Members of the President’s Council, a select group of alumni and parents whose charge is to help establish Fordham as the premier Catholic university in the country, gathered in Manhattan on Nov. 13 to celebrate the third anniversary of the group.
The reception was held at the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery and was hosted by the council’s chairman, Peter John Sacripanti (FCLS ’82), managing partner of the firm. The event drew 40 council members along with University administrators, including Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham.
Sacripanti said that the event, which was the first the group has had since it underwent a comprehensive membership review in the summer, was a chance for some the University’s most accomplished alumni and benefactors to refocus on their goals for supporting the institution.
“When Father McShane started the council just over three years ago, it was a terrific concept but like any new venture, it takes several years for it to create its operating principal,” he said. “As part of our review, we pared the council down to a smaller group and crystallized its mission with more specific initiatives.”
The mission of the President’s Council is to raise the University’s profile through a variety of initiatives including admissions outreach to top students, mentoring students and funding key initiatives. Council members provide the volunteer leadership for the annual Fordham Founder’s Award Dinner and have taken part in the University’s Executive-in-Residence program.
Also in attendance at the event were Robert Grimes, S.J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center; Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill; Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business Administration, and six Fordham Founder’s Presidential Scholars.
Sacripanti said that he volunteered his firm’s space for the kickoff because without the education he received at Fordham, he wouldn’t be where he is today.
“Someone said giving is good for the soul, and I agree,” he said. “Fordham has given me an opportunity to do what I do, give me the tools to go forth and prosper. Likewise, I’ve benefited my entire professional and personal life from mentorship experiences, and from people’s generosity of soul.”