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Fordham’s Year in Review


Each year Inside Fordham produces hundreds of articles, tweets, and Facebook posts for the University. The most popular tend to be photos and videos of the Rose Hill campus. But last year’s top post combined breaking news with campus nostalgia when the University Church bell rang for the election of Pope Francis. That simple iPhone video shot by John Gownley got thousands of hits, making it the most popular post of the year.

#1 University Church Bell Rings for New Pope

After the election, Father McShane appeared on CNN with Christiane Amanpour. He also appeared onCharlie Rose and more recently after the pope’s groundbreaking interview in America Magazine.

Not surprisingly, the bell video was followed in popularity by classic seasonal photos of the Rose Hill campus. Shots of Lincoln Center’s new law school on social media nearly edged out the Bronx campus. And if all the posts about the Rams’ winning season were combined they would’ve defiantly edged out the bell.

So, here’s the breakdown of rest of the rest of the year’s top news and popular content based on a non-analytic method using tweets, re-tweets, likes, and plain old editorial prerogative…

#2 Seasonal Photos of Rose Hill

Rose Hill in the spring, summer, fall, and winter consistently reap the lion’s share of attention on Facebook and Instagram.

#3 Rams Football Winning Season and Homecoming

For the first time in the University’s history, the men’s football team finished the regular season 11-1. Posts about the winning team invariably brought in cheers from Ram fans, old and new. Homecomingalone drew quite a bit of attention, with much of the fun compiled on Storify.

#4  FBI, CIA, and NSA Heads Convene at Fordham

With the nation’s attention focused on issues of cybersecurity and privacy, Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of National Security Agency, joined John Brennan, FCRH ’77, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Robert Mueller, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to discuss the topic for the first time in public.

#5  The New Law School Building

Designed by the world-renowned architectural firm of Pei, Cobb, Freed, the Law School’s new building is quite the sight when viewed from Lincoln Center. With the scaffolding down, the buzz isn’t just coming from the University community. Opera and ballet audiences can be seen pointing and admiring from theater balconies during intermission as well.

#6  Commencement

Commencement is a huge draw online. This year, as always, it was streamed live, but it was also tweeted, facebooked, vined, and storified. The commencement address was delivered by journalistRichard Engel who didn’t mince words when it came to advising students on making hard choices.

#7 Philosopher Earns Fordham’s Largest Humanities Grant

Stephen R. Grimm, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, received a $3.56 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to develop a better understanding of human understanding itself. Grimm’s award was the largest that Fordham University ever received in the humanities. It will fund an interdisciplinary initiative, “Varieties of Understanding: New Perspectives from Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology.” Starting July 1, 2013, the three-year endeavor began to sponsor research, in these three fields, into the various ways in which human beings understand the world.

#8 St. Francis Prep Student Chooses Fordham Over Ivy League

Sal Cocchiaro graduated as valedictorian of St. Francis Prep with a 100.7 average and won $480,000 worth of scholarships from seven Ivy League-caliber colleges. But he chose a full four-year ride at Fordham University. His choice of Jesuit over Ivy landed him a New York Daily News profile and became one of the year’s most popular stories on social media.

 #9 Jubilee 2013 Attendence Breaks Record

Turnout for this year’s Jubilee was an all-time high, with nearly 2,000 Fordham family descending on the campus for programming that encompassed deans’ lectures, museum tours, a Yankees game, class luncheons, frisbee, cocktail parties, the Jubilee Picnic, a gala dinner with dancing, and the occasional jaunt to Pugsley’s, the beloved pizza joint near campus.

#10. Students Help with Recovery from Hurricane Sandy

All spring long, Fordham students and other members of the University consistently volunteered every Saturday to help rebuild the devastated community of Breezy Point following Hurricane Sandy.

#11 “Hail Men of Fordham” Changes to “Hail Rams of Fordham”

With the century-old lyrics of the Rams fight song changed by Father McShane at the President’s Club Christmas Reception, the debate continues as to whether the ewes can rejoice. Many have noted on Facebook and Twitter that a ram is a male sheep. It was an issue that Father McShane tackled head on, noting that ewes sounded too much like “youse,” as in “youse guys”—which sounded too much like Brooklyn for a Bronx-based team.

#12. First Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture

Fordham University and members of the Orthodox Christian community celebrated a milestone on Nov. 18 with the installation of Aristotle Papanikolaou, Ph.D., as Fordham’s first Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture.

#13. University Church Makes Cover of American Organist

What is it about the University Church that merits two mentions on one list? There’s something about this place that elicits a visceral response from Fordhamites, and sometimes humorous ones too. After this cover shot of the University Organ was posted onto Facebook, “Rameses Ram” cheekily posted, “Of course my subscription [to American Organist]just ran out. Typical.” To which Fordham University Libraries promptly responded, “Problem solved: Go to to access the library’s online subscription to The American Organist, available to the Fordham community.”



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