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Eight Hundred Years of Service? That’s No Small Feat


Georgina Calia Arendacs, Ph.D., director of equity and equal opportunity, receives a Sursum Corda award from Father McShane.
Photo by Bruce Gilbert

“Today we tip our hats, our birettas and our mortar boards to the men and women who, for 40 and 20 years, have kept faith with the ideals that have informed, fired and enriched Fordham for 170 years.”

With those words, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, honored 33 of the University’s most-loyal employees on March 6 at the 2011 University Convocation at the Lincoln Center campus.

Fifteen administrators received the Archbishop Hughes medal for completing 20 or 40 years of service to Fordham. The Bene Merenti medal went to 16 faculty members, recognizing 20 or 40 years of service in the classroom.

Collectively, the employees have given nearly 800 years of service to Fordham, said Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn, vice president for University mission and ministry. “These good souls have lived out and continue to live out the words of St. Ignatius,” he said. “To them, we say thanks.”

A special award, the Sursum Corda, went to Georgina Calia Arendacs, Ph.D., and Steven Madigan.

Arendacs, a 36-year employee, earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in sociology, writing her dissertation on Title IX and applying that expertise to her position as University director of equity and equal opportunity.

“Fordham has meant home. It has meant development. It has meant everything to me, really,” said Arendacs, who for more than 25 years has volunteered with the Fordham chapter of Kiwanis International and the Fordham University Association.

Madigan, a University electrician, was recognized for his diligent work on interior and exterior lighting and on Fordham’s emergency response team; in March 2010 he worked 36 hours straight to keep buildings lit and on line.

The Sursum Corda award was begun in 2005 by Father McShane to recognize outstanding contributions to the life and mission of the University.

All honorees received medals, handshakes and plenty of applause from their peers. Some, like Bene Merenti recipient Elizabeth Johnson, C.S.J., Distinguished Professor of Theology, even got a hug from Father McShane.

Sister Johnson said that Fordham has proved a wonderful place to grow as a professor and theologian for 20 years.

“Fordham has a wonderful esprit de corps,” said the nationally recognized systematic theologian. “I have cherished the academic freedom—that I can think about feminist theology with no fear of retribution. The support I’ve received for the direction of my own research has been priceless.”

Biswa Bhowmick, Ph.D., an Archbishop Hughes awardee, retraced his growth from an economics student in 1988, to a Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) tutor, to an adjunct professor of statistics in the Graduate School of Business Administration, to the assistant dean/associate director of HEOP.

“All these different kinds of involvement came about naturally because of the kind of place that Fordham is,” said Bhowmick, who sported a Fordham tie for the event. “I’m a company man!”

Forty-year Archbishop Hughes medal recipient Estelle Fabian, assistant dean of the master of law program, was 16 years old when she began working at the then-law school at 302 Broadway in Manhattan. In her tenure, she said, she has met LLM students from nearly 100 countries.

“I’d do it all again,” she said. “I’ve been enriched by the international students in ways I could never have imagined. You might say that thanks to Fordham Law I have a home in every port.”

After the event, the recipients were invited to a celebration that Father McShane playfully referred to as a carnival feast, “Dimanche Gras.”

“On this Fat Sunday we shine the spotlight on the heroes in our midst,” he said. “Eat with abandon; hug with affection.”

The Office of the President sponsored the event.

Congratulations to Fordham’s Longtime Employees
Fordham University’s Convocation recognized the service of 20 and 40-year employees at the university. Below is a complete list of those honored:

Archbishop Hughes Medal | (40-Year Award)

Melba F. Chamberlain | Associate Director for the Mastersof Law Program | School of Law
Estelle Fabian | Assistant Dean of the Masters of Law Program | School of Law
Joan Mastrangelo | Director of University Collections
Michael Wares | Assistant Director for Technical Services | University Libraries

Archbishop Hughes Medal | (20-Year Award)

Robert Allen | Deputy Director | Quinn Library
Garrett Barker | Assistant Director of Custodial Services at Rose Hill
Biswa P. Bhowmick | Assistant Dean/Associate Director Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)
Michele C. Burris | Associate Vice President | Student Affairs
Margaret “Peggy” Cuskley | Administrative Assistant | Department of English
Gene Fein | Director of Academic Services | Enrollment Group
Kenneth J. Lau | Program Director for the Children and Families Institute for Research, Support andTraining (Children FIRST) | Graduate School of Social Service
Edward Peter Mix | Science Reference Librarian
Cornelius “Corny” O’Connell | WFUV Radio Host
Joseph Scaltro | Senior Project Manager | Office of Facilities Management
Maria G. Terzulli | Administrator | The Francis and Ann Curran Center for
American Catholic Studies

The Bene Merenti Medal | (40-Year Award)

Susan Fahrenholtz | Adjunct Professor | Department of Natural Sciences
Fordham College at Lincoln Center
Rowland Hughes | Professor of Education
Mary Bradley McElligott | Lecturer | Department of English
Robert J. Penella | Professor of Classics and Chair | Department of Classics

The Bene Merenti Medal | (20-Year Award)

Christopher R. Blake | Joseph Keating, S.J., Distinguished Professor of Business
Fordham Schools of Business
Janet DiLorenzo | Clinical Assistant Professor of Marketing | Fordham Schools of Business
Kevin T. Jackson | Professor of Law and Ethics | Fordham Schools of Business
Deborah W. Denno | Arthur A. McGivney Professor of Law
Marlene Cooper | Associate Professor | Graduate School of Social Service
Thomas S. DeLuca Jr. | Professor of Political Science | Director of International Studies Program
Kenneth E. Dupuy | Adjunct Instructor of Philosophy | Fordham College of Liberal Studies
Susan Celia Greenfield | Associate Professor of English
Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J. | Distinguished Professor of Theology
Judith Jones | Associate Professor of Philosophy
Héctor Lindo-Fuentes | Professor of History
Edward John Van Buren | Professor of Philosophy | Director of Environmental Policy

Sursum Corda Award

Georgina Calia Arendacs
| Director of Equity and Equal Opportunity
Steven Madigan | Electrician

Congratulations to the employees and their families.


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