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Commencement Celebration

Graduates and Legacy Families Celebrate Commencement Weekend
By Miles Doyle

On the eve of the University’s 165th Commencement, members of the Class of 2010 enjoyed one final hurrah before receiving their diplomas, celebrating with their parents, grandparents and other members of Fordham’s extended family at events on the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses.

Fordham alumni with family members in this year's graduating class gathered in the Keating Rotunda on Friday evening, May 21, for the annual Legacy Reception, sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations.
Luis San Miguel, CBA '81, this year's alumni banner bearer, enjoyed the Legacy Reception with his son, Louis San Miguel, CBA '10. 
Photo by Jon Roemer

Luis San Miguel, CBA ’81, attended the reception with his son, Louis San Miguel, CBA ’10, and other members of his family, including his father, who was visiting the Rose Hill campus for only the third time.

"He came up from Miami [in 1981] for my graduation," San Miguel said of his father. "He came the following year for my brother’s graduation [from CBA]. And now he’s here for his grandson’s graduation. Two sons and a grandson. That’s fabulous."

Vincent Servello III, who majored in public accounting at CBA and plans on earning his master’s degree in taxation at the Graduate School of Business Administration, said his father’s connection to Fordham played a part in his decision to attend the University.

"He didn’t push me [toward Fordham]," Servello said of his father, Vincent Servello, FCRH '82. "But I’ve always looked up to him, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. It didn’t hurt that Fordham [has] a great reputation and the programs I wanted.

"I'm so proud of him and his accomplishments," Vincent Servello, FCRH '82, (right) said of his son, Vincent, CBA '10, seen here with Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the University.
Photo by Jon Roemer
"I’m glad I came here. It’s been a great fit."

Jeanne Fisher Thompson, a 1972 graduate of Marymount College, spoke of the growing relationship between her alma mater and Fordham University, not only on an institutional level, but on a personal one too. Her nephew, Sean Woodward, is a member of the Fordham College at Rose Hill Class of 2010, and her father briefly studied engineering at Fordham before World War II.

"We are all so tremendously proud of Sean," she said at the reception. "And I am pleased with the way Fordham has incorporated Marymount. We were all so sad to see it close, but if we had to be associated with another university, we’re thrilled it's Fordham."

Kathleen Bowens, FCRH ’10, and her grandfather George Murphy, CBA ’60, also attended the reception, swapping stories about their time as undergraduates. Murphy said he was pleased his granddaughter chose his alma mater, although he suspected his time at the University was not at all like hers. 

"You have to understand, I came to Fordham right after the Korean War. I went to classes downtown and worked nights. She and I had very different experiences," Murphy said of his granddaughter, who
lived on the Rose Hill campus during her time at Fordham. "I enjoyed my time at Fordham, but it was very different. Very different."

Callagee O'Brien, FCRH '10, enjoyed the Parent Appreciation Dinner Dance with family and friends. The annual event, which this year drew more than 1,900 people, is hosted by the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development. 
Photo by Jon Roemer
Baccalaureate Masses were celebrated on Friday evening in the Rose Hill Gymnasium and at St. Paul the Apostle Church, in Manhattan. The University also offered a Protestant service in the University Church.

After the Legacy Reception, more than 1,900 Fordham graduates, family members and friends attended the annual Parent Appreciation Dinner Dance at Rose Hill, hosted by the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development, and held on Martyrs’ Lawn. During the dinner, members of the senior class presented Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the University, with the Rose Hill Senior Class Gift, a check in the amount of $122,520, a University record. In all, more than 1,000 Rose Hill seniors contributed to the class gift, good for an impressive 86 percent participation rate—a 25 percent increase from last year.

Lincoln Center seniors will present their class gift at the Fordham College at Lincoln Center 10th Alumni Reunion on June 10. To date, more than 250 seniors
64 percent of the graduating classhave contributed.

Commencement festivities weren’t limited to the Rose Hill campus. A family reception was held at Robert Moses Plaza on the Lincoln Center campus. There, Fordham parents Philip Williams, FCRH ’72, GSAS ’74, and Sally Ann Steg-Williams, FCLC ’79, feted their son, Philip John Williams Jr., one of the members of the Fordham College at Lincoln Center Class of 2010. 
Philip Williams, FCRH '72, GSAS '74, and Sally Ann Steg-Williams, FCLC '79, celebrated the graduation of their son, Philip John Williams Jr., from Fordham College at Lincoln Center at a family reception at the Lincoln Center campus.
Photo by Bill Denison
"He wanted him to go to a Jesuit school because we’ve thought so highly of our own Jesuit education," Steg-Williams said of her son. "After four years here, he’s leaving [as] a man of character. He has great concern and compassion for others."

"I’m very proud and happy to be here," said Williams, who marched with his wife and other Fordham alumni in the May 22 commencement ceremony on the Rose Hill campus. "I’m very pleased that our son went to Fordham."

Luis San Miguel and Joseph Quinlan, GSAS ’84, also marched at commencement, serving as alumni banner bearer and marshal, respectively. Quinlan expressed his pride both in representing Fordham alumni in the procession and seeing two of his children—Brian and Sarah—earn degrees this year from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Fordham College at Rose Hill, respectively.

"It’s a privilege," he said. "When [the Office of Alumni Relations] asked me, I didn’t think twice about marching. Fordham runs very deep in our family, and I hope to see that connection extended through Brian and Sarah."

Miles Doyle, FCRH '01, is the associate editor of FORDHAM magazine.

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