The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

View this profile on Instagram

The Torch (@sju_torch) • Instagram photos and videos

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Jojo Siwa
Jojo Siwa’s Bad Karma
Catherine Pascal, Staff Writer • May 3, 2024
Torch Photo / Anya Geiling
Live Show Spotlight: Roger Eno
Anya Geiling, Contributing Writer • April 30, 2024
Torch Photo / Olivia Rainson
Speed Dating Your Prospective Professors
Isabella Acierno, Outreach Manager • April 29, 2024

Gempesaw bids the St. John’s community farewell

TORCH+PHOTO+%2F+NICK+BELLO
TORCH PHOTO / NICK BELLO

Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, the 17th president of St. John’s, bid his farewell to the University community on Jan. 27. In an internal communication, Gempesaw sent a letter in which he thanked students and faculty for their “support and cooperation” during his tenure of six and a half years.

“I thank the students for their perseverance and determination to achieve their dream of a St. John’s education, which motivates and inspires us to do everything we can to help them succeed,” he wrote. “I thank the faculty, administrators and staff for their passion and dedication to help our students and make the University the best it can be.”

Gempesaw took on the role of president in July 2014, and officially began his term in October of that year. In the then-144 years of St. John’s history, he became the first layperson to hold the position. Gempesaw’s presidency was noteworthy as he — like many members of the St. John’s community — is a first-generation immigrant. 

“For an immigrant who came to this country forty years ago, serving as the first lay and 17th president of St. John’s has been a singular honor and the privilege of a lifetime for which I will always be grateful,” he wrote.

In the email, Gempesaw stated that one of the most important things to him during his tenure was providing “excellent education for all, especially those in need.” During his tenure, the University had a “record total enrollment” of 14,499 undergraduate students in 2019, the Torch reported last year.

“Sustained increases in retention rates resulted in the highest four-year graduation rates since 1990, the highest six-year graduation rates since 1998, the highest number of degrees conferred in more than 30 years, and consistently high career placement rates since 2015,” Gempesaw stated in the email.

Taking Gempesaw’s place is Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., who served as president of Providence College from 2005-2020. His term officially began on Monday, Feb. 1. In his email Gempesaw welcomed Shanley, wishing him “the very best as he leads St. John’s to a new beginning.”

At the end of the letter, Gempesaw emphasized how much his time at the University impacted him and his wife Clavel Albay Gempesaw, and stated that he knows the University is in good hands.

“As we begin the next stage of our lives, we will take with us wonderful memories of being part of the St. John’s family and will always cheer for the Red Storm. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you and our very best wishes to all,” Gempesaw said. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Torch
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. John's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Alicia Venter
Alicia Venter, Editor-in-Chief
Alicia is a senior Journalism major with a minor in English. She joined the Torch during her freshman year as Assistant News Editor and later became News Editor. In her last year, she is now serving as the Editor-in-Chief. She is excited to expand the Torch’s online presence through the Torch’s newsletter and other digital platforms. She is a native Kentuckian and loves painting, blaring music too loud and strong coffee! You can reach Alicia at [email protected].
Donate to The Torch
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *