December 09, 2010
It was a time for joyful celebration and thoughtful reflection
as St. John's University acknowledged the generosity of its
leadership donors and thanked them for their exceptional support
during the past year at the Annual Loughlin Society Winter
Reception on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at the New York Palace.
View the video recap
View the photo gallery
As of the end of the past fiscal year, membership in this
prestigious giving society had increased to an all-time high of
1,962, with gifts from these generous donors totaling
St. John's University President Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M.
thanked those in attendance for their outstanding loyalty and
support that continues to impact St. John's in so many ways.
"Tonight we have much to celebrate, and it's because of the
people who have made St. John's special," said Fr. Harington.
"Where would we be without the members of The Loughlin Society? How
different a university we would be! As I stand here and look out at
so many familiar faces, wonderful people whom I've come to know so
well, I thank you for continuing our mission and making it even
Robert D. Wile '99SVC, Vice President and Chief of Staff, Chief
Advancement Officer, Office of the President noted that St. John's
students were the direct beneficiaries of the donors' generosity.
"Your exceptional support directly impacts what we do at St. John's
every day, because without your help we would simply be unable to
fulfill our commitment to the students who have placed their
futures into our hands," said Wile.
The reception included remarks from the Sheehan Family. Carolyn
('81C) and John Sheehan '81C and their daughter Mary '11TCB spoke
of the influence that St. John's has had on nearly every aspect of
"I grew up hearing from my parents about St. John's and how
wonderful it was," said Mary. "When I first stepped onto campus as
a freshman, my parents' stories came to life. My mom and dad
started the St. John's legacy, and for the past three years I have
been living the amazing experience they had those many years
Carolyn and John remarked that the University is very different
today from what it had been during their own student days,
particularly noting the individual student laptops, Residence
Village and the magnificent St. Thomas More Church. They described
how proud they were when learning that Mary had chosen to follow in
their footsteps and become a member of the St. John's family.
Many alumni were quick to express their appreciation to the
University that has been a part of their lives for so many years.
Their generosity is a reflection of gratitude for the defining
experiences that they enjoyed while at St. John's.
"I'm a member of the Loughlin Society because I believe in
education, and I've always donated money towards scholarships for
students who can't afford to go," noted Valerie L. Sodano, Ph.D.,
'49CBA. "I've been very close to St. John's since the day I
graduated. I've been donating every year since I graduated, and
that's a lot of years! St. John's has been very good to me. I've
been supporting the University constantly and will continue to do
For William P. Dilgard, Jr., '66CBA, '72MBA, membership in The
Loughlin Society "… is all about giving back. I've been reasonably
successful over these years and I owe it to the very practical
education I received at St. John's, both undergraduate and
graduate. And I love coming to this event, because it's really
great to see old friends who feel the same way about St. John's as
One of the University's more recent graduates, Robert Coli
'05CPS strongly believes that by supporting St. John's he is doing
what he can to sustain the mission that has served as the
foundation of the University for more than 140 years.
"The Loughlin Society itself is an important part of St.
John's," he said, "and donating to this great institution of
Vincentian values is very, very important to me. What makes this
University so special is the people. It really does feel like my
second family, and I was excited about coming this evening because
of what The Loughlin Society means to me and to St. John's."
Loughlin Society is named in honor of John Loughlin, the first
Bishop of Brooklyn, who called upon the Vincentians to establish a
Catholic college to serve the needs of the children of New York
City who did not have access to higher education. It is comprised
of donors who make annual gifts to the University of $1,000 or
For information about The Loughlin Society please call Stacey
Varghese, '99C, Associate Director, The Loughlin Society at (718)
990-2982 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.