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

Memory Lane

Once again, the time has come to say goodbye to another class of St. John’s University students. Before that happens, let’s take a trip down memory lane and visit what happened both on and off of campus during the past four years.

Freshman Year

In September of 1997, the current graduating class walked on to campus, ready to begin their freshman year.

That year, the St. John’s men’s basketball team sported new uniforms from the Michael Jordan clothing line called Niketown. St. John’s was chosen as one of three teams to wear the new uniforms which debuted on Oct. 17.

In Feb., 1998, the Rev. Jesse Jackson visited St. John’s University. He spoke of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a dinner in his honor.

While St. Johns was having a big year, so was the movie industry. People were off to theatres to see Leonardo DiCaprio star in “Titanic.” Matt Damon and Ben Affleck proved what they could do when “Good Will Hunting” came out. Other moviegoers were watching the Adam Sandler comedy “The Wedding Singer” while others were at “City of Angels,” a romantic movie starring Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage.

When the radio was turned on, you could hear songs like “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by the Backstreet Boys, “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, and “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Fugee Lauryn Hill.

The death of Nobel Peace Prize winner and Catholic Mother Teresa filled the news. She helped the needy for many years as Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity.

Princess Diana was also mourned when she died at age 36 on Aug. 31, 1997 as a result of a car accident in Paris.

Sophomore Year

During the fall of 1998, the class of 2001 began its sophomore year. The confusion was over, although there was still plenty of work to do.

Our basketball team was big news again at Midnight Madness when the St. John’s community got a good look at new head coach Mike Jarvis, who had joined the team the previous summer.

Student Life made it easier for students to stay in shape on campus by opening up a fitness center. St. John’s also decided to expand its majors by adding one in television as well as one in film.

Students and faculty took more interest in the Nike logo that athletes at St. John’s wear. The Corporate Code of Conduct Task Force was formed to monitor conditions in Nike factories.

During this, the entertainment industry was having another great year. It put out romantic comedies like “You’ve Got Mail” and “Never Been Kissed” that audiences seemed to love. The long-awaited Star Wars movie “The Phantom Menace” was released, making its many fans happy.

The music scene had people moving to the beat of songs like Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5” and Ricky Martin’s “Livin La Vida Loca.” Britney Spears entered the music world with “Baby One More Time,” Cher showed she wasn’t done yet when she released “Believe,” and TLC had a hit with “No Scrubs.”

On March 8, 1999, Yankee fans mourned the loss of the great baseball player Joe DiMaggio, who died of lung cancer at age 84.

Junior Year

It’s third year for the class of 2001. Two years are behind these students; only two more to go.


St. John’s was no longer just a commuter school. It opened three residence halls, Hillcrest Hall, Century Hall and Millennium Hall, enabling students to live on campus for the first time in its 129-year history. Although this may have been a relief to some, others were aggravated by the decrease in parking it caused.

We welcomed the voices of hip-hop stars Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh, who performed at a Haraya concert.

For the first time in 15 years, fans saw the men’s basketball team win the Big East Tournament Championship.

Once again, this was a year filled with memorable movies. Who could forget the big ones like “American Beauty,” “Fight Club,” “The Green Mile” and “Gladiator”?

In music, Britney Spears was showing a different side with “Oops…I Did it Again.” Destiny’s Child was keeping the clubs alive with “Jumpin’, Jumpin’.” The members of *N Sync showed they could stay in the spotlight with “Bye, Bye, Bye.”

In 1999, the world held its breath as events surrounding another Kennedy unfolded. John F. Kennedy Jr., along with his wife Carolyn and sister-in-law Lauren, met their death while piloting a plane off the coast of Massachusetts.

Senior Year

It’s the fall of 2000 and the end is nearing for the class of 2001. Just a short time and seniors will be on their way to bigger and better things.

There was plenty of excitement over the summer when *N Sync brought stars like Usher, Pink, Method Man, and Rosie O’Donnell to St. John’s to play the Challenge for the Children II charity basketball game. The game, which took place on July 29, raised more than $550, 000.

The residential village grew once again with the addition of Hollis Hall and Briarwood Hall.

On Jan. 30, former men’s basketball coach Lou Carnesecca was honored at a basketball game attended by former President Bill Clinton.

The school also had its sad moments when a shooting occurred at 3:30 a.m. on March 11 near the residence halls, seriously injuring SJU senior Cory Mitchell.

Of course, no year would be complete without milestones in the entertainment industry. People were scared by “Hannibal.” An old television series found its way onto the big screen as “Charlie’s Angels” was released. Tom Hanks showed his acting skills once again in “Cast Away.” Others went to theaters to see Julia Stiles star in “Save the Last Dance.”

The music scene was full of more hits as well. Shaggy sprung onto the scene with “It Wasn’t Me” and found continued success with the help of an oldie when he came out with “Angel.” Dido was successful with “Thank You” and Uncle Cracker had a hit with “Follow Me.”

This year was surrounded by chaos when we tried to elect a new president. After a long wait, we ended up with our new president, George W. Bush.

The excitement also extended into sports with the subway series. The tensions were high as the Yankees played the Mets, with the result being a victory for the Yankees.

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