Campbell, Salice and Conley residences halls, the newest structural additions to the Rose Hill campus, were welcomed officially to Fordham in a ceremony on Nov. 7.
Benefactors Robert Campbell (GSB ’55), Joan Campbell, Thomas Salice (GSB ’82) and Susan Conley Salice (FCRH ’82) joined with family members and friends to formally dedicate the residence halls, which opened this past August for 450 undergraduates.
Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, led participants in a procession from Mass at the University Church to the residence halls, where blessings of the cornerstones, entrances and lobbies were accompanied by ribbon-cutting ceremonies with the donors and their families.
Lunch was served afterward in Campbell Commons, an event space on the ground floor of Campbell Hall.
Father McShane noted that it was relevant to dedicate the buildings in November, the month when Catholics celebrate All Saints Day. The Conleys, Salices and Campbells deserve to be called patron saints to the students who reside in the new buildings—not only because of the generosity they have exhibited, but the exemplary lives they have lived, Father McShane said.
“Today, on this feast of dedication, we are invited to reflect on the lessons that our patron saints teach us about how to live,” he said.
Of Robert Campbell, Father McShane said that his long career with Johnson & Johnson was guided by a strict moral code. Two traits in particular—integrity and modesty—make him an exemplary role model. His wife, Joan, inspired him for his whole life, and so a debt of gratitude is due to her, too.
“Together, Joan and Bob are great saints—doctors of the church gathered at Fordham—and they offer examples to be followed,” Father McShane said.
Thomas Salice and Susan Conley Salice, he said, lent their names to the residence halls in tribute to their parents, who also were in attendance. As such, they exemplify not only devotion to Fordham, but also devotion to family.
“We hold this example of love up to our students and proclaim that if you are looking for an example on which you should model your lives, look no further than here,” he said. “Here, you will find the recipe for a good life.”
Campbell said that 55 years ago, when he was commuting across the George Washington Bridge to Rose Hill, he never dreamed there would be a Campbell Hall.
“I’ve been asked why we gave for a dormitory, as opposed to other opportunities,” he said. “For us, it really came down to family. Our feeling was when students leave their families, their homes, their friends, and come to a new place, it should be a place with a new spirit and new friends—where they can create a new family and call it home.”
For Thomas Salice, visiting Rose Hill brought back memories of how he and Susan Conley Salice met—how they spent time together at Duane Library, on Arthur Avenue, in the New York Botanical Garden and at Yankee Stadium. He expressed hope that their gift would spur others to give as well.
Education, he said, is crucial to social and economic development.
“Some folks had said to us, ‘You’re young. Why do this now? Wait until later in life.’ And we said to each other, ‘What are we supposed to be waiting for?’” Salice said.
“This should be a tangible endorsement of generosity and sharing—the generosity of Fordham to provide for us the resources and support to obtain an outstanding, values-based education in a very diverse, very challenging cultural community of New York City.”
The Campbells, Salices and Conleys also were thanked by Marisela Signola, a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill and executive vice president of the Residence Halls Association.
“It is here that we will make final edits to resumes, apply to graduate programs, get ready for job interviews, and set the paths for the rest of our lives. Campbell, Salice and Conley Halls are for many of us, our last homes at Fordham,” she said.
“This is where we get dressed up for senior nights, will get ready for the senior ball and will spend our last night on campus as students. So we thank you, not only for a beautiful place to live, but for a place where many students’ warm memories will be made, for many, many years to come.”