Accepted Students Day Hits Record Attendance Numbers

Sara Rodia, Staff Writer

St. John’s University welcomed a record-breaking 2,292 students and their respective  family members to total an approximation of 7,000 attendees who came to explore the many programs that St. John’s has to offer on Accepted Student Day on Saturday, April 6.      

This year’s event marked the fourth consecutive year that Accepted Student Day experienced an increase of both students and other attendees, this year seeing an increase of 7 percent from Accepted Students Day 2018.

Attendees filed into Carnesecca Arena to kick off the day, where the St. John’s Dance team waved pom-poms and tossed t-shirts into the stands. Carnesecca Arena was packed to capacity as visitors filled the building to the rafters and even stood partly in the walkways. 

In his opening remarks to  prospective students and their families, St. John’s University President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, outlined the profile of the accepted students in 2019 and explained how last year’s incoming class, the class of 2022, was “the largest first-year class of any Catholic college or university in America.”

Gempesaw noted that the University received 28,500 applications competing for the 3,000 first-year slots that St. John’s had to offer for the Fall 2019 semester.             

He also noted that 47 international students were present for Accepted Student Day, including one student who traveled the furthest — 6,753 miles — from her home in Japan.

Members of the Accepted Class of 2023 come from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as from a total of 94 countries. “Our job at St. John’s is not just to enroll students. We also must help our students graduate, so they can pursue their ideal careers,” Gempesaw said.

“We have more than 400 student volunteers here today, and they all want to show you what St. John’s means to them,” Jorge Rodriguez, vice provost and chief enrollment officer, said in his welcoming address.

“This is their home, and they hope that you will feel the same way about St. John’s when you join us.”

Eve Austin, a junior majoring in Public Administration and Public Service, took the stage to speak on behalf of her experiences at St. John’s. Austin is chair of the St. John’s Irish Society’s Dance Team, a member of the University Student Conduct Board and the training and recruitment Coordinator for the University Career Services’ Career Peers.
“Every semester, I come back to St. John’s because it is here that I feel seen,”  Austin said.

“St. John’s has placed me on the ever-challenging path of always maximizing my potential, and, in turn, has sent me on the most rewarding journey toward self-discovery.”

“Not everyone comes to St. John’s realizing they are capable of amazing things,” Austin added. “But everyone leaves St. John’s knowing that they are.”

Following the opening session, prospective students spent the remainder of the day meeting with faculty and future peers to learn more about the opportunities at St. John’s. Visitors had the opportunity to attend campus tours and attend a student service fair that held sessions about financial aid, the Honors Program, Ozanam Scholars, study abroad options, transfer students, the University Freshman Center and University Career Services.

There were also activities on the Great Lawn, including a photo booth and presentations from student organizations.  

“There are many things to do here, it is close to home, and it is a beautiful campus,”  Chelsea Franqui, a senior at The Mary Louis Academy in Jamaica Estates said.. “And I am seeing St. John’s from my mom’s and brother’s points of view,” she said, referring to Marcia De Los Santos ’89SVC, and Daniel Franqui Jr., who is set to graduate in 2020.

1,634 members of the accepted class of 2023 are classified as “legacies,” meaning that they have some familial connection to the University.

“At first, I applied to St. John’s largely because my mom and dad both attended here. But when I was on a tour of the campus a few months ago, I took a break in a dining hall. I looked around and I thought to myself, ‘I could live here,’” Caitie Basile of Carmel, New York,, said. “I love New York City, but I am also very attracted to the beauty and peace of this campus. This is the best of both worlds.”