Steve Lavin Commencement Address To Highlight 142nd Graduation Ceremonies At St. John's

Head coach Steve Lavin will address St. John's students and families at both the Queens and Staten Island campuses as part of the University's graduation ceremonies May 12-13.

April 12, 2012

QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's is proud to announce that Steve Lavin, St. John's men's basketball coach, will give the Commencement Address to this year's "Class of 2012" at both University graduation ceremonies to be held on Saturday, May 12 in Staten Island, N.Y. and Sunday, May 13 in Queens, N.Y. In addition, the Very Rev. Perry Henry, C.M., D.Min., William L. Collins (`76C) and Patricia Ann Norris McDonald will be honored in Queens as St. John's celebrates the 142nd year of its founding.

Lavin, who battled prostate cancer this past year is now cancer free and thankful that his condition was diagnosed early by his medical team from New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Lavin is responsible for the resurgence of the men's basketball program after the team's return to the NCAA tournament and 20-plus win season in 2011.

"Steve Lavin has a great affinity with our student body and is a popular choice for this year's Commencement Ceremonies," said Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of St. John's University.

William L. Collins, a member of St. John's University's Board of Trustees is founder, CEO and chief investment officer of Brencourt Advisors, L.L.C. Since 2001, the company has been engaged in fund management on a global basis as well as investment strategies for the firm that deal with merger arbitrage, credit opportunities and event driven activities. Collins, a 1976 graduate of St. John's University, who has served as Dinner Co-Chair with his wife Lesley for the University's annual President Dinner, will receive an honorary degree in Commercial Science.

Patricia Ann Norris McDonald currently serves as Mayor of Malverne, N.Y. Her and husband Steven (paralyzed from a gunshot wound suffered in 1986 in the line of duty as a New York police officer) have overcome tragedy to launch a worldwide crusade for peace and forgiveness. McDonald will receive the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal, and like Mother Seton, serves as a role model for women everywhere who, as wives and mothers, find the grace, faith, and courage to live remarkable lives.



The Very Rev. Perry Henry, C.M., D.Min. is the Provincial Superior of the Western Province of the Congregation of the Mission in the U.S.A. He was the former assistant provincial of the Southern Province (2004-2008) and former pastor of St. Joseph Parish in New Orleans. Rev. Henry, C.M. also served on DePaul University's Board of Trustees (1995-2000). He will be receiving an honorary Sacred Theology Degree.

"Bill, Patricia and the Very Rev. Henry are individuals that have given their lives to serve the greater good in their communities. We are honored that they have accepted our invitation to highlight what will be a memorial 142nd graduation celebration this year for our students, their families, and the faculty and administration at St. John's," added Rev. Harrington, C.M.

Queens Commencement: Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 10 a.m.
(Procession of graduates, faculty and honored guests to begin at 9 a.m.)
Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement

  • Approximately 2,300+ graduates will receive their degrees at this ceremony and more than 19,000 family, friends, administrators and students will attend.

    Staten Island Commencement: Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 10 a.m.
    (Procession of graduates, faculty and honored guests to begin at 9:45 a.m.)
    Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement

  • Approximately 400+ undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees at this ceremony and more than 2,000 family, friends, administrators and students will attend.
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