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President’s Reception Celebrates Saint Peter’s College and Welcomes New Academic Year

David Surrey, Rodneisha McCathern, and Eugene J. Cornacchia

On Wednesday, September 16, President Eugene J. Cornacchia welcomed alumni and friends of Saint Peter’s College for an evening of music, food and cocktails to thank them for their support of the College and its Annual Fund.  Gathering at the Liberty House Restaurant, located on the Hudson River with an incomparable view of the New York City skyline, guests remembered their favorite professors, reminisced about their days on campus and sang the Alma Mater with vigor and pride.

In his address, President Cornacchia discussed the many ways in which the College is transforming—physically, academically and competitively—with initiatives like the development of a new student center in the works.  He encouraged guests to contribute in a variety of ways, even if simply to “help us spread the good word about Saint Peter’s College.”  He also encouraged attendees to talk to those students present at the event to hear a first-hand account of what Saint Peter’s College is like today.

Pre-law student Rodneisha McCathern ’12, who provided remarks during the program, personally thanked the attendees for their contributions. “Through your generosity, I have learned to expect the impossible, see the invisible and feel the intangible,” she said.  “It is the philanthropy of people like you that has given me the hope to continue my pursuit of happiness and to meet that goal of being the first in my family to graduate from college.”

David Surrey, professor of urban studies and sociology, touched on the many different kinds of outstanding students with whom he works every day.  “Each of these students, at one point, told me the same thing about their experiences at Saint Peter’s,” he said. “What they valued most about their college education was that we have a community where people can grow and learn from each other while still meeting high academic standards. That is really what we give our students.”  To read David Surrey’s remarks, click here.

Kevin Cummines, director of the Aiden C. McMullen Chorale, and Sarah Anfora

Nadia E. Makar ’69 reflected on her days at Saint Peter’s as a member of the first co-gender class at the College.  Makar came to America from Lebanon with her husband, who later taught mathematics for 25 years at the Saint Peter’s, and owes much of her success to the College.  A newer alumna, Sara Anfora ’09, was delighted to join her former choir members once again. “I have a dream to come back and teach at the college one day,” she said before the performance. 

Closing the evening’s program, the Aiden C. McMullen Chorale led guests in singing the Alma Mater and Io Pavo.  Alumni and friends of all ages mingled and enjoyed the evening’s signature drink, the Io Pavo Blue Velvet martini, as they mused over their fond memories of the College and looked forward to the ways that they can support the many exciting advancements the College will undergo over the next few years.