Michael Chavers, PCS ’12, began studying at Marymount College in 1982 when the women’s college offered co-ed weekend courses for working adults. He took classes every other weekend and could stay in dorms on the Marymount campus. For the Brooklyn-based Chavers, the weekends were akin to a bucolic vacation.

“It was a chance to get away, a different environment,” he said. “I was working five days a week, 12 to 13 hours a day. When it was time for me to go to school, I was ready to go. It was awesome.”

Besides taking technology courses to buttress his career as a computer programmer, there were other benefits of attending Marymount. It was there that he met Michele Holmes Chavers, MC ’99.

“I decided to stay in the dorms that fall, and who stepped off the elevator in the science building but my future husband,” recalled Holmes Chavers. “And that’s how we met. We had classes together at different times, grabbed a slice of pizza, a cup of coffee, and it went on from there.”

By 1985, Chavers’ career hit high gear and he was off to other cities. When he returned to Marymount, its transition to becoming a part of Fordham had already begun, so he transferred his Marymount credits to Fordham and took classes at the Westchester campus on the weekends through the School of Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS). He would go on to take classes with PCS at Rose Hill and finally at Lincoln Center—making him one of the very few to take classes at all four campuses.

“I really got a charge out of it. I was the first male student that helped create the ambassador program for career services [at Marymount]. I volunteered because I felt so good in my heart about Fordham,” he said, adding that he hopes to become more involved with the alumni community in the future.

“I contribute because they gave me a lot, especially having a program where I could go back to school as an adult. I was a man in my 50s and I got my [college]  degree.”


Tom Stoelker is senior staff writer and visual media coordinator for Fordham News. After fifteen years as a freelance designer, Tom shifted his focus to writing and photography. He graduated from Lehman College, CUNY where he majored in English literature and photography and he received his master's in journalism from Columbia University. His work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wall Street Journal, and The Architect's Newspaper, where he was associate editor.