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President’s Reception Celebrates Saint Peter’s College: Then and Now

On Wednesday, September 15, Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s College, welcomed members of the President’s Council and other friends of the College, to thank them for their generous support of the College. The festivities took place at the Liberty House Restaurant in Liberty State Park where guests were treated to a magnificent view of the New York City skyline on a crystal clear night as well as the opportunity to hear firsthand about the exciting new initiatives taking place at Saint Peter’s.

Saint Peter’s College: Then and Now was the recurring theme for the evening as the College’s progress and transformation throughout the years was highlighted in all of the keynote speakers’ remarks as well as in conversations overheard amongst the current and former students that had gathered.

In his address, Dr. Cornacchia (photograph, left) thanked all of the guests for their continued support, discussed the College’s monumental milestones of the past and encouraged those in the room to embark with him on “a path to attain an unsurpassed living and learning environment with the most transformational Capital Campaign the College has ever seen.” He teased that he was eager to share details of the Campaign with the crowd, but then told them they would have to wait. However, Dr. Cornacchia did confirm that the much anticipated new, state-of the-art student center is at the heart of the campaign. He advised everyone in attendance to stay tuned over the next few months for up-to-the-minute progress reports, landmark announcements, and for the first time, he confirmed there will be an opportunity to attend “the most momentous event in Saint Peter’s College history.”

Presidential Scholar and senior economics major Brandon Blum (photograph, center), humbly thanked the attendees, on behalf of himself and his fellow classmates, for their continuous and generous support, a Jesuit ideal that Blum stated is instilled in all of those that have walked the halls of the College. “You have given us the ability to stand on the shoulders of giants, your shoulders, as we are now able to see and obtain our life’s dreams. And as we go forth into the world from Saint Peter’s, our success, as students, as professionals, as individuals in society, is not only our success but also yours, as it never would have been possible without you.”

Sociology and Urban Studies Professor Joseph McLaughlin, Ed.D., ’77 (photograph, right) drew laughs from the crowd as he recalled his experiences as a student at Saint Peter’s in the 1970s and as a professor today. He confirmed that despite all of the changes to the College, it remains the same. “What remains constant is that Saint Peter’s College will prepare its students for the challenges of the future. The faculty provides opportunities that enable the students to explore a wide range of academic subjects and to acquire an appreciation of faith and spirituality. When students graduate from Saint Peter’s College they will be able to exhibit leadership, and most importantly, to act fairly and serve others.”

To close the evening, the Aiden C. McMullen Chorale led guests in singing the Alma Mater and Io Pavo and prizes were awarded to those who had correctly answered the questions in the Saint Peter’s College trivia game. The evening was a great success and provided an opportunity for more than 250 guests to reminisce about the past, catch up on the present and look forward to what is sure to be an exciting future.