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15 Famous Alumni From St. John’s University

15 Famous Alumni From St. John’s University

St. John's University has a stacked alumni squad. St. John's alum are accomplished and well rounded! Here are 15 famous alumni from St. John's University.

St. John’s University is home to a number of impressive alumni. Perhaps the most notable in the past few years, J-Cole was once a Johnny and even gave St. John’s a shout out in his song “College Boy.” From professional athletes to award winning producers check out these 15 famous alumni who once walked the same halls as you.

1. J-Cole (Musician).

“Shout out to the class of 2007, St. John’s University, stand up.” Considered to be the most notable alumni, in 2003 he attended on an academic scholarship graduating Magna Cum Laude with a major in Communications and a minor in Business. Fun fact: he even met his wife Melissa at school! He’s known to visit his old stomping grounds, most recently stopping by the annual Red Storm tip-off in 2016.


2. Ray Abruzzo (Actor).

Graduating in 1975, Ray got his start on the big stage at SJU’s very own Little Theater. From freshman to senior year he was involved with every production. Now he’s gone on to star in Dynasty, The Sopranos and most recently Transparent.

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3. Ron Silver (Actor/Director).

Silver has been in such films as Billionaire Boys Club (1987), Ali (2001), and stared as Bruno Gianelli on The West Wing. He earned his masters from St. John’s in Chinese history.


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4. Lou Carnesecca (Basketball Coach).

After graduating in 1950, Carnesecca was the coach of St. John’s Red Storm from 1965-1970 and again in 1973 until 1992. Our home court is even dedicated to the legendary hall of famer.


5. Darryl McDaniels (Musician).

The founding member of Run-D.M.C. McDaniels enrolled to study business administration.


6. Chris Mullin (Pro Basketball Player).

The now retired NBA hall of famer helped mold St. John’s into the top team that it is today (according to my Uncle at least). In 1985 the former St. John’s star led his team to the final four and was drafted by the Golden State Warriors the same year. He is currently the head coach of SJU’s Red Storm.

7. Jilliane Hoffman (Novelist).

This bestselling author received both her B.A. and J.D. from St. John’s University.

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8. Frank Viola (MLB Pitcher).

Frank Viola was three-time all-star was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1979; he didn’t sign. In 1981 he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins, later traded in 1989 to the New York Mets.

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9. Basil Paterson (Former New York State Senator).

While briefly leaving for two years to serve in the Army, Paterson returned to St. Johns where he graduated in 1948 with a B.S. in biology and in 1951 received his Juris Doctor from St. John’s Law School. While at St. John’s he was also a member of the fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi.


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10. Terence Winter (Emmy Award Winning Writer/Producer).

Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree at NYU, Winter earned his law degree at St. John’s University Law School in 1988 and practiced law in New York for two years before moving to Los Angeles to become a screenwriter in 1991.

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11. Raymond Kelly (Former NYPD Commissioner).

The longest serving commissioner in NYPD history received his J.D. from the School of Law in 1971.

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12. Jonelle Procope (President and CEO).

The president and CEO of The Apollo Theatre Foundation received her J.D. from St. John’s University in 1977.

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13. Mario Cuomo (Former Governor of New York).

In 1953 Cuomo earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude and continued his education at St. John’s attending the School of Law where he graduated in 1956 tied for first in his class. During his time at SJU he met his wife Matilda and played on the baseball team. Besides practicing law, he was an adjunct professor at St. Johns Law for over a decade where he taught legal writing.


14. Joe Panik (MLB Player).

Majoring in finance, the San Francisco Giants second basemen played for the Red Storm baseball team from 2009-2011. He was drafted in the first round.


15. Mark Jackson (NBA Coach/Player).

Jackson was point guard on the basketball team at St. John’s and played alongside Chris Mullin for a year. While a hoops star at St. John’s he had a habit of extending his hand at the free throw line. He’d cup his thumb and index finger around the rim and claimed it helped him stay focused while shooting foul shots. In his pro career he had a free throw percentage of 77.0%.


16. Ray Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond.

Even though Ray is a fictional character, he went to St. John’s University. In a few episodes he is wearing SJU apparel.


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