This excerpt, from St. John’s University Mission statement, is what St. John’s president Dr. Gempesaw testified about before the New York State Assembly Higher Education Committee on November 30. The topic: “The Rising Costs of Higher Education and Student Loan Debt in New York State.”
Dr. Gempesaw states:
From our humble beginnings 146 years ago, St. John’s University was founded in 1870 by the Vincentians upon the request of the then Bishop of Brooklyn to provide the underprivileged youth of the city with an intellectual and moral education. Historically, St. John’s is known for its mission of providing access to higher education to students who are most in need. This singular mission continues to guide the University and today, I am here to share with you how we, at St. John’s University, have taken bold initiatives to stem the rising costs of higher education.
Focusing on ways to reduce costs, reduce student loan debt and making higher education more affordable and accessible, Dr. Gempesaw discussed dramatic changes that were made and the $14 million in tuition savings that were passed on to St. John’s students.
After the testimony, there was a question and answer session. “When asked by NYS Assembly member Jo Anne Simon (52nd Assembly District) how much of the efforts and cooperation to make a dramatic change to reduce costs was “mission driven,” Dr. Gempesaw replied that the Vincentian mission to help those most in need is what guides all decision making at St. John’s.”
To view the full transcript of Dr. Gempesaw’s formal testimony, click here.