April 30, 2013
More than 100 members of the St. John’s University
Retirees Association caught up with old friends and former
colleagues at their recent semi-annual luncheon, where they were
welcomed by University Provost Robert A.
Mangione Ed.D., R.Ph. ’77P, ’79GP, ’93PD, ’99Ed.D.
“When we consider the extraordinary contributions that our
retirees made to St. John’s during their time here, in many ways
we’re building on their legacy,” he remarked. “They’re
inspiring to us because we look back on their great accomplishments
and we try to live up to their standards. Our retirees and current
employees are all a part of the same family - the St. John’s
reminded everyone of the important role that they had played in the
University’s past accomplishments, and shared information about
some of the future initiatives that were being considered,
particularly in the areas of graduate education, online programs
and academic assessment.
“You’ve helped us to accomplish so much,” he said, “and whatever
we do in the future, you’ll be a part of that as well.”
A highlight of the luncheon was a presentation by Patricia
Mackay-Cowan, a Six Hour Point Insurance Reduction Instructor with
the National Traffic Safety
Institute (NTSI). A 20 year veteran of the New York City Police
Department, she spent 11 years as a member of the Police Academy
Driver Training Unit, instructing police officers in the techniques
of safe driving.
She reminded the retirees that everyone’s driving abilities
diminish over time, and that certain simple strategies, can be
utilized to compensate for these changes.
“Before you start out, be certain that all of your mirrors are
adjusted correctly and that your windshield is clean,” she said.
“If you drive at night, learn how to cope with the glare from
oncoming headlights. And consider taking a course in driver safety.
You’ll be glad you did.”
In addition to learning about what’s happening at St. John’s,
the luncheon offers these loyal former employees an opportunity to
return to campus and reconnect with colleagues and friends from
Mannuzza retired in 2010, after spending 40 years as Secretary in
the History Department. She admits that the years went by very
quickly, and that the memories of that special time will remain
with her forever.
“My favorite memory is the closeness that existed among everyone
at St. John’s,” she said. “The people in the History Department
were very close to each other, but I think it was like that
everywhere, and not just in our area. No matter where you went at
the University, it was really a very nice, family
When Eleanor Doyle began her career as a part-time employee in the
Treasurer’s Office, she never imagined that she would stay at St.
John’s for the next 31 years. After a short time she was offered a
full-time position working with the Dean of the Graduate School of
Arts and Sciences (now the Graduate Division of St. John’s College
of Liberal Arts and Sciences), where she played a role in
everything from the maintenance of student records to the ordering
of caps and gowns for Commencement.
Although she retired in 1999, she still recalls how much she
enjoyed working with graduate students as they were about to begin
their professional careers.
“The students were my number one concern when I was working
here, and I loved working with them,” she said. “At one point I was
interviewed by The Torch and I still have that article.”
Like so many others, Doyle sees the Retirees Luncheon as a way
for her to maintain her ties to the University that was such an
important part of her life for more than three decades.
“I live fairly close, so I get back to campus frequently to
visit some of my friends who still work here,” she said. “But this
event is always special, because it’s the perfect way for us to get
together as a group. It’s a great chance to catch up with people I
might not have seen in a while, and to learn about the many changes
that always seem to be happening at St. John’s. The friendships we
made when we were working here will last a lifetime, and that means
so much to us.”