Students and Faculty Welcome President Gempesaw to SJU

Catharine Mariampillai, Junior

Q: For an event of this magnitude, do you believe the investiture met its standards? Why?

A: I think it exceeded its standards. It was very organized, fluent and beautiful. There was music playing, and there was never a quiet moment. I think it was a really elegant event.

Merin Cherian, Sophomore

Q: Do you think President Gempesaw is a right fit for the St. John’s community?

A: I think it’s exciting that he’s a minority president, and our school is the fourth-most diverse in the nation. He seems down-to-earth and straightforward with what he wants to do. He’s really relatable to the students.

Savannah Adkins, Sophomore

Q: Do you believe President Gempesaw’s values tie in with the University’s mission and values?

A: Yeah, we’re a very diverse campus and obviously he cares about being involved with the community. Also, he believes in wanting excellence for the St. John’s community and in taking the next step.

Bridgette Quiambao, Sophomore

Q: What do you hope to see in President Gempesaw?

A: There’s nothing particular that I’m looking forward to seeing; I’m just excited to see what he will do. I feel like whatever he does will reflect well with the university because he does encompass all those Vincentian values. He’s really humble, kind and just a good man.

Jimmy Pierce, Junior

Q: What changes do you hope to see in President Gempesaw that you didn’t see in past presidents of St. John’s?

A: I liked when he talked about his focus on helping students succeed, not just helping students get to the university. The financial aid we provide to students is really great, but the key is helping students to succeed in the classroom, and I think it was a really cool thing that he talked about, that I haven’t heard from a lot of other presidents.

Randi Graves, Senior

Q: Is there anything you would have changed about the investiture, or wish you would have seen more?

A: More from the students and the alumni. I feel like since he’s so involved with the students, they should have had a little more take in it. There was a video in the beginning, but if there was a group of students that talked about experiences with other presidents, then it would have, overall, been better.

Alex DeMarcheno, Senior

Q: What did you think were the highlights of the investiture?

A: I think the investiture as a whole was really interesting. Obviously, the highlight is Dr. Gempesaw being put into St. John’s academic attire, getting the medallion and the mace, because it marks the start. I also thought his speech was great, it gets you excited about the future and how he wants us all to work together for the university and to me, that’s an exciting thing.

Professor Giordanella, Professor in Public Speaking

Q: Do you believe President Gempesaw’s values tie in with the university’s mission and values?

A: I do think they do. I think just because he is not a Vincentian, it doesn’t preclude him from having a lay person’s values that many of us in St. John’s have as well. I don’t think that his breaking the tradition of always having a Vincentian priest as a president means that he’s going to have different values. It just means that he’s coming from a different perspective.

Matthew Gallagher, Financial Business Manager for Department of Facilities Services

Q: What do you believe were the highlights of the investiture?

A: Talking about the history of St. John’s University, the interaction of the alumni and how important it is to get students engaged and provide them with the support they need to have a good education and be able to give back to the university in the future.

Dr. Fowler, Assistant Professor Institute for Core Studies

Q: What changes do you hope to see in Gempesaw that you didn’t see in past St. John’s presidents?

A: A further emphasis in academic success, a greater commitment to student and alumni coherence so that people know that they’re Johnnies, that they’re Red Storm and that they’re proud of that and they stay active in not just the alumni, but in sports, and look to explain the excellence of St. John’s.