Thousands of Fordham alumni and fans returned to Rose Hill on Saturday, Oct. 7, and the home team rewarded them by defeating Lehigh 38-35 on a dramatic, last-second field goal at the newly christened Moglia Stadium—capping a day that included a tribute to the stadium’s namesake.

Undeterred by a steady rain that would turn heavy at times, alumni and families began filling the Homecoming tents on Edwards Parade at 11 a.m., two hours before kickoff, to eat and drink, reunite with old friends, and celebrate their love of Fordham.

Michael Leegan, GABELLI ’22, ’23, and Ciara McGee, FCLC ’22, in Fordham Gaelic football jerseys.
Michael Leegan, GABELLI ’22, ’23, and Ciara McGee, FCLC ’22, in Fordham Gaelic football jerseys. Photo by Rebecca Rosen
Michael Leegan and Ciara McGee stood out in the sea of maroon and white due to their matching Fordham football jerseys—Gaelic football, that is. Both McGee, a 2022 Fordham College at Lincoln Center graduate, and Leegan, who completed the Gabelli School of Business’ accelerated master’s degree program in accounting last spring, played the club sport, launched in 2021 by Fordham’s Gaelic Society. They said it’s one of many fond memories of their Fordham experience, but Homecoming itself is among the sweetest.
“The two of us met at Homecoming in 2021,” said Leegan, now a tax accountant with Deloitte. “That’s why it’s important to us to come back together.”

Across the lawn, Maria Shkreli, GABELLI ’03, was attending her third Homecoming as an alumna, but the first in the family tent with her young son. “We really wanted to get the little one here this year,” she said. “We want to start planting roots.”

Doryce Hargett, MC ’08, with her son.
Doryce Hargett, MC ’08, with her son. Photo by Adam Kaufman

Doryce Hargett, a 2008 Marymount graduate, also braved the rain with her young son to attend this year’s event. “I was talking to my son about college, and I wanted to show him the Fordham experience,” she said. “I wanted him to see what you can achieve if you work hard.”

Lasting Friendships and Returns to Campus

Many in attendance were celebrating longtime friendships born out of their time at Fordham. Rich Hamm, FCRH ’71, and Ed Lambert, FCRH ’71, LAW ’75, met as undergraduates and have stayed close since, with Ed having served as the best man when Rich and Mary Hamm, GSE ’00, were married 53 years ago. While they frequently come back for athletics events and reunions—including, by their estimate, about 50 Homecomings—these alumni said they continue to be impressed by the changes on campus.

Ed Lambert, FCRH ’71, LAW ’75; Rich Hamm, FCRH ’71; Mary Hamm, GSE ’00; and Karen Lambert.
Ed Lambert, FCRH ’71, LAW ’75; Rich Hamm, FCRH ’71; Mary Hamm, GSE ’00; and Karen Lambert. Photo by Adam Kaufman

“The McShane Campus Center is beautiful,” Mary said, with Lambert adding that the campus “outclasses” any other he’s seen.

The game itself marked a special kind of Homecoming for broadcaster Connell McShane, FCRH ’99, who called the game for ESPN+. “It’s always fun to be back here,” said McShane, who got his start in broadcasting at WFUV, Fordham’s public media station, when he was an undergraduate at Rose Hill in the 1990s. “I think this is the first Fordham–Lehigh game I’ve called in 25 years,” he said with a laugh.

A Tribute to Joe Moglia, a Thrilling Victory, and ‘Lives of Integrity’

As kickoff approached, the Fordham cheerleaders and pep band amped up an already enthusiastic crowd under the tent and led them to the stadium. And Brian Kenny, GABELLI ’84, settled in with his wife and 1-year-old granddaughter near the front of the bleachers. “Traditions have gotta bear the weather,” he said. “And we’re starting a new tradition bringing her.”

Brian Kelly, GABELLI ’84, with his wife and granddaughter.
Brian Kelly, GABELLI ’84, with his wife and granddaughter. Photo by Adam Kaufman
On the field, the Rams trailed for much of the game. But they rallied to erase an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter, thanks to a 14-yard touchdown pass from CJ Montes to MJ Wright and two clutch field goals from Brandon Peskin. With the game tied and less than a minute to go, the Rams moved the ball 62 yards on seven plays, including an 11-yard reception by Garrett Cody, who went out of bounds with one second on the clock. That set up Peskin’s game-winner. As the ball soared between the uprights, fans cheered and the Rams rushed to midfield to celebrate with Peskin before heading to the Victory Bell outside the historic Rose Hill Gym.

Joe Moglia, a 1967 Fordham Prep and 1971 Fordham College at Rose Hill graduate, award-winning football coach, and transformational business executive, joined the players for the ringing of the Victory Bell. Fordham also honored Moglia during an on-field ceremony between the first and second quarters, when he was presented with a commemorative ball and a framed photo of the football and soccer stadium that now bears his name.

Joe Moglia on the sidelines.
Joe Moglia on the sidelines. Photo by Vincent Dusovic

Leading up to Saturday’s gatherings in the tents and the big game, seven former student-athletes and one coach were honored at the 2023 Fordham Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Edwards Parade on Thursday evening, and on Friday night, more than 700 alumni who graduated between 2013 and 2023 participated in the annual Young Alumni Yacht Cruise, sailing in New York Harbor and along the East and Hudson rivers.

On Saturday morning, around 50 people braved the elements to take part in the annual 5K Ram Run at 9 a.m., while others joined campus walking tours.

Before the tents opened, alumni and friends also gathered in the Great Hall of the McShane Campus Center for a “Coffee and Conversation” event featuring Fordham President Tania Tetlow. She reflected on her first year as president and described alumni as “force multipliers” for the University.

“We continue to have an outsized impact on the world because of what our alumni like you achieve with the education that you got—the impact you’ve had on the world, the ways that you live lives of integrity, all of the ways that you touch society,” Tetlow said.

—Franco Giacomarra and Kelly Prinz contributed to this story.