Employees who are celebrating their 40- and 20-year work anniversaries at Fordham this year were recognized at the annual Convocation ceremony at the Lincoln Center campus on March 5. This marked the first time that faculty and staff were celebrated at the same ceremony, rather than two individual ones. 

Some of them began working at Fordham in 1983, the same year that the internet was born. The smartphone had not yet been invented, and the gigantic Motorola mobile phone was still a “revolutionary new device.” Others arrived at Fordham in 2003. “The most popular song, which shows my age because I’ve never heard of it, was 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club,’” Fordham President Tania Tetlow said, to laughter from the audience.

Over the past few decades, all 65 Fordham honorees played their part in Fordham’s legacy. Faculty taught, mentored, and inspired generations of students, said Tetlow, while staff and administrators cared for the campus—the buildings, grounds, digital infrastructure, finances—and our community. In total, their years of service add up to 1,340. 

A family of four poses for a group picture.
Twenty-year Bene Merenti medalist Shirley Gatenio Gabel, professor of social work and Mary Ann Quaranta Chair for Social Justice for Children, with her family

“One of you was actually raised on this campus,” Tetlow said, referring to Robert T. Allinger, a mail clerk who is from the Bronx and is the son of longtime Fordham employee Patricia Allinger. “Many of you went to Fordham and sent your children to Fordham. You are part of a longstanding and lifelong commitment—and the work that you do is remarkable.” 

A woman wearing maroon graduation robes shakes the head of a man wearing a format outfit.
Max Rodriguez shakes hands with President Tetlow.

Max Rodriguez, a 40-year employee who was born and raised in the Bronx, started working as a stockroom clerk at the Rose Hill campus when he was 23 years old. He spent most of his time in the biological sciences department, where he became a “jack-of-all trades,” acting as the departmental receptionist, handling packages, stocking the office and labs, supporting the animal care facility, and assisting the departmental administrator and chair, said Kay Turner, vice president for human resources, reading from scripted remarks. Rodriguez said his favorite part about working here is his colleagues—the “best people he’s ever worked with.” 

Rodriguez considered retiring in 2020, but decided to stick around for a little longer. 

“Today is the best opportunity to celebrate 40 years,” said Rodriguez, who is now 63 years old. “This is my second home from home.” 

Bene Merenti Medal | Forty Years 

Nancy Busch Rossnagel Allan S. Gilbert 

Bene Merenti Medal | Twenty Years

Evelyn Bush Su-Je Cho • Ayala Fader • Shirley Gatenio Gabel • Jennifer Gordon • Frank Handelman • Harold Daly Horell • James Y. Kim • Kathryn Kueny • Rafael Lamas • Anita Lightburn • Jason Z. Morris • Guy Robinson • Patricia E. Romero • Aaron Jay Saiger • Petr V. Shibayev • Troy L. Tassier 

Archbishop Hughes Medal | Twenty Years 

James S. Cirillo • John D’Angelo • Jenny Dumet • Laura Esposito • Calvin Brian Ghanoo • Carol A. Gibney • Rosario Gil • Anthony M. Grono • Thomas M. Kaczorowski • Joanne C. Kupidlowski • Liz Manigan • John McDonagh • Lek Ndoj • Joseph J. B. Rienti • Nelson J. Roman • Yahaira Elizabeth Toribio • Johnny Torres •  Jennifer N. Trujillo • Stacey R. Vasquez • Frances Zurinaga 

1841 Award | Forty Years 

Max Rodriguez 

1841 Award | Twenty Years

Robert T. Allinger • Peggy Baratta • Susan Brucculeri • Gilberto S. Cascante Luigi A. D’Arco • Pascual Delvalle • Alexander Dourthe • Melanie Fairfax • Eve A. Foti • Ruben Gomez • Ejl Jankovic • Steve Madigan • Adriana Magnotta • Alejandro Martinez • Christopher ONeill • Deni Pichardo • Silvia Ramirez • Aleksander Rebisz • Jonathan J. Rodriguez • Charles F. Signorile • Tawanna Twine • Jean Walsh • Arthur O. Wanek • Gerard M. Woods


Taylor is a visual storytelling strategist in Fordham University's marketing and communications department, where she documents University life through photography and video. Since joining Fordham in 2018, she has served as a writer, photographer, videographer, and social media manager, dividing her time between University Marketing and Communications and the Office of the President. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Stony Brook University's School of Communication and Journalism and her master's degree in public media from Fordham University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her work has appeared on NPR, NBC New York, and amNewYork METRO.