IPED Director Henry Schwalbenberg, Ph.D., Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt, Bishop Hubbard, Joseph Kelly, Father McShane, and CRS Executive Vice President Joan Rosenhauer.
Photo by Chris Taggart

Joseph Kelly, GSAS ’04, hoisted the The Swanstrom-Baerwald Award on March 6 before an audience of students, faculty, and staff from the International Political Economy and Development (IPED) program, representatives from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), distinguished clergy, and his family.

“Mom and Dad, please know that I know that I am accepting this award because of you,” he addressed his parents, who sat in the front row of Keating First auditorium.

The biennial award recognizes members of the Fordham community for their commitment to the service of faith and the promotion of justice, said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. It is named in memory of Friedrich Baerwald, Ph.D., former Fordham professor of economics, and Bishop Edward E. Swanstrom, founder of CRS.

Father McShane, Bishop Clark, and Bishop Hubbard.
Photo by Chris Taggart

“It is more than appropriate that Joe Kelly be recognized with Bishop Hubbard and Bishop Clark,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “Like Joe, they are deserving of high honors, and like Joe, they have served the church, and humanity, with great energy and grace. Indeed, Fordham is honored by their presence and by the opportunity to recognize their work.”

Kelly, a graduate of the IPED program, accepted the award from the Most Rev. Howard J. Hubbard, bishop of Albany. Bishop Hubbard, along with Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester, were honored as the 2013 recipients of the President’s Medal at a separate ceremony later that evening.

For the past eight years, Kelly has worked with CRS in far-flung locales that ranged from Afghanistan to Haiti. He will take up a post as head of their Syrian office this April.

The honoree, who was expecting to be lauded at a “small discussion,” said he was slightly taken aback by the turnout and promotion of the event, which attracted more than 200 attendees.

“Every five feet along Keating Commons I came in contact with a poster of my face, a hundred Joseph Kellys staring out at me,” he joked. “It seemed like some campaign . . . like, ‘Have you seen this aid worker? Missing. He was in Afghanistan, Bolivia, Haiti, Brazil.'”

At a more intimate dinner that followed, it was Kelly’s turn to listen to the other night’s honorees—Bishops Hubbard and Clark.

“They were so inspiring and hopeful,” said Kelly. “It’s been a long while since I’ve heard words of wisdom and vision that profound.”

Father McShane places the President’s Medal on Bishop Clark.
Photo by Chris Taggart

You can view the ceremony on video here.