October 31, 2012
Dear Members of the St. John's University Community,
I am writing to update you on how the University has been dealing
with the impact of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. I also want
to express my concern for those of you who have been personally
affected by the storm.
All four of our New York campuses--Queens, Staten Island,
Manhattan, and Oakdale--have some wind-related property damage and
continue to experience significant power outages. Students and
personnel in Manhattan and Oakdale were forced to evacuate, with
Manhattan resident students relocated to our Queens campus. Teams
from many departments are at work around the clock to restore all
locations to full operation as soon as possible. Although classes
have been cancelled for the past three days, our residential
students in Queens and on Staten Island have been safe and secure
with access to dining services and an array of activities during
that time. While we have had to cease operations temporarily, the
impact at St. John's has been far less serious than that
experienced by many of our neighbors here in New York City and
across the region. We are thankful to all those who have partnered
with us to help St. John's throughout this emergency.
However, I am saddened to report our community did experience a
great loss in the storm-related death of one of our own. Anthony
Laino was a 2004 St. John's graduate and an outstanding graduate
student in the Tobin College of Business Risk Management Program,
and son of Carol Laino, a longtime employee of the University. I
hope you will join me in remembering Anthony and the Laino family
in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.
I am deeply grateful to those at St. John's who have spent
countless hours not only ensuring the safety of our students and
staff over the past week but also readying our facilities to reopen
as soon as conditions allow. Because those conditions vary widely
across the region, especially with respect to power outages, our
campuses are likely to reopen on different schedules. We will
continue to provide regular updates to the University
My very best wishes for the health and well-being of you and your
families as we recover from the storm. Please know that you are in
my thoughts and prayers as members of the St. John's family.
Donald J. Harrington, C.M.