More than 2,600 first-year, transfer, international, and returning students were welcomed at St. John’s University’s Hillcrest campus during move-in weekend, Aug. 27 and 28.
A steady stream of parents and young adults were met by SJU students, administrators, and staff who were on hand to provide assistance.
“The St. John’s spirit is always on display during move-in,” said Eric M. Finkelstein, associate dean of students and director of residence. “The university community welcomes back our students by lending a hand in the moving process. We have exciting giveaways and are here to answer questions. It is very uplifting to see the campus come alive again when the students return excited about the school year ahead.”
Tables in the Residence Village were staffed by volunteers who distributed SJU swag and offered information about extracurricular organizations and student opportunities. First-year student Frank Terranova, a business administration major from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn chose SJU because he wanted to stay local while helping at his father’s company.
“My brother came here, so knowing he had a great time made it that much easier for me,” Terranova said. “My experience has been very positive so far. Everyone’s got a smile on their face.”
Gianna Maurillo, a Staten Island native majoring in speech-language pathology and audiology, came to St. John’s because she was attracted to the program and the extracurricular activities that are available to her.
“I can’t wait to join the student newspaper, The Torch,” Maurillo said. “I feel so welcome. It’s scary to be a first-year student, but everyone has been so helpful and friendly. It seems like a great community.”
Another speech pathology major, Erica Neri of Wantagh, Long Island, said she is following in the footsteps of her sister Teresa, who graduated from SJU and was helping her sister move in.
“I was super-involved when I was here,” Teresa said. “I did a Campus Ministry Plunge program and several one-day service missions, and I told her to get involved in that. They are some of my favorite memories of St. John’s.”
Tracy Weboah, a marketing major from Ghana, had help from several family members as she moved in.
“I’ve waited for this day for a long time,” Weboah said.
Her mother Anita had three other children who graduated from St. John’s and rated this move-in weekend as the best.
“I have never seen students helping families move in,” she said pointing to students wearing “St. John’s Movers” T-shirts. “They just grab your stuff and help you. This is awesome.”
Penelope Hughes, of Beacon, NY, was helping her daughter Ariel move in.
“We’re from the suburbs, so my daughter wanted the city vibe,” Hughes said. “She loves the campus and the school, and the opportunities she knows it will afford her. I love the campus. I just complimented one of the staff — the transition is so smooth. She’s the last of seven, and I’ve seen the differences. This is the smoothest so far.”
SJU’s incoming class includes 10 high school valedictorians and 7 high school salutatorians plus the inaugural class of nursing students in the newly established program that will eventually be housed in the $100 million St. Vincent Health Sciences Center which is scheduled to open its doors next fall.
Laylah Little, a public relations major from St. Louis, Missouri, said she had wanted to move to New York City since her first year of high school.
“There are so many people at St. John’s and in New York, who can help you get on your feet with your career,” Little said. “Plus, the University’s commitment to service is very real — and that’s something I want to take advantage of.”