March 22, 2010
Sporting red sashes and green St. John’s University baseball
caps, nearly 140 alumni and friends, including many members of The
Loughlin Society and The McCallen Society, joined students,
faculty, staff and administrators of the University to march up
Fifth Avenue in the 249th Annual New York City St. Patrick’s Day
Marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade has become one of
St. John’s most popular traditions, and the presence of New York
City Police Commissioner and St. John’s alumnus Hon. Raymond W.
Kelly ’71L, ’98HON striding proudly at the head of the line as
Grand Marshal made the event extra special for the entire
The morning began with a hearty brunch, complete with
traditional Irish music, at the 3 West Club, adjacent to the parade
route and a shamrock’s throw from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, for
anyone who wanted to get an early start on the festivities.
“It was great to see so many alumni coming out to enjoy brunch
and march with us in what is regarded as the most famous St.
Patrick’s day event in the world,” said Bill Schaeffer ’73CBA,
Director, Office of Alumni Relations. “There’s such a feeling of
pride in being a part of the St. John’s family whenever our alumni
get together, and that’s a wonderful reflection of what the
University means to us all.”
George Sroczynski ’65Ed agreed, noting that, “There’s no better
way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than to be in the heart of it
all on a gorgeous day with family, friends and St. John’s.”
Once gathered behind the St. John’s banner, the group started a
chant of “We Are St. John’s!” as everyone moved jauntily along the
parade route. The exuberant marchers demonstrated their St. John’s
pride by waving and smiling as the crowd shouted out greetings and
encouraged them along their way.
“It was truly an honor to represent St. John’s in the St.
Patrick’s Day Parade when marching with my fellow alumni,” said Ed
Franke, Jr. ’88SVC. “I am just as proud of the University as
I was 22 years ago when I was a student. I look forward to similar
St. John’s events in the future.”
A number of alumni turned the event into a family affair,
sharing the fun and excitement with their spouses and
children. “My daughters and I had a great time,” said William
Ryan ’90CBA. “We got to connect with some old alumni members and
meet a few new ones. Michaela (9) and Caroline (7) loved the
breakfast and the parade. They couldn’t stop taking about marching
up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick's Cathedral today. As always,
these event are well organized and done at great facilities.”
St. John’s historic connection to New York is as alive today as
it was when the University first opened its doors in 1870, a fact
that was not lost among the marchers as they happily made their way
up the avenue.
“Even though I graduated close to 14 years ago, it was great to
connect with new and old friends as we marched behind the St.
John’s banner,” remarked Michael Herley ’96MBA. “I can think
of no other university in the New York metropolitan region that
speaks to what makes New York City the greatest city in the world
than St. John’s. If St. Patrick was alive today, I suspect he would
agree, and more than likely would be a faculty member at St.