At this year’s annual President’s Club Christmas Reception, President Tania Tetlow led the student choir in a rendition of “Silent Night” and delivered a special holiday message. 

“It is such a wonderful time of year to come together and celebrate, particularly after these last few Christmases,” Tetlow said to more than 600 members of the Fordham community at Cipriani 42nd Street on Dec. 5. “The magic of being able to come together as a community is ever more apparent—of gathering at Christmas and Hanukkah with our families, those we were born to, those we have chosen, and seeing the wonder in our grandkids’ eyes at this time of year.” 

Four people in holiday attire smile at the camera.

Awaiting the First Snowfall in New York

In her speech, Tetlow said that she’s excited to spend Christmas with her 10-year-old daughter, Lucy, in New York for the first time. This weekend, they plan on seeing the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, an 82-foot-high spruce that adorns the center of the city every year. They’re also excited about something that most New Yorkers take for granted: snow. 

“We’re waiting with bated breath for snow, which she has really only seen once in her life—in a layover in the winter at the Newark Airport. We let her go outside, probably not the most sanitary decision, but to play in the snow, outside of the airport doors. And for years, she’s spoken longingly of Newark,” Tetlow said, to laughter from the audience. “So we’re very excited for snow, and to see our golden retriever experience it for the first time and what his reaction will be.” 

Remembering the Religious Meaning Behind Christmas

A woman speaks at a podium.Christmas comes at the darkest time of year when the nights are longest, Tetlow said, but by coming together and shining the light of the Fordham family, “we pierce the darkness with the light.” 

She said that during Christmastime, it’s important that we all take a moment to breathe and remind ourselves of why we do what we do, as well as remember the religious meaning behind the holiday. 

“At this moment, we celebrate the fact that God so loved us that he wanted to be human with us, and not to come as a great glorious king bathed in splendor, but as a tiny, fragile, humble little baby born to poor parents, trying to find a place to stay,” Tetlow said. “In that humanity, God wanted to experience everything that we experience with us.”

From Students to Alumni Who Live ‘Lives of Integrity’

She thanked the Fordham community for warmly welcoming her and her family into the Ramily. At Fordham, we are not only continuing to build on the legacy of St. Ignatius, but also helping students to find their meaning in life, she said. 

“Our students today from Fordham come from every corner of the globe and join every corner of the Bronx. They have such blazing talent, which our brilliant faculty get to invest in, get to tutor and teach and mentor, and help launch them into lives that matter … And you embody them,” she said, addressing the alumni in the room. “You were them, and you have now demonstrated to the world what a Fordham education can do … in careers that matter and in lives of integrity.” 


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.