Flashlight Special: Who Said Graduates of St. John’s Don’t Make it Big?

schwab_logo1Hey there, stressful Johnnies,

Well, just like all of you reading this post, I am stressing out hardcore! I got one of my finals out of the way, and got two more to go (doubtful that you really cared, but too bad, I’m telling you anyways). Now, before you go commit academic suicide, just know that the work you are doing could lead to something big in the future. Maybe even famous!

Before I did this, I walked around campus to see if I could get some influence on who the students wanted to see in the post.

“There are famous people who have graduated from St. John’s?” replied one student.

“How about Britney Spears?” replied another. (I really wish I could have made that one up)

Well, going into this, I felt the same way. Who really are some famous peeps who have graduated from our beautiful Jamaica, Queens university? Turns out, there are a pretty solid list of well respected, well-known people who have made it big out of here (alive). I could put them all down, but that would bore you, but if you are truly interested, follow this link.

For the meantime, this is a list of former St. John’s students who have found a way to make an impact on our social society over the years and even have made an impact on my life…

(please note, this list will be avoiding some of your favorite St. John’s sports athletes, such as Chris Mullin, Craig Hansen, and Mark Jackson)

bc5699b723a7444db031181380dbc055Howard Schwab– Known by the sports world simply as “The Schwab”, Howard Schwab is the king of sports knowledge! A graduate back in 1982 and a communications major, he has gone on to be a coordinating producer at ESPN and, for a small period of time, was the host of his own sports trivia show, Stump The Schwab, where contestants would challenge their sports knowledge against the Schwab (he usually won). He also has a jersey retired in his name at Carnesecca, even though he never clocked into a St. John’s basketball game in his four years here.

Here he is, reppin’ us on the TV screen!

dmc1Darryl McDaniels- Rapper and one of the founding members of the group Run-D.M.C., Darryl McDaniels is also one of our graduates.  McDaniels (or more simply put D.M.C.) was a local boy who grew up Hollis, Queens. His entire childhood as surrounded around the NYC catholic school system and, once he left high school, decided to enroll at our university. While attending, he split his time between his business classes and recording. In 1984, while still attending St. John’s, McDaniels, along with fellow Run D.M.C. members Rev. Run and Jam Master Jay, recorded their first album entitled Run-D.M.C.

The rest is history. The rap group would take over the pop-culture scene with their hard-nosed lyrics and Adidas Superstars (I work for Adidas, so i figured I’d drop a name). They also pushed the bar when they crossed genres and joined together with rock group Aerosmith to record Walk This Way. To this day, the band remains one of the foremost success in the rap game and they have influenced the entire hip hop scene. McDaniels is still in the game as he prepares to drop his second solo album along with updating his autobiography King of Rock : Respect, Responsibility, and My Life with Run-DMC (being updated because he has just found out recently that he was adopted as a child).

bentBruce R. Bent- Now, this man may not be as well known as the two before, but he has made a huge impact on our economic lives. Back in 1970 he, along with Henry Brown, invented the first money market fund known as The Reserve Fund. The purpose of the fund was to help establsih short-term investments in mutual funds, in order to minimize the amount of loss in credit, loss in market and lower liquidy risk. Since its invention, it has grossed over $2.2 trillion and continues to grow, even in this time of crisis.

But, before he did all of that fun stuff, he was busy cramming for his massive economic final. Bent graduated from St. John’s back in 1961 with his bachelors in economics. He would then come back in 1979 to get his honorary masters. He now sits on the board of trustee for the university. Not to mention, has a hall named in his honor (Bent Hall, just in case you needed some help).

So, you see these three graduates and probibly think to yourself  “Hey Matt, how do I know I will ever make like these super-cool kids?” Well, I can’t guarantee anything. To be honest, there is a good possibility that all of you will never make it on television, in the Wall Street Journal, or on the big screen. But, If it gives you a sense of comfort, i leave you with a quote from history professor Michael Romano.

“All of my students are famous in my mind. If you come to this university and succeed, that’s pretty famous in my mind.”

~Matt Goulet

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