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St. John’s University Endowment Fund

Name: St. John’s University

Assets Under Management: $422 Million (Source: St. John’s University on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: St. John’s University Endowment Management

Portfolio Insights: “According to University procedures, endowment funds are pooled and distributed to meet as many student financial needs as possible.  The Board of Trustees determines the University’s investment strategy and endowment management policies, which may be amended from time to time at the University’s discretion, to further the educational and fiscal goals of the Endowment Fund and the University.

The Endowment Fund is provided through assorted and various established scholarship funds. Also known as the General Scholarship Fund, the fund is sustained through the principal amounts of the different scholarship funds. A “principal” is the principal of an investment, as opposed to the interest or income of an investment. St. John’s University requires a minimum principal investment of $50,000 to endow a fund. The principal of endowment funds are held in perpetuity, and are invested and reinvested as part of the general investment funds of the University.  The expendable portion is the interest or income of an investment, which is available for scholarship awards annually.” (Source)

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Top St. John’s University Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) St. John’s University is the successor institution of the former St. John’s University and St. Mary’s Hall in Shanghai, two well-known education institutions founded in 1879 and 1918, respectively, by Bishop John Schereschewsky of the American Episcopal Church. The distinguished alumni of these two excellent schools have made remarkable contributions to the world and to society, including working to restore their schools’ legacy on Taiwan.

In 1952, St. John’s University in Shanghai was forced to give up its name and merge with other universities. In response to the loss of the school’s identity, a group of distinguished alumni in Taiwan resolved to restore their alma mater in Taipei. In 1961, with the approval of the American Episcopal Church in Taiwan, the alumni of St. John’s University, in conjunction with the alumnae of the former St. Mary’s Hall of Shanghai, enthusiastically donated money to purchase land in the town of Tamsui in Taipei County for the school campus. (Source)

2) St. John’s University’s 17th Annual President’s Dinner drew nearly 900 alumni, friends, faculty, students, and administrators on October 30, raising $2,004,500 in scholarship funds while honoring those who embrace the Vincentian mission of service. The dinner was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria New York, its traditional venue. Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., who became St. John’s 17th president in July, hosted the event.

Sharing his plans for strengthening the quality of a St. John’s education, Dr. Gempesaw thanked guests for their contributions to the effort. “Your support has been a major component of our growth and reputation, and for this, I am deeply grateful,” he said. “We are, indeed, a major presence in the world of higher education, and we should be proud of the role we have played in the lives of thousands of successful alumni.” (Source)

3) Veterans pursuing their degrees at St. John’s worked with University administrators in 2012 to launch an organization providing resources for students who had served in the military. Today, the University’s Student Veterans Association (SVA) supports academic advisement, advocacy, employment services, and networking opportunities to help them make the transition to life on campus. Mary H. Pelkowski, associate dean for student engagement, has served as the group’s advisor from the beginning. “The veterans identified the need for these services,” she said. “They asked for our assistance in bringing them to campus. I was—and I am—honored to pursue this worthy goal with these diverse and dedicated student leaders.”

After meeting with the group, Pelkowski engaged academic advisors, the Career Center, and other University offices. They developed workshops and programs to help veterans complete their degrees and prepare for life beyond graduation. In 2015, Pelkowski said, the University will open a Veterans Success Center providing career advisement, tutoring, and other services for students who have served in the military. (Source)

4) “Let us remember with compassion those who at this very moment are hungry and lonely — without food, without friends, without a home. Touch our hearts to share our selves and our resources to bring justice and peace to all people.” This was the stirring call to thought and action that Thomas J. Principe ’69C, ’73L delivered as part of his invocation at the Catholic Lawyer Guild of Queens County’s annual  dinner held in June at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Douglaston, Queens.

It was fitting message for this professional association of lawyers and judges who live or work in Queens, one of the most diverse urban areas in the world. For over 40 years, the organization has offered its members a second home for fellowship and faith-based service to the community. “I was attracted to the Queens Catholic Lawyers Guild because it promotes the highest ethical standards in the practice of law, encourages service to society, and brings together lawyers who are likeminded, while remaining inclusive,” said Principe, who joined the organization right out of St. John’s Law and has served as its treasurer for 12 years. (Source)

5) Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., president of St. John’s University, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with delegates from East China Normal University (ECNU) on Oct. 28, signifying a mutual commitment to forge a collaborative partnership for educational exchange and research.

ECNU, located in Shanghai, China, and founded in 1951, is known for its research programs. It has formed partnerships with several academic institutions in the United States, including New York University.

Dr. Gempesaw, who visited ECNU as dean of the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware, told the delegates that one of his priorities at St. John’s is to enhance global relationships with other institutions. “We look forward to some mutually beneficial partnerships with your university,” he stressed. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson