March 31 – Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, has announced the completion of a historic capital campaign that raised $540 million. At the annual Founder’s Award Dinner, held in the Waldorf Astoria Grand Ballroom, Father McShane thanked everyone who helped make it the most successful fundraising effort in Fordham’s history in what he called “an evening of gratitude.”
“If you wonder who is responsible for the achievement that we celebrate this night, look around you. [It’s] you,” Father McShane said, delivering a thank-you message that resonated well beyond the ballroom walls. “Each of you and all of you and 60,000 others, all of you have propelled us across the line. Each of you has given $540 million. And you have given it from the heart. You have all raised the Old Maroon on high, for the greater glory of God.”
Launched publicly in 2009, in the midst of an economic downturn, Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham closed well ahead of its half-billion-dollar goal, he told 1,000 attendees at the Thirteenth Annual Founder’s Award Dinner and Campaign Close Celebration. The funds will support scholarships, endowed chairs, facilities, and other initiatives across the University.
Father McShane cited the late Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who invoked a belief in miracles beyond hope in The Cure at Troy.
“I have been struck by the rich interweaving of our history and hope evident everywhere at Fordham,” he said. “At Fordham, history always gives rise to hope. Or, to borrow Heaney’s words, at Fordham history and hope always rhyme. Playing off one another, they create a floodtide in our hearts . . . [and]make miracles come true every day.”
The evening also belonged to two couples whose exemplary lives and generosity have made the dream of a Fordham education a reality for many. Receiving the Founder’s Award were Thomas A. Moore, Esq., LAW ’72, and Judith Livingston Moore, Esq., parents of a Fordham Law student; and William S. Stavropoulos, Ph.D., PHA ’61, and I. Linda Stavropoulos.
The Moores, both senior partners at Kramer Dillof Livingston & Moore, have championed victims of medical malpractice and have donated generously to educational causes. Their philanthropy created an endowed professorship at Fordham Law School and supported the new law school building, set to open this fall.
William S. Stavropoulos, Ph.D., PHA ’61, and I. Linda Stavropoulos have worked in tandem to create foundations supporting economic development and youth programs in their home state of Michigan. Their gifts to Fordham helped renovate Hughes Hall on the Rose Hill campus, site of the Gabelli School of Business.
Honorees received Founder’s statues and citations from Father McShane and Bob Daleo, GSB ’72, chairman of Fordham’s Board of Trustees.
Livingston Moore, speaking for herself and her husband, Tom (who was unable to attend), said that her husband’s education at Fordham Law had given him “the means to accomplish a dream and champion those devastated and disenfranchised” that he has helped throughout his legal career.
William S. Stavropoulos said that, next to his wife, Linda, Fordham had been the most “transformational” thing in his life.
“Fordham’s incredible spirit and culture instilled in me confidence and gave me an education,” said Stavropoulos, who admitted that when he arrived in the Bronx from a rural high school he was not sure he could measure up. “Some 50 years later, it is great to see Fordham University flourish.”
A highlight of the evening came as Father McShane took the stage in the center of the ballroom to announce the great success of the campaign. He thanked several individual donors, many of whom were in attendance, and singled out the Board of Trustees, whose members gave more than $160 million of the $540 million total. Maximilian Williams, a Fordham College at Lincoln Center senior and member of the Fordham University choir, joined Father McShane onstage to lead the audience in a rendition of “The Ram.”
“I hail all of you,” Father McShane proclaimed, as a whistle sounded and members ofthe Fordham University Band and Orchestra appeared on the mainstage and around the perimeter of the ballroom. Members of the championship football and women’s basketball teams, along with the Founder’s Scholars, filed in singing, and circled about the theatre-in-the-round.
A thousand attendees rose to their feet and joined in the long-coming celebration.
The goal of $500 million made Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham the most ambitious campaign Fordham had ever set; the University raised$155.6 million through its prior campaign, which ended in 1997.
Some $2.3 million in proceeds raised from the evening’s event will benefit the Fordham Founder’s Undergraduate Scholarship Fund. Fifteen of the scholars were in attendance to thank their supporters.
Dallas, Texas native Alexandria Johnson, a Fordham College at Lincoln Center senior, spoke for the group. She made reference to inspirational author Marianne Williamson’sclaim that what scares us most is our own power, “our light.”
“Fordham recognized my light even before I did myself, and provided the tools and community I needed,” said the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. in Dance student. “Thank you for believing in us.”
Contact: Janet Sassi