St. John's University (New York City)

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This article is about the university in New York City. For other uses, see Saint John's University (disambiguation).
St. John's University
St. John's University seal
English translation of the Greek on the original seal of the University is " a lamp burning and shining" or " a lamp shining brightly" a reference to St. John the Baptist (see John 5:35). (A later seal of the University uses a Latin phrase that may be rendered "Christian education perfects the soul".)
Latin: Universitatis Sancti Johannis
Motto Educatio Christiana Animae Perfectio
Motto in English
Christian education perfects the soul
Type Private
Established 1870
Religious affiliation
Catholic Church (Vincentian)
Academic affiliations
Endowment $643.4 million (2016)[1]
President Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw
Academic staff
Students 21,354
Undergraduates 15,720
Postgraduates 5,634
Location Queens And Staten Island, New York, U.S.
Campus Urban, 105 acres (42 ha) (Queens campus)
Colors Red, White, Black[2]
Nickname Red Storm
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IBig East
St. John's University (New York) Logo.png

St. John's University (SJU)[3] is a private, Roman Catholic, research university located in New York City, United States. Founded by the Congregation of the Mission (C.M., the Vincentian Fathers) in 1870, the school was originally located in the neighborhood of Bedford–Stuyvesant in the borough of Brooklyn.[4] Beginning in the 1950s, the school was relocated to its current location to Utopia Parkway in Hillcrest, Queens. St. John's also has campuses in Staten Island and Manhattan in New York City, overseas in Rome, Italy, and a graduate center in Oakdale, New York.[5] A campus in Paris opened in the Spring of 2009.[6] The school is named after Saint John the Baptist.[4]

St. John's is organized into five undergraduate schools and six graduate schools. As of 2011, the university has a total of 15,720 undergraduate students and 5,634 graduate students.[7] St. John's offers more than 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs.


St. John's University was founded in 1868, by the Vincentian Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church in response to an invitation by the first Bishop of Brooklyn, John Loughlin, to provide the underprivileged youth of the city with an intellectual and moral education.

St. John's Vincentian values stem from the ideals and works of St Vincent de Paul (1581–1660), who is the patron saint of Christian charity. Following the Vincentian tradition, the university seeks to provide an education that encourages greater involvement in social justice, charity and service.[8] The Vincentian Center for Church and Society ("Vincenter") located on the university's Queens campus serves as "a clearinghouse for and developer of Vincentian information, poverty research, social justice resources, and as an academic/cultural programming Center."[9]

St. John's University was founded as the College of St. John the Baptist at 75 Lewis Avenue, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The foundations of the first building were laid in the summer of 1868, and the building was opened for educational purposes September 5, 1871.[10] Beginning with the law school in 1925, St. John's started founding other schools and became a university in 1933. In 1954, St. John's broke ground on a new campus in Jamaica, Queens, on the former site of the Hillcrest Golf Club. The following year, the original school of the university, St. John's College, moved from Bedford-Stuyvesant to the new campus. The high school, now St. John's Prep, took over its former buildings and later moved to its present location in the Hillcrest-Jamaica sections in Queens.

Main entrance to St. John's University campus

Over approximately the next two decades, the other schools of the university, which were located at a separate campus at 96 Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn, moved out to the new campus in Queens. The last of the schools to relocate to Queens would move there in 1972, bringing an end to the Downtown Brooklyn campus of the university. In 1959, the university established a Freedom Institute to provide lectures and programs that would focus, in the words of university president John A. Flynn, "attention on the dangers of communism threatening free institutions here and abroad," with Arpad F. Kovacs of the St. John's history department as its director.[11] (A volume of lectures given at the Freedom Institute was edited by Kovacs and published in 1961 as Let Freedom Ring.) The university also hired the noted historian Paul Kwan-Tsien Sih to establish an Institute of Asian Studies in 1959,[12] and similarly set up a Center for African Studies under the directorship of the economic geographer Hugh C. Brooks.

The university received praise from Time Magazine in 1962 for being a Catholic university that accepted Jews with low household income. Later St. John's was the defendant in a lawsuit by Donald Scheiber (the only Jewish Vice President at the school) for discrimination after being removed because he was Jewish.[13] The court ruled against St. John's University in this lawsuit.[14] Time also ranked St. John's as "good−small" on a list of the nation's Catholic universities in 1962.[15]

The St. John's University strike of 1966-1967 was a protest by faculty at the university which began on January 4, 1966, and ended in June 1967.[16] The strike began after 31 faculty members were dismissed in the fall of 1965 without due process, dismissals which some felt were a violation of the professors' academic freedom. The tension of that year was noted in Time Magazine stating, "[A]cademically, [St. John's University] has never ranked high among Catholic schools; in troubles, it outdoes them all."[17] The strike ended without any reinstatements, but led to the widespread unionization of public college faculty in the New York City area. In 1970 arbitrators ruled that the university had not acted improperly.

On January 27, 1971, the New York State Board of Regents approved the consolidation of the university with the former Notre Dame College (New York) a private women's college and the Staten Island Campus of St. John's University became a reality. Classes began in the fall of 1971, combining the original Notre Dame College with the former Brooklyn campus of St. John's, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, business and education.[18] In 1990 the tuition and fees at St. John's was less than half of that at schools like NYU and Columbia.[19]


St. John's is a Catholic, Vincentian, metropolitan and global University that embraces the Judeo-Christian ideals of respect for the rights and dignity of every person, as well as each individual's responsibility for the world in which we live.[20]

Alma Mater Song[edit]

Thy Children here today, galore, Old St. John's! Our dear St. John's! And true will they be ever more, Old St. John's! Our dear St. John's! Thy colors bright, the Red and White, We'll wave aloft from morn 'til night, Victorious, we'll show our might, Old St. John's! Our dear St. John's! From fervent hearts we breathe our prayer, Old St. John's! Our dear St. John's! As we commend thee to His care, Old St. John's! Our dear St. John's! That He will guard thee by His might, And be thy shield in every fight, Thou champion of sacred rite, Old St. John's! Our dear St. John's![21]


In 1865, The Most Rev. John Loughlin, first Roman Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn, reaches out to the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentian Fathers) to establish "a day College where the youth of the City might find advantages of a solid education. Two years later the Vincentian founders purchase three former farms in north-central Brooklyn to serve as the future site of St. John's College. In 1870, St. John's College is founded with 47 students and six faculty on Lewis Avenue in Brooklyn.[22]

In 1906, New York State charter grants St. John's the powers of a university. On December 6, 1907, the men's basketball team plays its first game ever vs NYU.[22]

In 1925 the St. John's School of Law is founded. Two years later the School of Accounting, Commerce, and Finance is established. It would eventually be renamed to The Peter J. Tobin College of Business in 2000. To accommodate growing enrollment, construction begins on the Schermerhorn Street building in downtown Brooklyn in 1928. In 1929, the School of Pharmacy is established. In 2012, it is renamed the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.[22]

In 1933, St. John's College officially changes its name to St. John's University, Brooklyn. In 1936, the Hillcrest Golf Course is purchased by the Vincentians for the University's relocation. This will become the future home of the main campus in New York City.[22]

St. John's Hall was the first building constructed on the main campus in Queens after the University relocated from Brooklyn.

In 1954, the name officially changes to St. John's University, New York. Construction starts on the St. John Hall on the Queens Campus.[22]

In 1962, the Junior College is established. It becomes the School of General Studies in 1968 through 1971, the College of General Studies for a brief period in 1971 to 1972, and St. Vincent's College between 1972 and 1999. It was renamed the College of Professional Studies in 1999.[22]

In 1971, St. John's University merges with Notre Dame College. This merger would establish the Staten Island campus.[22]

Cover of the University Viewbook for President Ronald Reagan's visit to St. John's in 1985.

1985 was a special year for St. John's University. It was in 1985, when St. John's would establish its first study abroad program, College Europa, in Budapest, Hungary. The men's basketball team would make their second NCAA Final Four appearance with their victory over NC State on March 24, 1985, becoming one of 3 Big East Conference teams (along with Georgetown and Villanova) to reach the NCAA Final Four that year. To date, no other conference has ever sent 3 or more teams to the NCAA Final Four in the same year. On March 28, 1985, St. John's University was officially visited by a sitting President of the United States for the first time, when President Ronald W. Reagan visited the campus. During his speech, President Reagan referred to St. John's as "the new Harvard."[22]

In 1995, St. John's establishes a graduate campus in Rome, Italy, marking the beginning of the University's global presence.

St. Augustine Hall located at St. John's University's Queens campus

In 1999, St. John's purchased the La Salle Center in Oakdale, NY. The 175-acre (0.71 km2) campus served as a military academy since 1926.[23] Before this, the land was owned by Frederick Bourne, President of Singer Sewing Machine Company, who constructed his estate on the grounds. His mansion still remains and is used for receptions.[24]

St. John's merged with the College of Insurance in 2001. The merger gave St. John's a five-story building located in lower Manhattan which is used by the Peter J. Tobin College of Business[25][26] and the colleges School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science.[27] After the 9/11 attacks to the World Trade Center, the Manhattan campus was used by emergency workers.[28]

In 2007, St. John's, along with several other universities, settled with New York State attorney general Andrew Cuomo for $800,000.00 among allegations of receiving kickbacks from student loan corporations.[29][30] Also in 2007, St John's University purchased a Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Center facility in Fresh Meadows.[31] This added two medical programs to the school. This added a Physician's Assistant program as well as Bio-medical technician program to the school. Tuition for the PA program at Saint Vincent Medical Center was $15,000 per year,[32] but when purchased by STJ it increased to 29,950 per year.[33]

St. John's opened its new Rome Campus in October 2008. Located in the Prati section of Rome, the 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2). building can house up to 200 students.[24]

Now the tuition is comparable with St. John's being $1104 per credit,[34] New York Institute of Technology being $1005,[35] NYU being 1106[36] and Columbia being 1302 per credit.[37]

Organization and administration[edit]

St. John's University is a non-profit organization controlled by privately appointed Board of Trustees. Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D. is the 17th president of the university.[38] The university is organized into six colleges and schools: St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, Peter J. Tobin College of Business, the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, the College of Professional Studies, and the School of Law.


St. John's is a large, four-year, primarily nonresidential doctoral/research university.[39] The full-time, four-year undergraduate program is balanced between arts and sciences and the professional fields; while being primarily a non science and non engineering based school.[39] The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and has 13 specialized accreditations.[40]

Entrance to Sun Yat Sen Hall where the Institute of Asian Studies is located.

The annual tuition rate and fees is currently $38,680 per academic year for undergraduates and $51,490 for law school students.[41] In 2007, St. John's awarded $338 million in financial assistance through scholarships, loans, grants and work-study programs, including $138 million from university-funded grants.[42][43] Around 95% of freshman students received grants directly from the university in 2007.[citation needed] The average undergraduate loan debt for 2006 graduates was $21,633, an amount lower than the national average for graduates of private institutions.[44][45][46] By 2007, this increased to 28,010 (with 74% of students graduating with some sort of debt,[47] far above the national average.[47] Currently, the average student debt at St. John's is over $30,692.[48]

Student body[edit]

For the fall 2010 class St. John's enrolled 21,354 students—15,720 undergraduate students and 5,634 graduate students.[49] Students come from 46 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. 115 countries are represented. The 2009-2010 one-year retention rate was 78%, the four-year graduation rate is 38%, and the six-year graduation rate is 59%.[50] The university conferred 4,225 degrees in the 2009-2010 academic year.

54,871 students applied for admission to the 2010 freshman class; 24,993 (45%) were accepted and 3,117 enrolled.[49] For the Fall 2010 class, the mean SAT (verbal and math) was 1090 and the average high school GPA was XX. Fifty-one percent of the degrees were bachelor's, thirty percent were master's, seven percent were JD law graduates, six percent of the graduates were PharmDs, and eighty-nine doctoral degrees were conferred.


The university employs 659 full-time and 820 part-time faculty members.[51] 60% of faculty members have a doctorate or other terminal degree, 33% have a non-terminal master's degree, and the remainder (8%) have a bachelor's degree only.[51] The student to faculty ratio is 17:1 and 60% of class sections have 10–29 students in them.[51] Five university faculty members were featured in The Princeton Review's "Best 300 Professors."

National recognition & rankings[edit]

St. John's was listed and ranked top 20 in the nation for Least Happy Students in the year 2007 by the Princeton Review.[52] It happened again in 2013.[53] This continued on in 2014 with least happy students.[54] It made the list again in 2016 for the Princeton Review.[55] There have also been reports of student discontent on campus as reported by the Daily News, when the President of the school commented on the "culture",[56] the comment was construed as being racially obtuse.[57] This led to over 400 students meeting with school officials in order to clarify the statement.

Belson Hall which houses the St. John's University School of Law

In the 2016 U.S. News & World Report ranking of "National Universities", St. John's undergraduate program was ranked tied for 153rd in the nation, with the School of Law ranked tied for 74th and the School of Education ranked 115th.[58]

In the 2011 edition of the Best 368 Colleges published by The Princeton Review, St. John's was named a "Best Northeastern College."[59]

In 2014 The Princeton Review included St. John's University in its 2014 guide to "The Best 378 Colleges" marking the tenth consecutive year that St. John's earned a place in the rankings, an honor accorded only 15 percent of America's four-year colleges and universities.

In 2015 The business Insider ranked St. John's University 15th on the list of most underrated colleges and universities in America.

In a 2010 The Wall Street Journal survey of national recruiters, St. John's was listed in the top 100 colleges in the country "most likely to help students land a job in key careers and professions — areas that are growing, pay well and offer high levels of satisfaction."[60]

In Bloomberg Business Week's 2010 Payscale Survey of 554 colleges and universities, St. John's earned high marks as an outstanding "return on investment" whose graduates are top earners.[61]

Forbes ranked St. John's 484th on its "America's Top Colleges" list in 2015.[62]

Student life[edit]

SJU provides shuttle bus service for students to access satellite houses, other campuses in New York City, subway and commuter rail, and certain destinations in Manhattan.[63]

Students at St. John's are also encouraged to participate in service activities through St. John's Bread & Life, Campus Ministries, or several other service organizations in New York as part of their collective education.[citation needed] The university also provides funding to the Student Government Incorporated (SGI) to be disseminated among 150 academic, professional, and recreational student organizations, and hosts many notable guest speakers throughout the academic year.[64]

The majority of the student dorms on the Queens campus are located in the Campus Residential Village
The Montgoris Dining Hall

The nearest New York City Subway station is Jamaica – 179th Street on the E F trains, a few blocks away from campus. MTA express bus are located a few blocks away from campus which is the QM1, QM5, QM6, QM7, QM8 which also provides access to Manhattan. The proximity to Manhattan is also recognized by the undergraduate Discover New York class, a three-credit course that is part of the university core curriculum[65]

Fraternities and sororities[edit]



There are fraternities and sororities, but not a traditional Greek Row. Instead, brothers and sisters opt to get houses off campus. There are over 20 recognized fraternity and sorority chapters at St. John's University.[66]


Torch Logo
  • The Torch is the official student-run newspaper of St. John's University. Founded in 1922, the paper has shifted in and out of the control of the university, but has been financially independent since 1980.[citation needed]In 1988, The Torch was inducted into the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame after being awarded a number of awards from various collegiate newspaper organizations.[citation needed]
  • WREDtv is the official television station of St. John's University. Founded in 1970, the station is completely student-run and creates original programming centered on Student Life at the university; ranging from news and sports programs to various comedy and general interest shows. Shows are produced and shot in the television studio in the school's TV center, as well as productions shot around the St. John's campus and New York City.[67]
  • Rho Chi Post is the official student-run newsletter of the St. John's University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.[68] The newsletter accepts articles from students from all majors and contributors do not have to be a member of Rho Chi Society to submit their work. All articles are peer-reviewed.[69]
  • The Storm Front is the official student-run newspaper of St. John's University Staten Island Campus.[70] It was organized in 2005 and succeeded The Arrow as the campus newspaper after The Arrow was later seen as a throw-back to the University's former Redmen theme.
  • Proteus is the literary magazine of the Staten Island Campus. It is released as a compilation of student-submitted works through the St. John's University Creative Expression's Guild.[71]
  • WSJU Radio, which opened in 1974, is the official radio station of St. John's University; the staff and crew consists of St. John's University students. The broadcasts are played in Marillac Cafeteria and simulcast on the internet. WSJU is an official member of The National Association of College Broadcasters (NACB) and the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS).[72]
  • Sequoya is an independent and student-run literary magazine[73] at St. John's University in New York City. Its mission is to showcase talents of St. John's students in the fields of literature and arts. The magazine is published annually by a collaboration of Departments of English and Fine Arts.

Performing Arts[edit]

  • The St. John's University Jazz Band has been the Queen's campus' jazz ensemble since 1987. The band performs at numerous on-campus events and holds performances both as headliners and alongside the other performing arts groups. Their repertoire spans the many different incarnations of jazz music, and the group contains some of the university's most elite musicians. They are not to be confused with the pep band, which performs at the Red Storm sporting events.[74]
  • The St. John's University Mixed Chorus has been a part of the university's tradition since 1911, and is one of the two sanctioned vocal groups under performing arts. The group performs both on and off campus, as well as abroad. Their repertoire includes many classical and traditional songs, and songs with pertinence to the school's history, with recent forays into popular music.[75]
  • The Voices of Victory Gospel Choir has been the Queens campus' premier gospel music group since 1988, and is one of the two sanctioned vocal groups under performing arts. The group is known for their dramatic and impassioned performances both on and off campus, and abroad. Their repertoire contains history's many different embodiments of spiritual music in both traditional and contemporary respects.[76]
  • The Chappell Players Theater Group has been the Queen campus' dramatic arts organization since the 1930s. The group is known for their stage plays and musicals put on throughout the academic year and their hands-on approach to both on-stage performance and behind the scenes tech.[77]
  • The Chamber Music Society is a newer organization to St. John's. This group is made up of instrumentalists including violinists, violists, and cellists, singers, and composers who form small ensembles to perform at the semester concerts. CMS has performed at several events on the Queens campus such as Accepted Students Day, the investiture for Dr. Gempesaw, Women's History Month, Presidential Donor dinners, and Skull & Circle Convocation.

Bread & Life Program[edit]

The Bread & Life Program was established in 1982, and recently returned as an extension of St. John's University in 2006.[78] The program is located in Brooklyn, NY at the original location of St. John's University and provides a soup kitchen, food pantry, mobile meals, counseling services, medical support, a legal clinic, and advocates for the poor. It is one of the largest social service organizations serving the needs of the homeless and underprivileged in New York City.[79] The organization served more than 120,000 meals to the hungry, 140,000 through its food pantry and another 90,000 plus meals through its Mobile Soup Kitchen in 2007. The program is operated in large part by student volunteers from St. John's University, especially Ozanam Scholars, as well as other volunteers in the city.[80][81]

St. John's completed a new 22,000 sq ft (2,000 m2) facility in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn in June 2008. The new facility can serve over 200,000 hot meals and 150,000 food pantry meals each year. Those in need have access to everything they had in the old location, plus a library, computers and educational classes.[82]


St. John's University locations:

St. Thomas Moore Church on the Queens Campus

Jamaica, Queens: – The main campus of St. John's University is located in the neighborhood of Jamaica in the Borough of Queens of New York City. This 105-acre (0.42 km2) campus houses several academic buildings, 8 residence halls, athletic facilities, and the St. Augustine Library. The Queens campus features stone buildings and student residence halls. Facilities include laboratory and classroom buildings, the main collections of its 1.7 million-volume library; and athletic facilities for students and St. John's Division I athletic teams. The University Center is the 127,000 square foot, five story D'Angelo Center, which features banquet space, classrooms, club space, a food court, game rooms, lecture halls, and a first floor lounge.

Branch campuses:

  • Staten Island Campus
    Staten Island – Originally Notre Dame College (New York), Today the Staten Island Campus has expanded to include 16.5 acres (67,000 m2) serving over 2,000 students who are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The 16.5-acre (67,000 m2) campus features lawns, apartment-style student residences, and architectural styles that range from red-brick colonial to the modern. The campus is located in the residential Grymes Hill section of Staten Island.
  • St. John's University Manhattan Campus
    Manhattan – St. John's opened its Manhattan Campus in June 2001, after a merger with The College of Insurance (TCI). Through the merger, TCI became the School of Risk Management and operates as a unit of the Peter J. Tobin College of Business.[27] In 2005, it served 250 students.[28] In May 2013, St. John's announced the pending sale of the Manhattan campus for a sum of 200 million dollars. The University announced that the campus will be relocated to the East Village with leased space inside the new office building designed by Fumihiko Maki at 51 Astor Place, across the street from the Cooper Union.[83] The campus at 101 Murray Street closed during the summer of 2014. In September 2014, St. John's opened its new Manhattan location at 51 Astor.
    The central courtyard of St. John's University - Rome
  • Rome, Italy- The St. John's University (Italy) campus in Rome, Italy functions as a graduate degree-granting institution and supports undergraduate study-abroad programs. Study abroad programs on the Rome campus are offered on the undergraduate level for fall, winter, spring and summer terms in several academic fields. The campus also offers graduate programs leading to a Master of Arts or Master of Business Administration degree. The campus is located on a city block in the rione of Prati and houses both academic, residential and administrative space on four floors. On-campus dormitory housing is available to all accepted undergraduate and graduate students.[84]
  • Paris, France – In 2008, St. John's announced the formation of full-time programs, along with semester abroad programs, at a new campus location in Paris, France.[85] The new campus is located within the Vincentian Motherhouse in Paris.[6]
  • Oakdale – The center in Oakdale is home to several graduate programs in education, psychology, criminal justice, and library science. The location is located on a 175-acre (0.71 km2) spread, overlooking the south shore of Long Island, and is the former summer mansion home of Frederick Bourne, President of Singer Sewing Machine Company.

Campus renovations[edit]

In 2008, St. John's University broke ground for the new University Center/Academic Building, one of the largest and most comprehensive construction projects in St. John's recent history. Located between Sullivan Hall and the Taffner Field House on the site that currently serves as stadium seating for lacrosse and track and field events, the 110,000 square feet (10,000 m2) complex has been designed to significantly enhance student life on campus.

The front entrance of the D'Angelo Center on the main campus in Queens.

Now completed, the building, rises dramatically over the upper campus, contains 14 technologically sophisticated, state-of-the-art classrooms with approximately 800 seats. In addition, it includes a café, lounge, recreation and entertainment spaces, student organization offices and conference and meeting rooms devoted exclusively to student use.[86] The building is named "The D'Angelo Center" after Board of Trustees member Peter D'Angelo '78 MBA, and his wife Peg D'Angelo '70 Ed.[87]

In 2005, St. John's constructed Taffner Field house, and dramatically renovated Carnesecca Hall and the University Center. Renovations to Carnesecca Hall included a 6,400 sq ft (590 m2). Health Center, for use by Student Life and athletics, including weight training equipment, aerobic and dance studios, and a student lounge. The University Center renovations consisted of reconfigured office and meeting space for Student Life and academic clubs, and the addition of audio/visual rooms for all varsity athletic teams. Taffner Athletic Field House was $23 million initiative. The two-story, 38,000 sq ft (3,500 m2). structure adjacent to Carnesecca Hall includes four basketball courts, academic classrooms.

Taffner Athletic Field House

The 2004–2005 academic years saw $35 million in capital projects, including the completion of St. Thomas More church, the DaSilva academic building, Carnesecca Hall Fitness Center, and Belson Stadium. In 2005 the science labs and student life facilities were the target of an additional $60 million in capital enhancements.

The Townhouse Village Complex on the Queens campus

In regards to its expansion plans, the university has had a contentious relationship with the surrounding community in the past.[88] In 2007, however, it was discovered that the university was planning to lease a building under construction by a separate company for an off-campus dormitory.[89] Residents argue that such a plan goes against the school's pledge of being a "good neighbor" towards the community.[89] The university, however, contends that it did not break the pledge for it was only leasing the structure not building it.[90] Nevertheless, opponents, including state Senator Frank Padavan, argue that such an explanation is "disingenuous".[89]

The university has seen much growth on its campuses in order to attract students from outside the New York area. In 1999, the first dormitory was completed on the Queens campus. As of 2008, the campus now contains seven dorms and a townhouse complex.[91] Coordinates: 40°43′19″N 73°47′44″W / 40.72194°N 73.79556°W / 40.72194; -73.79556


Main article: St. John's Red Storm
St. John's Red Storm logo.svg
The St. John's Red Storm, "New York's Team" tips off at one of its home games at Madison Square Garden.

St. John's 17 NCAA Division I teams compete in the Big East Conference, with the exception of the fencing and lacrosse teams, which compete in the ECAC. From 1979 to 2013, St. John's was a charter member of the original Big East Conference; in July 2013, St. John's and the other six non-FBS schools in the original Big East broke away to form the current Big East. The athletic program fields sixteen intercollegiate teams: basketball, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, tennis, golf, and fencing for men and basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, tennis, track and field, cross country, golf, and fencing for women. In 2002, the university eliminated five men's athletic teams and one women's team in order to comply with Title IX rules prohibiting activities that receive federal assistance from discriminating on the basis of gender.[92] Until prior to the 1994-1995 school year, the St. John's mascot was the Redmen, which referenced the red uniforms worn by the university in competition. However, the name was interpreted as a Native American reference in the 1960s, and was changed to the Red Storm after mounting pressure on colleges and universities to adopt names more sensitive to Native American culture.[93][94] The Redmen name still remains popular among fans. The basketball team is the most popular collegiate basketball program in New York City and has a worldwide following. There are numerous fan forums that support the basketball program, in addition to all of the university's teams. The most popular is which often leads the mainstream sports media in breaking news regarding its sports teams. The men's basketball team has the 7th-most NCAA tournament appearances (28), two John R. Wooden Award winners, 11 consensus All-Americans, 6 members of the College Basketball Hall of Fame, and has sent 59 players to the NBA. Even even as late as 1990 was said to not compare to other basketball powerhouses like Michigan State. However, of the top 5 teams, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, and St. John's, St. John's is the only team not to win an NCAA championship for basketball, and currently holds the NCAA Division I record for most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship appearances without a championship.[citation needed] St. John's men's basketball has won several National Championships including the 1911 Helms Athletic Foundation National Championship and the 1943 and 1944 back to back NIT National Championships.[95] The men's basketball team has achieved success in the NCAA Tournament as well including appearing in the 1952 NCAA National Championship game, advancing to the 1985 NCAA Final Four and having appeared in the NCAA Elite Eight in 1979, 1991 & 1999. Their most recent appearance in the NCAA Tournament was in 2015. The Red Storm play most of their home games at Madison Square Garden, "The World's Most Famous Arena", while their early non-conference games are held at Carnesecca Arena on the St. John's campus in Queens.[96] St. John's University holds the second best winning percentage for a New York City school in the NCAA basketball tournament (second to City College of New York – which won one NCAA Div 1 Championships as the CCNY Beavers men's basketball [97]) St. John's has the most NIT appearances with 27, the most championship wins with 6, although they were stripped of one due to an NCAA infraction.[98] In 2008, St. John's celebrated its 100th year of college basketball.

St. John' Men's Soccer match at Belson Stadium.

The St. John's men's soccer program has appeared in 15 consecutive NCAA tournaments, advancing to the Sweet 16 in each of the last ten seasons, and the Final Four on 3 occasions. They have captured 11 Big East Championships, including the 2006 season title as well as the 2009 season title, and in 1996, St. John's won the NCAA National Championship. Their home games are hosted at Belson Stadium, a state-of-the-art 2,300-seat stadium on the university campus.[96] In 2006, the men's soccer team became the first American soccer team to be invited to play in Vietnam. The team played against several Vietnam Football Federation squads as well as participating in community service.[99]

St. John's baseball at Jack Kaiser Stadium
San Francisco Giants second baseman & 2014 World Series Champion and St. John's alum Joe Panik honored during a St. John's men's basketball game at Madison Square Garden in 2015.

The St. John's baseball team has been to the College World Series six times, recorded 26 NCAA appearances, 6 Big East Championships and have sent over 70 players on to professional baseball careers, most recently 2014 World Series Champion Joe Panik of the San Francisco Giants.[100] The 3,500-seat "Ballpark at St. John's" was renamed "Jack Kaiser Stadium" in 2007 after the Hall of Fame Coach and former St. John's Athletic Director. The stadium is one of the largest college baseball stadiums in the northeast, and is a featured venue on the EA Sports MVP NCAA Baseball video game.[96] The stadium had been conceived out of a deal between the university and the Giuliani administration, wherein the latter wanted to find a location for a single-A team that would be affiliated with the New York Mets. Expressing concern about quality of life issues and the spending of public money for a private religious institution, surrounding neighborhood civic groups and local politicians protested the plan. In order to placate their concerns, however, the Mets offered to open it up to the communities for local high school games and youth programs,[101] and the stadium was built amid many large-scale protests by community residents and by State Senator Frank Padavan,[102] while also using city financing.[103] The Red Storm played the first ever game at the Mets' new ballpark, Citi Field, on March 29, 2009.

The St. John's fencing program has also attained national prominence including Olympians Keeth Smart and Ivan Lee. In 2001, St. John's won the NCAA Fencing Championship. The team has ranked in the top five each of the last 10 years, and finished 2nd in the NCAA during 1995, 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2010 seasons. In addition to team accolades, St. John's has won twenty two NCAA Individual National Championship titles.[96] On April 12, 2016 St. John's alums Daryl Homer and Dagmar Wozniak were both named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team, marking the second time that each has been selected as a member of the U.S squad.[104]

St John's Women's Athletics[edit]

St. John's Women's Soccer at Belson Stadium

The women's programs at St. John's University have also enjoyed a tremendous amount of success. The women's volleyball, soccer, tennis, basketball & softball teams have combined to win 9 Big East Championships and appear in 17 NCAA Tournaments since the 1980s.

  • Volleyball - the women's volleyball team at St. John's have won 3 Big East Regular Season Championships (2006, 2007 & 2008) and won the Big East Championship in 2007 and appeared in the Women's Volleyball NCAA Tournament in 2006 & 2007.[105]
  • Basketball - along with the St. John's Fencing program, the women's basketball program at St. John's has been one of the most successful women's programs at the University. The Red Storm women's program are 4 time Big East Champions (1983, 1984, 1988 & 2016) and have appeared in 10 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournaments, including 7 appearances since 2006. On February 18, 2012, the St. John's women's team defeated perennial national power the UConn Lady Huskies 57-56, in Connecticut, to end the Lady Huskies 99 game home court winning streak.[106]
  • Soccer - the women's soccer program at St. John's won the 1994 Big East Championship and appeared in the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament in 2009 and 2013.[107]
  • Softball - the 2015 campaign for the St. John's softball team was a historic one for the program. The Red Storm softball team won their first ever Big East Championship in 2015 and appeared in the 2015 NCAA Softball Tournament for the first time in program history.[108]


  • In the early 1960s, in one of the biggest point shaving scandals in the school's history, three St. John's athletes were proven to have taken bribes.[109]
  • The 1990 St. John's lacrosse team rape case involved five members of the St. John's University Lacrosse team who were acquitted of charges.[110][111] One student pleaded guilty to second degree sexual abuse.[112] Another member pleaded guilty to sexual assault and a third to two counts of sexual misconduct and unlawful imprisonment.[113]
  • In 2000, St. John's was criticized by the NCAA for misrepresenting facts in an NCAA investigation.[114][115]
  • In 2003, it was revealed that Abe Keita, a basketball player, was given a $300 monthly allowance and free school books to be on the team which violated NCAA standards. Expecting NCAA penalties, the university announced a self-imposed two-year ban on postseason play.[116]

Notable alumni[edit]

St. John's has over 170,000 alumni, 82% of whom reside in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area.[42] Some of the most recognized alumni are former New York Governors Hugh L. Carey and Mario M. Cuomo, former California Governor George Deukmejian, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce Ronald H. Brown.


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Further reading[edit]

  • Hueppe, Frederick E., "The Radiant Light: a history of St. John's College presented in the Vincentian," 1955, (St. John's University Archives).
  • Morris, Barbara L., "To Define A Catholic University: the 1965 Crisis at St. John's" (Ed. D. thesis, Columbia University Teachers College, 1977)

External links[edit]