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Gabelli School Graduates Establish Veteran Emergency Fund

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Ken Rogozinski transferred to Fordham in the 1980s after serving in the Navy; his brother Michael followed a few years later after his service in the Marines. During their time at school, they saw how veterans like themselves could use extra help with things like housing costs—particularly in a high-cost city like New York—or other expenses beyond tuition.

“Even though there’s a lot of support for veterans today … there are still some things that aren’t covered,” such as off-campus housing, said Ken Rogozinski, GABELLI ’85. “If you hadn’t saved money above and beyond the military benefits that you got for continuing your education, it could be tough as a student transitioning from the military into a college setting.”

Rogozinski said that instead of being able to fully focus on their studies, some veteran students “have to worry about finding a part-time job or doing things like that, to be able to make ends meet.”

That’s what inspired him to make a gift to Fordham this summer to establish the Veteran Emergency Fund at the Gabelli School of Business. The dedicated fund will assist current Gabelli students who are veterans or dependents of veterans.

“Reflecting on the experience that I had and that my brother had, it made me think that there’s a need there,” said Rogozinski, who is the CEO of America First Multifamily Investors, L.P.

Gabelli School of Business Dean Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., said that this fund helps Fordham fulfill its mission and support its students.

“The Veteran Emergency Fund exemplifies the individual care we aim to provide to all Gabelli School students,” she said. “Ken’s generosity and willingness to help demonstrates to veterans that there is an extra support system for them at Fordham and a very grateful community that is ready to help them.”

The funds, which are to be used for housing, food, tutoring, mental health services, books, school supplies, transportation, and other expenses, would be distributed by the dean’s office on a case-by-case basis. Students can go directly to the dean’s office or can be referred from the Office of Military and Veterans Services.

One of Rogozinski’s biggest goals with establishing the fund is to help put student veterans in the best possible position to succeed.

“You’ve got veterans who haven’t been in the classroom for quite some time, who have been away for four to six years … and have to come back into an academic environment that can be challenging at times,” Rogozinski said. “And so to put people in the best possible position to succeed and not get behind and then have to play catch up—we’d love to see the funding be used for something like that.”

Rogozinski also said that he hoped the fund could help make the Gabelli School even more attractive to veteran students. As of fall 2020, more than 40 veteran students were enrolled in Gabelli undergraduate and graduate programs.

“My brother and I have a very strong connection to the school, and so we were really happy to be able to come up with something like this that I think really fits a need for a group that we’d like to see more represented on campus,” said Ken, noting that he and his brother established the fund together.

Alumni and other Fordham community members can also participate in supporting the fund. For more information, please contact Patrick Raftery at praftery2@fordham.edu.

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