Longtime Registrar Desiree John Retires from Ross University School of Medicine


North Brunswick, NJ–December 17, 2009—Ross University School of Medicine lost one of its most valuable institutional resources when Registrar and former first lady of Dominica Desiree John retired on October 30th after a nearly 30-year association with the University.

Mrs. John is also the wife of Colonel Patrick John who became the first Prime Minister of Dominica in 1978, the same year that Ross University was founded.

“When Mrs. John joined the Office of the Registrar I was a student at Ross University School of Medicine. She was a fantastic source of strength for all the medical students. The fact that she was part of the administration and from Dominica made her the go-to person for all of us looking for advice,” said Dr. Nancy A. Perri, vice president of academic affairs for Ross University.

“She has been here almost from the beginning,” said Dr. Gerhard Meisenberg, professor and chair of Ross University’s Biochemistry Department.  

Dr. Meisenberg came to Ross just four years after Mrs. John and noted that she was a part of nearly every major change that has taken place at the University since it was first established over 31 years ago.

When asked what the University was like back when Mrs. John first came to Ross, Dr. Meisenburg explained that there were only about 100 students and the school was located in a nearby hotel. It wasn’t until 1982 that it was moved to its present location—a completely wireless 26-acre campus—to accommodate the growing student body.

 “There were only three buildings—the library, a small building that housed the anatomy lab which no longer exists, and one building that held all the classrooms for semesters 1 through 4,” Dr. Meisenberg said. “Today there are approximately 1,500 students and even the area surrounding the campus is completely different. Where there used to be only banana gardens there are now restaurants and student apartment buildings.”

“Mrs. John has been integral to Ross University,” Dr. Meisenberg continued. “She’s done a great job over the years.”

Dr. Agnes LaVille, associate dean for education and professor of biochemistry, echoed his sentiments, saying, “Ross University is proud to have had an employee who, for the last 30 years, has dedicated her tireless efforts and passionate concern for students on a daily basis. Mrs. John is witty, serious, caring and knowledgeable. American author Lou Vickery once said, ‘There are four short words to sum up what has lifted most successful individuals above the crowd—a little bit more.’ Mrs. John is one of those successful individuals who did all that was expected of her and a ‘little bit more.’ We thank her for her contributions; she will certainly be missed.”

About Ross University School of Medicine
Ross University was founded in 1978 and is a provider of medical and veterinary education offering doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine degree programs. Located in Dominica, West Indies, the School of Medicine places more graduates into US residencies annually than any other medical school in the world and has clinical education centers in Miami, FL, Saginaw, MI, and Freeport, Grand Bahama. The School of Veterinary Medicine is located in St. Kitts.

Ross University’s administrative offices are located in North Brunswick, NJ. For more information about Ross University, visit or call 732.509.4600/877.ROSS.EDU.


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