Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students have always shared academic space with graduate students from the Gabelli School of Business and the Graduate School of Social Service (GSS). On May 29, they shared a reunion too.
The Lincoln Center campus was abuzz Friday evening as alumni from the three schools gathered in and around the Lowenstein Center Atrium, the Robert Moses Plaza, and, for the first time, in the Law School’s Skadden Conference Center, to reunite, reminisce, and network on a warm summer evening.
The events got started with a final lecture delivered by Michael Tueth, SJ, associate professor of communication and media studies. Titled “A Jesuit on Movies and Meaning,” Father Tueth used the occasion of his retirement to show clips from four movies, including On the Waterfront and Dead Man Walking, that highlight examples of faith, hope, and charity.
He cited the First Principle and Foundation of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, which says that all the things in this world are gifts of God, given to us to know God better.
“I count movies as one of those gifts that God, Thomas Edison, and a few others have given us,” he said.
In the White Box Studio, actor/musician Van Hughes, FCLC ’05 celebrated his 10th reunion with an electrified acoustic guitar set of his own songs and songs from the Broadway play American Idiot, in which he played the lead role on the touring production.
His final number was a song he’d written with lyrics lifted directly from a love letter from a high-school acquaintance.
“In high school, I really got into writing music with other people’s words, because I knew mine weren’t really good,” he said. Today he’s “still not very good because I’m still doing the same thing,” he joked.
In his welcoming address, Robert Grimes, SJ, dean of FCLC, remarked how different the campus feels now that freshmen are living in McKeon Hall above the law school. The new living arrangements will enable the college to admit the largest class in its history next year—an estimated 570 students, compared to 450 just two years ago.
Outside on the plaza, alumni celebrated the memories. Suzanne Matthews Foye, FCLC ’81, GSE ’82, reminisced about how she met her husband Patrick Foye, FCRH ’77, LAW ’81, while she was on the debate team that he coached. They got married in 1984 and had three daughters—one of them, Heather Foye, FCLC ’14, was also there.
“If it wasn’t for Fordham, you wouldn’t have been born!” Suzanne told her daughter.
Rocco Adriola, FCLC ’79, looked on in amusement. Adriola, a former president of the debate team himself, knew Patrick Foye in high school and recruited him to join the team.
Across the plaza at the law school, Joseph M. McShane, SJ, president of Fordham, praised the GSS as a great mission-driven school.
“I hear about you in glowing terms from people in city and state government, from people in hospitals, for everything you do to make sure that the forgotten are not forgotten, that the poor are lifted up, and that the desperate have a word of hope given to them,” he said. “You are in many ways, all saints.”
Among those in attendance was Steven L. Herbst, GSS ’13, a psychiatric social worker who counsels clients who are sentenced to serve time in rehabilitation facilities rather than prisons. Herbst (who had a copy of a Hunter S. Thompson’s book on outlaw motorcycle gangs poking out of his vest pocket) said a few of his clients are former members of the Hell’s Angels.
“After helping people in an amateur fashion, I wanted to do it professionally,” said Herbst, who returned to school for a master’s degree to gain employment as a counselor.
“I like working with adults and I feel it’s [my]mission to support people in recovery from drugs, alcohol, and nicotine.”
Directly across the hall in the Costantino Room, Donna Rapaccioli, PhD, dean of the Gabelli School of Business, directed the alumni’s attention to 140 W. 62nd St., the former home of the law school. The building, currently under renovation, will be the future location of the business school, scheduled for occupancy in 2016.
The unification of the two schools of business under the Gabelli name has already helped graduates leverage their degrees, Rapaccioli said. She noted that there are now 35,000 business alumni who can further help each other, as well as current students, foster their careers.
“We really need your help with expanding our ability to use New York as our campus,” she said.