Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, chats with alumni Rachel Foster (FCLC ’06) and Carl Louis (FCLC ’06). Photo by Chris Taggart
Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, chats with alumni Rachel Foster (FCLC ’06) and Carl Louis (FCLC ’06).
Photo by Chris Taggart

There are many reasons why Fordham graduates give back to their alma mater.
Patrick Harrington (FCLS ’81) received financial assistance while attending Fordham thanks, in part, to the GI Bill. So the Air Force veteran decided to help future generations of Fordham students.

“I feel like I got a break, so why not give back?” said Harrington, one of roughly 800 alumni and friends who attended the President’s Christmas Party on Dec. 8 at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. The annual event celebrates the Fordham President’s Club, a group of donors who have given $1,000 or more to the University.

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, hosted the party, greeting attendees as they walked onto the promenade of the theater.

“Every day during this month I reflect on all the grace and blessings that God and his great love has poured out upon Fordham,” Father McShane said. “We have raised $67 million—the largest amount of money Fordham has ever raised in one year. This is possible because of you and your friends—men and women whose lives were deeply transformed by Fordham and believe deeply in Fordham’s promise.”

Father McShane listed some of the honors bestowed upon the University in 2008:

• The School of Law was ranked 27th nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

• The College of Business Administration (CBA) climbed seven places in BusinessWeek magazine’s annual ranking of undergraduate programs, to 27th nationally.

• The Executive MBA program was ranked 25th internationally in a report released in the Sept. 30 issue of The Wall Street Journal.

• The Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) was ranked 18th nationally among graduate schools of social work, according to U.S. News & World Report.

“The greatest blessings of all are the blessings of our students,” Father McShane said. “We rejoice in their achievements; we rejoice in their growth. And their growth at Fordham is great, because at Fordham, students are not numbers. They are young men and women who are loved to greatness.”

Thomas Lamberti (FCRH ’52) was all smiles as he chatted with old friends at the party.

“It’s a great time and I enjoy it every year,” he said.

On why he gives to Fordham, Lamberti said, “I had a wonderful education, met marvelous people. It’s a great school; what more can I say? I want to have other generations succeed to the same extent that I have.”

Bill McLoughlin (FCRH ’58) agreed, recalling great times at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus.

“I learned a lot and I made lifelong friends,” McLoughlin said. “We had a Gaelic society here made up of about 40 guys who are still my friends. We had a table we’d go to every day in the cafeteria, which was in the basement of Keating Hall at the time. We had conversations, and debate was our middle name.”

“I got a great education here and want others to do the same,” McLoughlin continued. “That’s why I give back.”

Sean McCooe (FCRH ’84) said attending Fordham taught him a love of community service and netted him the love of his life, his wife, Rosemary Gunther McCooe (FCLC ’85).

“The passion for giving back is really inculcated in you through your education here at Fordham,” Sean McCooe said. “It inspired me completely. This year is the 25th anniversary of my class and I’m very excited about getting others to be part of it. I loved it here.”


Gina Vergel is Senior Director of Communications. She oversees the digital news coverage, public relations, and social media for the university. Before joining Fordham in 2007, Gina worked as a reporter for the Home News Tribune, and The Ridgewood News, where she won Society of Professional Journalist (New Jersey chapter) awards for breaking news and feature writing, respectively. She can be reached at [email protected] or (646) 579-9957.