On Sept. 2, 113 undergraduate Fordham students took to the water for some recreation and reflection.

For 30 minutes, students paddled around in one- and two-person kayaks in a protected section of the Hudson River next to the Manhattan Community Boathouse.

The visit to the boathouse was sponsored by Fordham’s Pedro Arrupe Volunteers and the Department of Mission Integration & Ministry. The volunteers, who were all upperclassmen, supervised groups of 20 first-year students for the one-mile walk from Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus to the water and also joined them in kayaking.

In addition to kayaking, participants participated in a prayer and Ignatian reflection about water conservation.

Robert Parmach, Ph.D., director of Ignatian mission initiatives, said the goal was to bring people together to cultivate a sense of gratitude for the new school year and also build community.

“It’s pretty wild,” he said.

“Some of them will look at us and say, ‘We’re really going to be in the Hudson River?’ To be out there and still be in New York City is just great.”

Carol Gibney, director of solidarity and leadership in the office of campus ministry, agreed.

“It was a nice opportunity to get to know our students, build community, join in fellowship for the start of the year, and connect with the great outdoors,” she said.


Patrick Verel is a news producer for Fordham Now. He can be reached at [email protected] or (212) 636-7790.