Nov. 30, 2009
QUEENS, N.Y. - Last spring, St. John's inducted 29 members into the prestigious President's Society, a group of senior students who have excelled in academic achievement, leadership on and off campus and a comprehensive knowledge of the University's core values. Five of those current members are student-athletes on four different varsity teams on campus.
The following interview with men's lacrosse goalkeeper Gavin Buckley is the first in a five-part series on these student-athletes and their lives of leadership and achievement.
What attracted you to the men's lacrosse program here at St. John's University?
When I was looking at schools what really attracted me was that it was a new program. When I was entering my senior year, the team was made up of all freshmen. Going to a new program and helping it rebuild and reach a high level of competitiveness was really appealing. It was in New York, and it seemed like a really exciting place to be.
What has been your best memory of your career on the field?
My best memory was last season when we defeated Georgetown, 10-9, at home. It was a great win for the team and the program. It was a complete team performance and the team prepared so hard that week. Everything came together for us.
What was your initial reaction to being inducted into the President's Society?
I don't want to say shocked, but I was definitely surprised and excited. At the first meeting, they talked about how many people apply and how hard it is to get in. I didn't expect to get in, but I was really excited to get inducted. I'm happy to be in the Society.
What impact has the President's Society made on the men's lacrosse team?
Do you see your teammates applying in the future? People know what the President's Society is now. Everyone on the team knows I'm a member. It's definitely brought a new element of what a lacrosse player can do here. Some teammates may want to apply in the future as it's yet another way to represent the school.
What has been your favorite President's Society event?
I'd have to say the Howard Rubenstein event at the University Club. We met Governor David Patterson, Ivanka Trump, and Al Roker. I didn't realize the magnitude of a President's Society event. I also didn't realize that Reubenstein was such an influential alumnus who had been honored for his 50th anniversary out of the law school here at St. John's.
What are some goals for the team this year?
We want to improve from last year. We want to get better. This is our first year of competing in BIG EAST lacrosse so we want to be competitive in the conference. We have a very tough schedule this year. Our schedule has gotten harder every year which makes it better. As a team, we don't set win-loss goals. We set the percentage of how many shots we clear and other team goals. I want to have a great season being it my senior year.
Do you feel your involvement in the President's Society has influenced prospective student-athletes to attend St. John's?
In a way because when you're being recruited, some see the sport as their only aspect of involvement in the University. With my involvement through the President's Society, prospective student-athletes can see that you can be involved with other activities. You are one of five student-athletes on the President's Society.
What do you think will be the impact on St. John's Athletics as a whole?
Hopefully, more student-athletes apply to the Society in the future. Five is a lot and I hope we get five next year. It's discussed amongst student-athletes as a goal. I hope it opens up an avenue for student-athletes, to apply because they see other student-athletes involved.
How will the President's Society benefit your career goals?
It definitely helps with the aspect of networking. You never know when those connections will help you in the future. I may be able to call someone that I met at an event and it may help me as I further understand my career goals.