For the Class of 2024, May 18 is graduation day, but it’s far from the end of their Fordham journey. They’ll automatically join the Fordham University Alumni Association, a global network of more than 200,000 Rams that boasts more than 50 regional chapters worldwide. This network, recently named one of the country’s best, offers alumni countless ways to stay engaged and benefit from their Ramily connections. (Plus, there are no membership dues.) 

We asked grads to welcome the Class of 2024 with a special gift: their advice and life lessons. And they eagerly answered the call.

Always Persist  

Benedetto Youssef in cap and gown

Persist even in the face of iron-clad adversity. We get one chance to do this thing called life, so don’t dream too small, and never give up!

Benedetto Youssef, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Class of 2012

Balance Your Ambition and Happiness

Michael Bennis in cap and gown ringing bell

Don’t ever let your hunger for success ruin your happiness.

Michael Bennis, Gabelli School of Business, Classes of 2017 and 2018

Turn the Page

Aminata Konateh and group of women in stadium stands

Take it all in—day by day, week by week, month by month. You will feel weird at first. It’s inevitable. A chapter closing. But your new chapter will bring so many blessings, so many new lessons—and some old lessons and people that you will hold on to. Whether you’re staying in NYC, in your hometown, or venturing out where you know no one, you’ll be great and amazing at everything you do. Congratulations, and here’s to many new memories for you!

Aminata Konateh, Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 2023

Embrace Change, But Stay True to Yourself

Jayne Lee Zambito in cap and gown

Don’t be afraid to change direction. Remember why you started this whole journey.

Jayne (Zambito) Lee, Graduate School of Education, Class of 1977

Build Strong Relationships

Lisa Manfredi and friends in caps and gowns

Cultivate meaningful connections with friends, family, mentors, and colleagues. These relationships will support you through both the good times and the challenges life throws your way.

Lisa Manfredi, Gabelli School of Business, Class of 1991  

Lift Up Those Around You

Maggie Flahive and friends with Fordham ram statue

Hold on tight to one another and lift up those around you, for the best is yet to come. I was lucky enough to find a group of women who were supportive, kindhearted, and passionate. If you had asked us in March 2022 where we would be today, we would have responded, “Together, of course.” But we accepted life-changing opportunities, erupting with excitement for one another: I accepted a job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, another accepted a position with Amazon in Seattle, one with the Los Angeles Lakers in LA, another began her career in luxury real estate in San Diego, one went to Boston to work in marketing, and one stayed in the Big Apple. Although we are still living coast to coast, we make time for each other, whether it is in our group chat, at Homecoming, or on our yearly weekend trip. I am so grateful to Fordham for allowing our paths to cross.

Maggie Flahive, Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 2022

Keep Reading, Keep Learning

Always be reading a well-written book—even if it’s just a few pages a day. I’m an attorney, and that habit always sharpens my mind and is enjoyable. In the course of a year, it’s amazing how many books you’ll read!

David G. O’Brien, Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1969; School of Law, Class of 1975

Submissions have been edited for length and clarity. Many thanks to all the alumni who shared their advice and graduation day photos.