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Colleges Celebrate Student Achievements at Award Ceremonies


Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) honored its most-accomplished members of the Class of 2008 on Thursday, May 15, at the annual Encaenia awards ceremony.

The event, which took place in the Rose Hill Gymnasium, drew students, friends and family to celebrate membership in honor societies such as Phi Beta Kappa, winning Fulbright fellowships and other awards and a host of other achievements.

The Claver Award, which is named for St. Peter Claver, an 18th-century Spanish Jesuit, was presented to Michael Partis. It is given by Fordham’s Jesuit community to the Rose Hill senior who most exemplifies the University’s dedication to community service.

Caitlin A. Ahern received the Fordham College Alumni Award, which is a chair presented to the student who best shows the Fordham spirit of excellence in academic, service and extracurricular activities.

In her valedictory address, Laura M. Barker told her fellow classmates that the collaboration that helped them earn their degrees would pay off after graduation.

“We haven’t earned our degrees in isolation,” she said. “Instead, the learning each of us has experienced is the product of the interchange of ideas that is taking place inside our classrooms.”

Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, reminded students that when they came to Fordham four years ago, he also was a newcomer of sorts, having assumed the position of dean only eight weeks prior. Like them, he considered himself to be fellow traveler on a journey that would end with an invitation to join Fordham’s legacy.

“I’ve been honored to accompany you on that journey. I’ve learned a great deal from you,” he said. “I’ve been deeply heartened by the extent to which you show in your academic work, in your service and in the way you treat each other, that you have fully accepted the invitation that Fordham extended to you to become full and life-long members of this community.”

On that same night in Keating Hall, the College of Business Administration (CBA) honored students from its 2008 graduating class.

Some 88 students received medals for their accomplishments in the areas of accounting, finance, management, entrepreneurship and marketing. Students also were recognized for their excellence in academic, community and humanitarian endeavors, and for their leadership skills. Also feted were class valedictorian John Hausler and salutatorian Elena Di Michael.

Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business Administration, addressed a gathering of 300 students, faculty, friends and family on the importance of leadership style, citing a “positive attitude” as one of the most important choices the graduates could make with their lives.

“The future is in the hands of those who can give tomorrow’s generation a valid reason to live and to hope,” Rapaccioli said, quoting Jesuit philosopher Pierre De Chardin. “You are all my leaders. As you ponder your leadership style remember what CBA stands for—perhaps more importantly it stands for compassion, balance and attitude, compassionate business leaders who lead balanced lives with a positive attitude. I want you all to be leaders who take the Jesuit ideals you’ve learned here seriously.”

Special recognition was given to 170 students who have completed CBA’s Globe Program, designed to help students become ethical global business leaders. The program started in 1991 with just one student.

The evening included awards for faculty and alumni. Kevin Jackson, Ph.D., professor of legal and ethical studies, and Dennis Cappello, Ph.D., assistant professor of legal and ethical studies, received the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Roger Anerella (CBA ’89), managing director and chief operating officer for Global Markets at Merrill Lynch, was named the school’s Alumnus of the Year. A strong supporter of CBA and its programs, Anerella developed internships for students, helped fund student conference travel and upgrades to Faber Hall, Rapaccioli said.

“I’ve only given a fraction of what this University and my years here have given to me,” Anerella said, sharing the award with his wife, Christine (FCRH ’89). “Fordham provided me with the very foundation of my life.”


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