On June 14, 2007, it was announced that the football team would be disbanded.
Basketball has long been the most popular sport at the college. Under legendary coach Don Kennedy, the men's team gained national attention by defeating heavily favored and nationally ranked Duke University in the 1968 NIT quarterfinals, en route to a fourth-place finish.
Saint Peter's has won the MAAC men's basketball championship and the accompanying automatic bid to the NCAA tournament three times (1991, 1995, and 2011) and has appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) 12 times (1957, 1958, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987, and 1989). The women's basketball team has won seven MAAC championships and automatic bids to the NCAA tournament (1982, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2002); it also won the MAAC championship in 1983 and 1984, years when the MAAC champion did not receive an automatic NCAA tournament berth. In 2017, Saint Peter's won the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) championship by defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the tournament final. It was Saint Peter's first national title in school history.
In recent years the basketball program has seen a resurgence, owing much to the success of Keydren "Kee-Kee" Clark '05. In 2004 and 2005, he led the nation in points scored per game, becoming just the eighth player to repeat as NCAA Division I scoring champion. On March 4, 2006, Clark became only the seventh NCAA player to score more than 3,000 points in his career; on the next day, he passed Hersey Hawkins to become the sixth-leading scorer of all time. At the time of his final game on March 6, 2006, Clark held the NCAA all-time record for 3-point shots, with 435. A second fourth-year student and a forward on the basketball team, George Jefferson, died on June 21, 2005, due to a previously undiagnosed heart condition. In 2011, Saint Peter's won the MAAC tournament to make the Peacocks' first March Madness appearance since 1995.
John Dunne was named the 14th head coach in Saint Peter’s College men’s basketball history on May 24, 2006. On November 25, 2007, the Peacocks defeated Rutgers University 65–58 at the Jersey City Armory. This victory was Saint Peter's first win against a Big East Conference opponent since defeating Seton Hall University at the Meadowlands in 1995.
The men's soccer team has also enjoyed some success of late. The Peacocks were crowned the 2003 MAAC Men's Soccer Champions after defeating Loyola College (Maryland), 2–1. In 2006 the Peacocks returned to the MAAC Men's Soccer Championship finals where they succumbed to Fairfield University, 1–0. The Peacocks again returned to the MAAC Men's Soccer Championship Finals in 2007, where they fell to Loyola College, 1–0. In 2007, the men's team earned a place in the 2007 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament with the first at-large nomination in school history. The Peacocks met the University of Virginia in the First Round of play at Charlottesville, Virginia, losing 3–1. In 2010, the men's soccer team earned their second MAAC Championship title defeating Iona College 2–1.
The golf team won back-to-back MAAC team championships in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, golfer Nicholas Dilio won the MAAC Individual title. They enjoy access to the prestigious Liberty National Golf Club on the beautiful Jersey City waterfront – home to The Barclays 2009, first stage of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup. Liberty National is noted as a unique course because of its proximity to and panoramic views of both the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan.
Saint Peter's University is the only NCAA Division I institution whose mascot is the peacock. This choice was made for several reasons. Primarily, the land on which Saint Peter's now stands was once owned by a man named Michael Pauw, whose last name means "peacock" in Dutch. His extensive holdings included most of Hudson County and were part of the Pavonia, New Netherland settlement.
In pagan mythology, the peacock is considered to be a symbol of rebirth, much like the phoenix. For Saint Peter's, it is a reference to the closing and reopening of the college in the early 20th century.
At one point in the 1960s, live peacocks roamed the campus. Many institutions within the college derive their name from the peacock:
- The school newspaper is titled the Pauw Wow.
- The literary magazine is titled the Pavan.
- The school's yearbook is titled the Peacock Pie.
- The drama society calls itself Argus Eyes, in reference to Argus "Panoptes", who, according to Greek mythology, had his 100 eyes preserved by Hera in the tail of the peacock.
- One of the major dining facilities is named the Pavonia Room.
- The O'Toole Library café is named Pavo Perk.
Succession of presidents
Saint Peter's has approximately 28,000 living alumni worldwide. Saint Peter's alumni are distinguishing themselves in the fields of arts & entertainment, business, government, law, medicine, and sports.
- In the fields of arts and entertainment, Saint Peter's graduates include: Will Durant, 1968 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and the 1977 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Ken Jennings, 1979 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical recipient; Mary Ann McGuigan, 1997 National Book Award finalist; and Angela Shapiro-Mathes, President of Fox Television Studios and TLC.
- In the field of business, Saint Peter's graduates include: Lawrence R. Codey, President & COO of Public Service Electric & Gas; Joseph R. Gromek, President & CEO of The Warnaco Group and President & CEO of Brooks Brothers; Thomas P. Mac Mahon, President & CEO, LabCorp; William J. Marino, President & CEO, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey; James Meister, President & CEO of Kings Super Markets; and Anthony P. Terracciano, Chairman of Sallie Mae.
- In the field of government, Saint Peter's graduates include: Robert Menendez, United States Senator from New Jersey; Mark McNulty, a Delaware Secretary of Transportation, Robert J. Morris, Anti-communist activist and chief counsel to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security from 1951 to 1953; Thomas F. X. Smith, 38th Mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey; Joseph Patrick Tumulty, Chief of Staff to President Woodrow Wilson; and United States Representatives Daniel J. Griffin, James A. Hamill, Edward J. Hart, Charles F. X. O'Brien, and Albio Sires.
- In the field of law, Saint Peter's graduates include: Thomas Francis Meaney and Peter G. Sheridan, Judges for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey; Reginald Staton '56, Judge of the New Jersey Superior Court and Saint Peter’s first and only Rhodes Scholar; Chester J. Straub, Senior Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Joseph R. Quinn, Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.
- In the field of sports, Saint Peter's graduates include: Keydren Clark, Two-time NCAA basketball scoring champion and seventh all-time leading scorer in NCAA history; Bob Hurley, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame basketball coach at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey; Richard Rinaldi, NBA player for the Baltimore Bullets and New York Nets, who, as a senior, averaged 28.6 ppg for the Peacocks; and MLB relief pitchers Frank Brooks and Víctor Santos.
- Other notable Saint Peter's graduates include: George J. Borjas, the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School; Nicholas J. Cifarelli, physician known for starting the first Bioethics Advisory Committee in the United States; John Henning, award-winning TV and radio news reporter in Boston, Massachusetts; and Joseph McGinn, pioneer of minimally invasive cardiac bypass surgery and medical director of The Heart Institute of New York, and historian Will Durant, co-author with wife Ariel Durant of The Story of Civilization.
- "Sortable Table: College and University Endowments, 2013-14". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Menu (2013-01-24). "Saint Peters University - Facts and Stats". Saintpeters.edu. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
- Saint Peter's University Brand Standards (PDF). 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
- Staff. "The 50 Colleges That Add the Most Value; The schools that best help students exceed expectations.", Money (magazine). Accessed June 3, 2016.
- Staff. "St. Peter's University", U.S. News & World Report. Accessed June 3, 2016. "St. Peter's University's ranking in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities (North), 92."
- Honorary Degree Recipients, Saint Peter's University. Accessed June 3, 2016.
- "Saint Peter’s College remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visit in 1965 with series of lectures, films and other events on September 22.", Saint peter's University, September 20, 2005. Accessed June 3, 2016. "Saint Peter’s College will hold a series of events including lectures, music and poetry on September 22 to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the College awarding Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws and Letters."
- Mission & History, Saint Peter's University. Accessed June 3, 2016. "Saint Peter’s reopened in 1930 on the fourth floor of the Chamber of Commerce Building in downtown Jersey City, and women were admitted to the Evening Session for the first time.... Saint Peter’s officially became fully coeducational in 1966 when women were admitted to the Day Session, although 35 women had actually been enrolled in 1944 in order to keep the College occupied during difficult financial times."
- "St. Peter's College launches $62 million capital campaign with help from 'American Idol' Taylor Hicks, looks to build its first student center". The Jersey Journal. May 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-07.
- "Rev. James N. Loughran, 66, College Head, Dies", The New York Times, December 28, 2006. Retrieved November 29, 2007.
- Shortell, Tom. "Microplasma means big money for St. Peter's College", December 4, 2008, Retrieved June 21, 2010.
- Cardwell, Diane. "Obama Swipes at Clinton, but Takes Aim at Bush", The New York Times, January 9, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2008.
- "Longtime St. Aedan's parishioners slam deal Archdiocese quietly made for Saint Peter's College to take over Jersey City church". NJ.com. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- Jersey Journal file photo. "St. Peter's College in Jersey City approved for university designation". NJ.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Saint Peter's College is now Saint Peter's University". 13 August 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013.
- "University Hosts Grand Opening Celebration for Mac Mahon Student Center". saintpeters.edu. 2013-03-20. Retrieved 2013-06-05.
- Undocumented. Accessed 4 October 2016.
- St. Peter's drops football program due to trouble competing. Retrieved November 29, 2007.
- Cangiano, Andrew. "Peacocks Strut Their Stuff", The Jersey Journal, November 26, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2007.
- Bowling Peahens Win 2009 Beach Open
- Mary Ann McGuigan website
- "Lawrence R. Codey". Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- "Joseph R. Gromek". Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Zina Moukheiber. "Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned". Forbes. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- "McGinn, Joseph T., Dr. - The Heart Institute". The Heart Institute. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
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