May 09, 2023

BROOKLYN and PATCHOGUE, N.Y. – May 9, 2023 – St. Joseph’s University, New York (SJNY) will celebrate its 104th annual commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 25 at noon at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York for more than 1,200 graduates.

The featured speakers for this year include:

  • Sherrie Van Arnam, former vice president for Student Life for the Brooklyn campus
  • Marian Russo, former director of student life for the Long Island campus

For nearly four decades, Sherrie Van Arnam held various positions at the University’s Brooklyn Campus until her retirement in 2021. During her tenure at St. Joseph’s, Van Arnam had a hand in developing, implementing and overseeing numerous student programs, included, but not limited to the First Year Experience (FYE) program, the Student Leadership Experience and the Council of Multicultural Clubs and Organizations. A trusted member of the President's Cabinet and Brooklyn Campus’ Senior Leadership for many years, Van Arnam made countless contributions to the University’s long-term success.

A pillar of the University’s Long Island Campus for three decades, Marian Russo was the director of Student Services and Activities until her retirement in 2013. Russo began her career at St. Joseph’s in 1984, after 20 years of teaching English at Commack High School and Madonna Heights School on Long Island. During her tenure, Russo oversaw and supported many student clubs and organizations, and hosted a plethora of events that allowed St. Joseph’s students to discover and celebrate their individuality and leadership skills.

Both Van Arnam and Russo will receive Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa from President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., and Board of Trustees Chair Chris Caroll ’88, Esq.

In addition to this year’s keynote speakers, St. Joseph’s will be recognizing at its commencement Brooklyn Valedictorian Maeve McKeon ’23, criminal justice major with a minor in Spanish. McKeon plans to enter the Peace Corps after graduation; and Long Island Valedictorian Asma Hosein ’23, child study major with a concentration in psychology. Hosein accepted a position in the Patchogue-Medford School District. She will also pursue an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at St. Joseph’s next fall.

St. Joseph’s University, New York, formerly St. Joseph’s College, underwent an historical designation change last year from College to University — a status granted by the New York State Department of Education and New York State Board of Regents in April 2022.

For more information about this year’s commencement, visit

St. Joseph’s University, New York has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the University provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility and service. Through its Brooklyn, Long Island and online campuses, the University offers degrees in more than 100 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.