Melding irreverence with solemnity through speeches by the Lord of the Manor and the class valedictorian, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) celebrated an age-old tradition with its Encaenia awards ceremony on May 17.
Fordham’s Lord of the Manor is an adaptation of Oxford University’s Terrae Filius, who played the role of jester to lighten the gravitas of ceremonial awarding of the school’s highest achievers. This year’s Lord of the Manor, Michael Drosos, tipped plenty a sacred cow in his romp through Rose Hill’s quirks.
Of the many University tics and quirks that Drosos lampooned, he spent good deal of time comparing housing policies to a variety of board games, which Residential Life already calls “Fordhamopoly,” but he said should be dubbed “Sorry.” His version garnered considerable applause.
Drosos also poked fun at the building name changes that occurred during the students’ time on campus—Alumni Court Hall, which became Loschert Hall, the College of Business Administration, which became Gabelli School of Business, and “Ziggy’s Sports Bar, which became Ziggy’s Space for Rent.” He suggested a few other venue name changes, including, but not limited to, Trump Keating Tower, in honor the real estate mogul’s time on campus.
Class Valedictorian Sarah Teyssen, who maintained a 3.989 average in her time at Fordham, said she had arrived from Germany and was enrolled for two weeks at Gabelli School of Business before falling for Fordham Rose Hill. Before coming to Fordham, Teyssen said she was concerned about living in the Bronx, having been influenced by the media’s crime and grime portrayals of the borough.
“My ignorance was especially apparent,” she said. “Given the chance to speak with a student on the phone I asked if there were stores nearby where one could buy a toothbrush.”
Teyssen found her toothbrushes, as well as plantains and Jamaican seasonings, to say nothing of the “the most diverse and fascinating people” she had ever encountered.
“While I may have been able to get a great education, even a Jesuit education, elsewhere, Fordham’s location in the Bronx made the [college]experience truly unique,” she said.
She said the location meshed with the school’s liberal arts curriculum and core courses in philosophy and theology, which spurred students to wrestle with “issues that are much bigger than yourselves.”
It was a note that was echoed by Michael E. Latham, Ph.D., dean of FCRH, as he told students that their education pushed them well beyond the boundaries of their culture.
“You may not have to have all the answers, but you now have the intellectual tools to ask the right questions,” he said.
Encaenia concluded with the presentation of honors and awards bestowed on the Class of 2013, including Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and Alpha Sigma Nu recognition, and some Fulbright fellowships. Two special awards went to Rose Puntel, who received the Claver Award for community service; and AnnMaria Shaker, who received the Fordham College Alumni Association Award for exemplifying the Fordham spirit.