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President: Fordham Poised to Make ‘Great Strides’

• Feerick Center Celebrates Fifth

• This Month in Fordham History...
Fordham Hosts Serving President in FDR

President: Fordham Poised to Make ‘Great Strides’

In his annual State of the University address, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, said that progress in fundraising and on capital projects has poised the University to reach new heights in the upcoming year and beyond.

Speaking on Sept. 12 at the Lincoln Center campus, Father McShane emphasized three achievements: a record-breaking $86 million fundraising year in 2010-2011; breaking ground on a $250-million law school building and residence hall at Lincoln Center; and beginning the renovation of Hughes Hall at Rose Hill.

He touched on other milestones, including:

• Fordham’s No. 53 ranking in U.S. News & World Report, its best showing to date, and a Huffington Post ranking of sixth nationwide for community service;

• significant U.S. News & World Report rankings for the law school (No. 30) and the executive MBA program (No. 25);

• an incoming freshman acceptance rate of 42 percent, the lowest in the University’s history, fueled by a record number of freshman applications;

• a healthy increase in the University’s endowment, now above the $500 million mark;

• continued gains in faculty grant activity, which has risen more than 40 percent over the last six years and now stands at $43 million in multi-year grant funding;

• publication of 216 books and 315 articles in academic journals by Fordham faculty; and

• nine Fulbrights, six Borens and one Truman award received among the record 168 students who applied last year for scholarships and fellowships.

“Thanks to the hard work and generosity of all of the members of the University community, we are remarkably strong,” he said.

—Janet Sassi


Feerick Center Celebrates Fifth

Sen. George J. Mitchell (left) receives the George Mitchell Lifetime Public Service Award from John D. Feerick.

Photo courtesy of Fordham Law

Fordham Law’s Feerick Center for Social Justice celebrated its fifth anniversary on Sept. 26—five years to the day of its launch in 2006.

The center presented honored guest Sen. George J. Mitchell, a former visiting professor at the law school, with the first George Mitchell Lifetime Public Service Award, recognizing Mitchell’s social justice work in the Northern Ireland peace process and as special presidential envoy for Middle East peace.

More than 240 alumni and friends attended a reception at the headquarters of Mutual of America, raising almost $400,000 for the center’s initiatives on behalf of poverty and consumer law, pro bono counsel initiatives and other social justice programs.

Robert C. Sheehan, former managing partner of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, was honored with the Spirit of Service Award. David Jones, president and CEO of the Community Service Society of New York, received the Life of Commitment Award.

Attending the event were the center’s founder and director John D. Feerick, former dean of the law school; Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham; Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., provost of the University; Michael M. Martin, dean of the law school; former New York State Chief Judge Judith Kaye; and Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., president emeritus of Fordham.

—Janet Sassi


Fordham Hosts Serving President in FDR

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Robert I. Gannon, S.J. (center) meet Fordham students in 1940.

Photo courtesy of Fordham University Archives

Fordham played host to a serving president of the United States for the first time when Franklin D. Roosevelt visited campus in October 1940.

Roosevelt came to the University inthe climactic week of his campaign for a third term, which was both historic and unsettling, even to some of his supporters. In a symbol of the campaign’s pitched battle, FDR arrived at Fordham on Oct. 28—two days after a visit by his Republican rival, Wendell Willkie.

Crowds lining the Grand Concourse cheered Roosevelt as he rode to campus. But he received a more measured welcome from Fordham’s president, Robert I. Gannon, S.J., whose anti-Roosevelt views were no secret.

In his welcoming remarks, Gannon called Roosevelt “a man whose imprint is forever fixed on our national history.”

“Our country has been reshaped in the last eight years and will never be just what it was before,” he said.

Roosevelt reviewed Fordham’s ROTC coast-artillery unit and presaged America’s involvement in World War II when he referred to the days when “every able man had an obligation to serve his community and his country in case of attack.”

—Chris Gosier

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