In April 1966, Fordham marked its 125th anniversary with a historic visit from the superior general of the Society of Jesus, Pedro Arrupe, who is often called the society’s second founder.
Arrupe spoke at a convocation where, in an ecumenical spirit, honorary degrees were awarded to representatives of the Jewish, Protestant, Orthodox and Roman Catholic faiths.
Echoing the language of Vatican II’s “The Church in the Modern World,” Arrupe called on Fordham to foster dialogue between believers and unbelievers and reconciliation between faith and science. A Catholic university must always protect freedom of inquiry, he said, because without it, “the dialogue the church must continually carry on with the changing world of human culture is seriously crippled.”
He also likened the American dream to “the dream of mankind itself,” and hailed Fordham for helping to realize that dream by opening its doors tothe poor, the underprivileged and the children of immigrants.