For the first time since the start of the pandemic two years ago, more than 1,600 prospective students set foot on St. John’s campus in Queens, NY, on Saturday, April 9, for Accepted Student Day to celebrate their admittance to the University for the Fall 2022 semester.
“We are excited to be able to offer our first, in-person Accepted Student Day since 2019—and the energy on campus is incredible!” said Samantha Wright, Executive Director, Office of Admission.
Event organizers estimated a total of 4,000 students, their families, and friends converged on campus for the festivities. Visitors came from across the United States, including from as far away as California, as well as from Bermuda and Trinidad.
In 2020 and 2021, the signature admission event was hosted virtually. “But now, we are thrilled to physically welcome new students to our beautiful and vibrant campus,” said Simon G. Møller, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University Distinguished Professor, and Provost Endowed Chair.
The daylong event kicked off with a jubilant pep rally in Taffner Field House, where a buoyant crowd of prospective students, their friends, and parents were welcomed by Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., University President.
“You are an extraordinarily talented group of people,” Fr. Shanley told the accepted students. “Your grade point averages are epic, as is your demonstrated leadership, your dedication to community service, and all of the enriching aspects of yourselves that you bring to St. John’s. We are really excited about the prospect of you coming here to school.”
“My hope and my prayer for you today,” Fr. Shanley added, “is that you get a good feeling in your hearts that St. John’s feels like it is the right place for you, that it feels like home—and that all of the people whom you will meet today are people with whom you want to spend the next four years of your life.”
As part of his remarks, the President announced he was notified on Friday, April 8, that the New York State Education Department approved the University’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which will be introduced in September. The program will be housed in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at St. John’s University—the largest provider of health-care personnel in Queens County and one of the major health-care educators in the New York City region.
“All of you folks are the first to hear of this – but we wanted you to know this great news about the nursing program today, in case that is part of why you are interested in coming to St. John’s,” Fr. Shanley said.
He also announced that the celebration of accepted students will continue this summer with new initiatives such as Summer at St. John’s: Explore and More. This program will provide students with opportunities to engage with many members of the St. John’s community who are developing exciting events and activities specifically for new students.
Before Fr. Shanley’s remarks, the pep rally kicked off with performances by the St. John’s Pep Band, the Dance Team, Kickline Team, and the Cheerleading Team. University mascot Johnny Thunderbird was a notable presence at the event, joining the performances and posing for selfies with guests.
DJ Zeke, also known as Ezekiel O. Akinyemi ’08TCB, presided over the pep rally using his well-known disc jockeying skills to deliver booming music that got participants dancing and clapping along, as he provided a steady stream of crowd-pleasing commentary.
“If you’re a new student to St. John’s, put up your hands! Walk around! Meet somebody new! Say hello, say where you’re from,” the throng was urged by Mr. Akinyemi, owner of DJ Zeke Entertainment, a music, sound, and lighting production company he started as an undergraduate student.
Throughout the remainder of the day, prospective students met with deans, faculty, and future peers to learn more about academic opportunities and the advantages of attending St. John’s. Representatives from the Office of Student Financial Services were available to advise future students, tours of the campus and student residences took place, and a student services fair provided sessions that focused on Campus Activities, Campus Ministry, Inclusivity Resource Center, International Student and Scholar Services, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Ozanam Scholars Program, University Career Services, and the University Freshman Center.
Aine Kiernan, 17, a senior at The Mary Louis Academy in Queens, had just finalized her deposit to secure a slot for the Class of 2026 when she paused to explain why she chose St. John’s to pursue her undergraduate degree. “I already know a lot of people who are going to school here, and they all love this University,” said Aine, a Brooklyn, NY, resident.
Ryan Meskill, 18, of Mineola, NY, is interested in majoring in Cyber Security Systems at The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies when he begins classes next fall. “Plus, my parents went to school at St. John’s, and they always had good things to say about it.”
Julie Meskill ’00Pharm.D. and Sean Meskill ’00Pharm.D. met as students at the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “We think that it’s great that Ryan wants to come to school here,” said his father. “It’s also very nostalgic for us to be back on campus.”
Katherine McWilliam, 17, of New Hyde Park, NY, said she is thrilled she will be an Adolescent Education major at The School of Education next fall. “My deposit is in!” exclaimed the senior at New Hyde Park Memorial High School after completing her registration for the Class of 2026 in Carnesecca Arena.
“After I went on a tour of the beautiful campus in Queens, I fell in love with St. John’s,” said Katherine in explaining her reasons for selecting the University. “Everyone here is so welcoming and amazing.”
“Administrators at The School of Education described all of the job opportunities that are opening up for educators, which greatly reassured me that I was on the right path,” Katherine added.
St. John’s University’s campus on Staten Island, NY, hosted Accepted Student Day on Saturday, April 2.
View the Staten Island Accepted Student Day Photo Gallery