In 1998, Fordham’s then-president Joseph O’Hare, SJ, decided that the athletic teams needed an edge that perhaps few teams in the region had at the time: a nun.
Since then, it has been the job of Anne Walsh, RSHM, to keep a watchful eye over all of the University’s student-athletes. Sister Anne’s official title is associate academic adviser for the athletics department.
But she’s far more than “just academics” to them, say the athletes.
“She lives in Walsh Hall, so night and day she’ll stop what she’s doing and do whatever it takes to help you out,” said rising senior Joe Pavlik. “She’s a true blessing for all student-athletes.”
“I got sick once and she emailed me saying, ‘I hope you’re feeling better,’” said rising senior Ben Hartman. “It was as simple as that. Not ‘make sure you stay on top of things,’ but just ‘feel better.’ That’s pretty uplifting.”
But make no mistake. Sister Anne can be a taskmaster.
“I’m not going to tell you what my GPA was in my freshman year, but it wasn’t what it should be,” said rising senior Manny Adeyeye. “And she really helped me out. “We’re all away from home … and want to do our own thing, but she’s like, ‘Alright, focus up!’ She got me the tutors I needed and steered me in the right direction.”
Sister Anne received her master’s from Fordham’s Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education in 1978. She studied in Rome and is a certified counselor in what she calls the “the everyday ups and downs of life.”
“I’m there for them and they can confide on me on any level—and I cherish that.”