Before college, Matt Policastro, FCRH ’06, had never played rugby. But the sport helped define his years at Fordham.
“I initially thought I might want to run track and cross country like I did in high school, but I had a disagreement with the head coach on how long my hair should be,” says Policastro, who had shoulder-length hair by the end of freshman year. “So the next day my soon-to-be best friend and I took a total flyer on the rugby team. And it could not have worked out better.”
By his senior year, Policastro was voted captain of the club team.
“I took on the sport as a challenge to myself, and I really, really loved it. To be embraced by a bunch of guys who played football in high school, as a guy who used to run track and cross country—because those two worlds are totally different—was incredible,” he says.
“My teammates are some of my best friends to this day. I have gone to visit them literally all over the world.”
Now a lawyer in his hometown of Chicago (with much shorter hair), Policastro is still leading his Fordham peers. For the past five years, he has headed the local Fordham alumni chapter.
“We really try to be both a social group and a career-oriented group as well,” he says. “I see myself as an event organizer and someone who brings people together at networking events and career panels.”
Lately Policastro has been focused on helping recent graduates find their career paths, but he believes the chapter’s events are useful for all alumni—in any industry, at any stage of their careers
“I think that being able to get together with a like-minded group of individuals like Fordham alumni can have such positive impacts on your personal and professional development—it’s practically a no brainer.”
Policastro is a natural at bringing people together according to Courtney Conway, FCRH ’05.
“It makes sense that Matt would be in charge of the Chicago chapter. He keeps in touch with everyone from Fordham, everyone from his rugby team, and he is always introducing people at events and finding a common thread,” says Conway, who has known Policastro since his pre-Fordham days in Chicago and now helps him run the alumni chapter.
Policastro’s ability to make connections helps people make the transition both to and from Fordham. He is also a member of the Fordham Alumni Support Team (FAST), so he often represents Fordham at college fairs in and around the Chicago area and hosts regional receptions for newly admitted students.
“I enjoy letting these students see Fordham through my eyes,” he says. “I know what it was like to go to Fordham from Chicago, and I can tell them what a welcoming place it is.”