Member of the Board of Trustees Margaret La Rosa D’Angelo ’70Ed, ’22HON, and her husband, Board of Trustees Chair Emeritus Peter P. D’Angelo ‘78MBA, ‘06HON, generous alumni and longtime benefactors to St. John’s University, have pledged a $20 million donation—the largest single gift in the 152-year history of St. John’s University—to support the construction of the new Health Sciences Center (HSC) at the Queens, NY, campus. Their support directs $15 million toward the construction of the HSC and five million dollars to the University’s most critical needs.
Mr. D’Angelo, President of Caxton Alternative Management, LP, a private investment company, earned his master’s in business administration from St. John’s. Mrs. D’Angelo is a graduate of The School of Education at St. John’s. Both have been awarded honorary degrees from the University.
“St. John’s University holds a special place in our hearts,” expressed Mr. and Mrs. D’Angelo. “We are excited about its direction, investment in the health sciences, and unwavering commitment to be a place that turns opportunity into outcomes for hard-working students who want to make a difference in the world.”
Mr. D’Angelo was first elected as a Trustee of St. John’s in 2003; he was elected Chair in 2011 and voted Chair Emeritus in 2016. During his service as a Trustee, he gave time and talent to several committees, including the Executive, Audit and Compensation, and Educational Quality committees. He also chaired the Investment and Fiscal Resource Management Committees. He served as a member of both the national and executive campaign committees for the University’s “Fulfilling the Dream” capital campaign.
Mrs. D’Angelo, affectionately known as “Peg,” is a current Trustee of the University and an avid supporter of education, access, and opportunity for all. She is a past Chair of the Board of Catholic Charities of Long Island. She has served as a Trustee of the Church of St. Anne in Garden City, NY, and Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead, NY. A believer in the transformative power of Catholic education, she takes a proactive approach to amplifying academic experiences that engage, enlighten, and inspire young people.
The new 70,000-square-foot Health Sciences Center, presently under construction and scheduled to open in the Fall of 2024, will become the permanent home of St. John’s Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing program. The new nursing program at St. John’s launching next month is currently housed in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences—the largest provider of health-care personnel in Queens County and one of the major health-care educators in the New York City region.
“The center’s design and flexible room layouts will promote inter-professional education among existing academic programs and will enable students to learn together and work as a team, like the real-world situation found in any clinical setting,” remarked Simon G. Møller, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University Distinguished Professor, and Provost Endowed Chair. “The center’s state-of-the-art simulation facilities will allow students to learn in a safe, realistic, clinical environment before they begin clinical rotation assignments at off-campus sites. The generous support of Peg and Peter D’Angelo will help make this happen.”
The center, estimated to cost $106 million, is partially funded by a $1.25 million federal appropriation from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration secured by Representative Gregory W. Meeks in the US House of Representatives and Senator Charles E. Schumer in the US Senate. In addition, St. John’s secured a five-million-dollar New York State Higher Education Capital Matching Grant and a $700,000 Empire State Development grant from Round XI of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
At the suggestion of the D’Angelos, and with the approval of the St. John’s Board of Trustees, the Health Sciences Center will be renamed to honor St. Vincent de Paul, the 17th-century Catholic priest who combined faith, intellect, and considerable business acumen to revolutionize methods of caring for and educating those in need. Respected by the powerful and loved by the poor, St. Vincent de Paul bridged social classes through his works of charity and his advocacy for the disenfranchised. St. John’s was founded and is sponsored by the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians).
“The Vincentian mission of service and education that burns bright at St. John’s is one that we need more of today,” remarked Mrs. D’Angelo, who chairs the Mission and Student Success Committee of the St. John’s Board of Trustees.
Together, the D’Angelos have already left an indelible mark on St. John’s. The couple has endowed a scholarship for mathematics majors seeking to pursue a career in education, and established the Peter P. and Margaret A. D’Angelo Chair in the Humanities within St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences—the University’s oldest division. The D’Angelo Chair and lecture draws high-profile, multi-, and cross-disciplinary visiting professors to the College for a semester of teaching and scholarly exchange.
Opened in 2009, the strikingly beautiful D’Angelo Center on the University’s Queens campus stands as a visible reminder of their generosity and exceptional devotion to alma mater. Modeled after the Great Hall on Ellis Island that welcomed immigrants to the United States, the center— commonly referred to by students as “the DAC”—is a five-story, 127,000-square-foot, multipurpose academic facility that is a popular hub of student life and activity on campus.
“Few individuals have made a greater impact on St. John’s University than Peg and Peter, who stand as models of all that St. John’s seeks to achieve,” stated Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President. “The D’Angelos not only give their time and talent to St. John’s, but have been sage trustees and extraordinarily generous benefactors as well. Whether in brick and mortar or in the foundational Vincentian values they emulate, they demonstrate exceptional devotion to alma mater and a real spirit of supportive service to generations of students at St. John’s. I am grateful to the D’Angelos for their extraordinary philanthropy and for all that they do for St. John’s.”