Fordham would not have some of the brilliant students it has today were it not for the generosity of its endowed scholarship donors, according to Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the University.
“You are the angels of the University,” Father McShane said on April 28 at the Scholarship Donors and Recipients Reception at the University Club in Manhattan. “We could not do this without you. It isn’t just generosity that comes with a check, but greatness of heart. It’s the thing that makes Fordham a different kind of place.”
The annual spring event honors donors and scholarship recipients while giving them a chance to meet face-to-face. Fordham has more than 500 endowed scholarship funds from various sources that provide upward of $12 million in annual support to more than 600 students.
Sophomore Judith Engracia, a second-year recipient of the Nancy and James E. Buckman Endowed Scholarship, spent some time at the event catching up and sharing laughs with her benefactor, James E. Buckman, Esq., FCRH ’66.
“I cannot express how grateful I am for this scholarship,” Engracia said. “I wouldn’t have the great liberal arts education that I’m getting today if it wasn’t for Mr. Buckman.” Engracia said she often keeps in contact with Buckman, informing him of her grades and asking for academic and career advice.
“I’m not shy on advice, that’s for sure,” Buckman said with a smile. “It’s very gratifying to see the actual object of my financial efforts, especially since she’s a wonderful, bright person.”
Richard R. Hayes, CBA ’51, said he decided to endow a scholarship in the College of Business Administration because he had to work nights to pay for his Fordham education.
“Some of my friends who were smarter than me couldn’t afford college and ended up having to join the service, the police or the fire department for job security,” Hayes said. “So I could relate to the struggle.”
The retired Wall Street executive said he owes “a lot of his so-called luck” to Fordham, and wanted to give someone else the opportunity to attend the University.
“I’m glad for Thomas (Vorsteg, a sophomore and the Richard R. Hayes, CBA ’51, Scholar), Hayes said. “I’m pleased to see the enthusiasm. It makes me happy.”
“Financial aid is always welcome, but there is something personal about a scholarship,” Vorsteg said. “It represents the generosity and care of a single individual to another. To see that there are so many alumni who return to support students in achieving goals they have already achieved is remarkable. It is also inspiring to know that Fordham touches its students in ways that extend beyond graduation.”
Fordham senior Theresa Dean, one of 11 Robert E. Campbell Endowed Scholars, spoke at the event on behalf of all scholarship recipients.
“I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the generous donors who have made this evening and our Fordham educations possible,” she said. “This scholarship has changed my life for the better and has solidified my desire to follow in the altruistic, philanthropic footsteps of my donors. We will be forever grateful.”