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Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham : Campaign Surpasses $400 Million


Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham raised $401,570,831 as of March 21.
Graphic by Dawn Jasper

Here’s a bit of encouraging math for anyone who bleeds Fordham maroon: a $500 million goal, minus $400 million in support, equals a milestone achieved.

That’s the story of Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham, the University’s capital campaign that officially was launched in March 2009.

“We have reached a milestone not just for Fordham, but for Jesuit education and the values it represents,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the University. “We are proud, justifiably so, of the generosity of our trustees, alumni, parents and friends. Their support is a referendum on the enduring value of a Fordham education, and our mission to educate men and women for others.”

The current fiscal year has been especially encouraging. With three months left in fiscal year 2011, total gifts and pledges currently stand at $71.6 million, a 28 percent increase from the total for the previous fiscal year.

A record-breaking $25 million gift last September from Mario Gabelli (GSB ’65) helped fuel the climb. In gratitude, Fordham renamed the undergraduate business college the Gabelli School of Business.

“Fordham could not have come to this moment without the invaluable work of our dedicated campaign co-chairs, Jim Buckman (FCRH ’66), Jack Kehoe (FCRH ’60, FCLC ’85) and Darlene Jordan (FCRH ’89), and the hundreds of other campaign volunteers, faculty and staff who have worked hard to ensure success,” said Roger A. Milici Jr., interim vice president for development and University relations.

“We have the benefit of extraordinary momentum and the plain truth that gifts to Fordham, regardless of size, help transform students’ lives. Because of this, I am wholly optimistic that we will reach our campaign goal of $500 million by June 30, 2013,” he said.

Deans from the University’s schools and colleges are already seeing the fruits borne by the campaign. At Fordham College at Rose Hill, for instance, Dean Michael Latham, Ph.D., said that alumni donors have provided resources to renovate laboratories used by the engineering, physics and chemistry programs.

Alumni donors have provided resources to renovate laboratories used by the engineering, physics and chemistry programs in Fordham College at Rose Hill. .
Photo by Chris Taggart

Also, the college has dramatically expanded its funding in support of undergraduate research, resulting in new opportunities for students to pursue independent projects and work alongside faculty members across all academic disciplines.

Latham said the results, in the form of co-authored articles in professional journals, student papers at national conferences and a thriving undergraduate research symposium, have been terrific. The research experience gives students great advantages in applying to graduate schools in the arts and sciences, law and the health professions.

“The capital campaign has provided Fordham College at Rose Hill with vital resources to meet our goals in promoting undergraduate research, developing our science facilities and enhancing our ability to compete for prestigious fellowships and scholarships,” Latham said. “We are very grateful for the generosity of the many alumni and friends who have done so much for the college and our students.”

For Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., dean of the Gabelli School of Business, the campaign will not only give the school a new home in Hughes Hall, but it will also permit the school to expand its faculty and bring an even greater number of academic superstars to Fordham. Moreover, it has helped attract geographically diverse, high-ability students and provided additional scholarship support, while delivering ever more progressive educational programs.

“As we prepare our students for today’s dynamic global marketplace, the contributions of our loyal donors to the campaign have transformed the Gabelli School of Business and our entire academic community,” Rapaccioli said. “Not only has this successful campaign given us a new name and a future home, it has enhanced what it means to be a graduate of the Gabelli School of Business.”

Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, said the campaign had benefited his school in a number of ways.

A $2 million gift from Jack Kehoe provided for a complete renovation of the Lowenstein Center’s 50-seat Black Box Theatre, which was renamed the Veronica Lally Kehoe Studio Theatre in memory of Jack’s wife, a 2002 graduate of the college. In addition, Betty Burns (FCLC ’83) made a $500,000 gift in February 2009 toward a scholarship fund for Fordham College at Lincoln Center students.

These two gifts brought into sharp focus what Father Grimes called a new day for the college, which has seen many changes since its opening in 1968. The Lincoln Center campus will undergo another transformation with the addition of a state-of-the-art undergraduate residence hall, housing 430 students, perched atop the new Fordham School of Law building that is slated to open in 2014.

The $250 million law school building and residence hall, for which preliminary work began Feb. 3, is a concrete example of the campaign’s progress, said Michael M. Martin, interim dean of Fordham Law.

“The unprecedented success of the campaign is a clear statement of faith in the educational mission and future of our school,” he said. “The new building will more than double our total instructional space and improve the teaching environment in ways that will significantly enhance student learning and engagement. In addition, increased funding for endowed chairs and for scholarships and fellowships is helping us attract and retain talented faculty members and students who are at the core of the Fordham Law community.”


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