The annual Scholarship Donors and Recipients Reception on April 11 brought name to face, dream to deed, and generations divided by decades together to celebrate the gift of education.
The event, held at the University Club in Manhattan, celebrated the 500-plus privately funded scholarships awarded to Fordham students each year. The evening allows donors and students to share tales of their Fordham experiences, their dreams and their lives beyond the University.
“I didn’t realize we had such talent here in the family,” said Patricia McGlynn Nazemetz, TMC ’71, GSAS ’89, PAR ’04, whose scholarship supports Alexandra Sadinsky, a junior finance major and member of Fordham’s female a capella group, the Satin Dolls. Nazemetz greeted her scholarship recipient with a broad smile after the Satin Dolls performed Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” for the 300 guests.
“This event helps you understand where your scholarship actually goes,” Nazemetz said. “It’s not just an amorphous pot of money; it is attached to names and faces and building careers and making opportunities.”
Scholarships account for more than $77 million of the $400 million raised to date for Excelsior | Ever Upward | Campaign for Fordham, the University’s comprehensive fundraising effort.
A scholarship can help ease the financial burden of paying for college after graduation, said Dennis Ryan, a Fordham College at Rose Hill sophomore who met his donor, Daniel J. O’Brien, GSB ’68, for the first time.
“Every bit helps get through school,” said Ryan, a political science major who hopes to go to law school, “and I’m glad to be able to say thank you.”
O’Brien said that establishing the Daniel J. O’Brien and Annette M. O’Brien Endowed Scholarship Fund was the best way he knew to put money to work for a good cause.
“A promising student seemed the way to go,” O’Brien said. “This is the guy.”
Reena Singh, a senior in the Gabelli School of Business (GSB) and the evening’s student speaker, thanked donors for making her Fordham experience more than just an education.
Thanks to her benefactors—Gregory Summers, GSB ’78; William Genco, GSB ’69, and Mary Mudryk; as well as Adolph Leitner, GSB ’35, and Mildred Leitner—Singh said she was able to perform campus and community volunteer work, intern at a corporation and make the Dean’s List. Singh had special words for Summers and his wife, Gerri.
“They have become my role models,” said the member of Beta Alpha Psi honor society. “I aspire to hone my skills and walk the path of success by following in their footsteps.”
Many donors said that creating an endowed scholarship helped them to remember someone pivotal in their lives. Art McEwen, FCRH ’55, created the John J. Morrison, S.J., Endowed Scholarship to honor one of his high school teachers.
“He was my mentor, and this scholarship is a way to remember his contribution to my life,” he said.
Lawrence M. Condon, M.D., FCRH ’66, said he helped establish the Edwin J. Condon Jr., FCRH ’67, Memorial Scholarship to honor his late cousin, who was his teammate on the Fordham swim team. There was no women’s swim team when the men were students, he said, so he was “pleasantly surprised” to meet his scholarship recipient, Fordham College at Rose Hill junior Andrea Krok, a diver on the women’s swim team.
During the course of the evening, Krok learned all about the late Condon, who, like her, held a University swim team record and who began swimming when he was a child in City Island. At the end of the evening, Krok and Dr. Condon, both born-and-raised New Yorkers, agreed to keep in touch.
“My sponsor family loved Edwin Condon so much that they wanted to honor him,” Krok said, “and now that I have their support, I feel I am part of making his memory live on.”
Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, referred to the donors and students as Fordham’s personal blessings.
“The donors who reach deep into their pockets and into their hearts so they can help their sisters and brothers … you are a blessing beyond measure,” he said. “And our students? In them and through them, God renews Fordham.”