• John Jay began with a single major; it now has 27 (along with 40 minors).

  • The John Jay Athletics Hall of Fame includes the college's only Olympian, kayaker Stephen Kelly (BS '72). He competed in the 1972 and 1976 Olympiads.

  • John Jay's first home at the New York City Police Academy had no women's restroom.

  • The proposal to create the College of Police Science, as John Jay was first known, was approved by the City University on June 15, 1964.

  • Because of its overwhelmingly in-service student body, John Jay was once the only public college in New York that cancelled classes on St. Patrick’s Day.

  • The English Department is the college’s largest academic department. The Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration is the oldest.

  • North Hall was John Jay’s first non-rental home. The building was once a shoe factory.

  • The baseball team won John Jay's first conference championship, in 1978.

  • The theatrical club, founded in 1966, is the oldest continuously active student organization.

  • Alumna Beatrice Wilkinson Welters (MA '78) has served as U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad & Tobago since 2010.

  • Alumnus Petri Hawkins Byrd (AS '79, BS '89) is the "world's best-known bailiff," working alongside Judge Judy Sheindlin in her TV courtroom.

  • New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson are all John Jay alumni.

  • The John Jay faculty includes two Pulitzer Prize-winning authors: Professors Michael Wallace and John Matteson.

  • Longtime Professor Jane Katz introduced synchronized swimming to the Olympics as a demonstration sport in 1964.

  • Science Professor Lawrence Kobilinsky is ranked as one of the top 15 DNA analysis professors in the United States.

  • The John Jay student body includes representatives of 52 foreign countries. (as of June 2013)

  • John Jay’s first graduate program, the Master of Public Administration was created in 1967.

  • The John Jay Athletics program has produced four All-Americans, all from the 1970 pistol team: Bill Allard, Charlie Denis, Ed Kavanaugh and Augie Lucente.

  • John Jay’s first graduating class, in 1966, comprised 118 students. In May 2014, more than 3,000 students received John Jay degrees.

  • The first all-baccalaureate freshman class entered John Jay in 2010.

  • Throughout its history, John Jay has offered courses at satellite locations including West Point, Riker’s Island, the police academy in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, and various New York City police precincts.

  • The Interdisciplinary Studies Program began in 1972 as a grant-funded experimental-teaching initiative.

  • In 1970, then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover forced 15 agents to drop out of John Jay due to a professor’s criticism of the Bureau.

  • The College of Police Science was renamed John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1967.

  • John Jay began awarding honorary doctorates at Commencement in 1977.

  • In addition to its current 15 varsity athletic teams, John Jay has at various times also fielded teams in rowing, ice hockey, wrestling, fencing, bowling, paddleball and handball.

  • The John Jay Bloodhounds are ranked among the “Top 20 Coolest-Named College Sports Teams.”

  • 1-800-FLOWERS founder and CEO Jim McCann is a John Jay alumnus (and John Jay Foundation trustee).

  • John Jay’s United Nations Student Association has won top honors for 10 consecutive years at the National Model United Nations Conference.

  • Former John Jay student Thomas Hetzel swam the English Channel successfully eight times — more than any other American swimmer — and completed 12 circumnavigations of Manhattan island.

  • John Jay’s new building, which opened in November 2011, comprises more than 620,000 square feet of classrooms, offices, labs and gathering spaces.

  • The roster of honorary doctoral recipients from John Jay includes former U.S. senators and representatives, a Nobel laureate, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and journalists, and Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winners.

  • John Jay President Jeremy Travis served as Director of the National Institute of Justice in the Clinton Administration.

  • John Jay graduates were accepted to 63 law schools for the entering Class of 2014, and received more than $9.4 million in scholarship awards.

Convocation with Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Supreme Court was the featured speaker at the Convocation ceremony on September 17, 2014 to launch the College’s 50th anniversary celebration. A select group of John Jay students had the opportunity to meet with her before and after this special Convocation, and ask her questions. This celebration symbolically represents the start of a new academic journey, where faculty, students and administrators officially welcome new students to the community.

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university’s highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal.


She served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979-1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984-1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992-1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998-2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role on August 8, 2009.

Message From the President

Li'l Jay Campaign
August – December 2014

Help us celebrate by taking pictures of and with Li'l Jay. Every week we will select a winner whose picture will be featured on the homepage.

Acts of Justice Community Service Drive
August 2014 – May 2015

Participate in acts of service both on campus and in your own individual community.

Convocation with Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Wed, Sep. 17, 2014
1:40 – 2:50 PM
Gerald W. Lynch Theater
Alexandre Dang Exhibit
October – November 2014
Opening Wed., Oct. 15, 2014
1:40 – 2:50 PM
3rd Floor, New Building
Regional Alumni Events
October 22-23, 2014
Washington D.C.
John Jay Statue Unveiling
Monday, December 8, 2014
1:40 – 2:50 PM
New Building Atrium

Alumni Reunion - 50th Anniversary Events

April 24 - 25, 2015
Multiple Locations throughout the College

Display of Student Work at the Capitol

June 8, 2015
The Capitol, Albany