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

President’s dinner raises money and spirit

St. John’s University raised more than $2.1 million in donations at its tenth annual President’s Dinner, which Bill Collins, one of the co-chairs of the event, noted will go “directly to benefit deserving and needy students.”

In fact, according to a St. John’s press release, “gifts to the President’s Dinner are traditionally used to support scholarships and other forms of financial assistance for St. John’s most deserving students.”

More than 1,300 people attended the event, which began with a cocktail hour and was followed by a sit-down dinner.

The key highlight of the night was the 2007 Spirit of Service Awards, which were given out by Rev. Harrington to three couples. According to a University press release, “The Spirit of Service Award acclaims individuals whose vision, accomplishments and good works embody the essence of St. Vincent de Paul and reflect the vision of the University.” Rev. Harrington said that the three couples receiving the award– Elizabeth and Arthur Mirante, Patricia and Donald Shea and Eleanor and David Taffner, “devoted their lives to the care and service of those around them.”

Rev. Harrington said that the three couples receiving the award– Elizabeth and Arthur Mirante, Patricia and Donald Shea and Eleanor and David Taffner, “devoted their lives to the care and service of those around them.”

He noted, “People such as these, our honorees, embody the values of our University so clearly and help us day after day to insure that students of the future will continue to receive a wonderful education at this University.”

The honorees, five of six who are graduates of St. John’s, praised the University for its dedication to serving the needy and for its continued growth as an academic institution.

Arthur Mirante said that “the campuses have never looked better” and added that St. John’s SAT scores are the highest in the University’s history. He also said that “we should take pride in the fact that we are helping the University make a difference.”
Brian Shea, who thanked his wife by saying, “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the fact that I met Pat,” added that “the University’s mission has always been important, but it will be more important in the future.”

During the event, Rev. Harrington stressed the growth that the University has seen over the last few years, saying, “In 1998 St. John’s provided 39 million institutional dollars in financial aid to our needy students. In 2007 St. John’s provides $139 million to insure that even students with greatest need can afford a St. John’s education.” He also thanked those who were in attendance, including members of the Board of Governors, the Founder’s Society, faculty, staff, administrators, and students.”

Rev. Harrington also noted two reasons why St. John’s has been successful over the last 10 years. “First and foremost we have been blessed because of our fidelity to our mission,” he said. “And, in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, we know our special responsibility and privilege is to assist those in need.”

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