For Carolyn Cardell, there seems to be a family formula for success at Fordham: Study applied accounting and finance, get involved in campus clubs and sports, and complete an internship that leads to a full-time job offer upon graduation.

“It taught me a lot about myself, a lot about time management, determination, and grit,” Cardell said of balancing it all, noting that as a four-year member of the track team, she had practice at 7:30 a.m. six days a week. “It made me a more well-rounded person.”

Cardell graduated from the Gabelli School of Business on May 18 and will soon begin work as an analyst at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, where she interned last summer.

Like Mother, Like Daughters

Cardell applied to Fordham in 2019, the same year her sister, Julia Murphy, earned her own Fordham degree in applied accounting and finance. Murphy also interned at JPMorgan Chase and earned a job as an analyst there after graduating. On campus, she joined Sláinte, Fordham’s Irish dance club, rehearsing several times a week to feed a passion she’d had since childhood.

“It wasn’t something I wanted to give up,” said Julia, now an associate at Madison Realty Capital. “And I met a lot of friends I wouldn’t have necessarily met otherwise.”

The sisters’ mother, Sheila Cardell—a 1985 Fordham graduate and former captain of the cheerleading team—said when her daughters were young, she encouraged them to find a physical activity they enjoy.

“Our family was always into academics—make sure you learn—but also have that other side of you,” she said. “If you move your body and you’re physically active, it helps with your mental health and your brain is sharper. I think it’s really important, and my parents were like that, too.”

Sun Shines on the Class of 2024

Now, Carolyn has joined her mother and sister—plus several aunts, uncles, and her maternal grandfather, the late John Prendergast, FCRH ’50, a former track team captain—as a proud member of the Fordham alumni community. The sisters are particularly excited to attend future Jubilee reunions together.

Asked what makes Fordham such a special place, Carolyn answered immediately.

“The people. I’ve met so many amazing people here,” she said, adding that she and her fellow 2024 grads bonded over the ways the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted their last year of high school and first years of college. “It’s such a special occasion to be able to be here today and celebrate everything we’ve overcome. Choosing Fordham was the best decision I ever made.”

Sheila, who majored in accounting, echoed that sentiment, calling Fordham “an amazing place.”

Asked how her father, who died in 1996, would feel about seeing Julia and Carolyn earn Fordham degrees, Sheila had no doubts.

“He would be bursting with pride to have two of his granddaughters be so successful and love Fordham the way he did. He bled maroon,” she said, adding that she recently prayed to him, hoping to ward off rain on commencement day.

“We woke up today, and the sun was shining on the Class of 2024.”