Fordham University welcomed the 2008-2009 academic year by opening a new campus in Westchester County, N.Y.

Fordham Westchester is a three-story, 62,500-square-foot building set on 32 landscaped acres at 400 Westchester Ave. in bucolic West Harrison. It is home to the adult undergraduate program as well as the graduate schools of Social Service, Religion and Religious Education, Education, and Business Administration.

Lobby rendering, courtesy of Kouzmanoff Bainton Architects.

“This is a key ingredient for Fordham’s future,” said Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., senior vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Fordham University. “This campus makes available the best of Fordham for our students in the Westchester community.”

The building includes 26 renovated classrooms with technological amenities such as “smart boards,” teleconferencing capabilities and newly installed seating and learning areas. The surrounding campus, nestled in a scenic wooded enclave, features a stream and pond.

In addition, the building houses faculty offices and administrative support space, a library, three personal computer laboratories, a chapel, a food service facility and indoor and outdoor student meeting areas. More than $8 million was spent on renovations that incorporated substantial green building techniques, including a large central courtyard at the heart of the facility.

“It’s exciting that Fordham University is making this long-term commitment to Westchester County with a beautiful state-of-the-art facility that we hope will nurture the community,” said Ron Jacobson, Ph.D., associate vice president for academic affairs, dean of Summer Session and executive director of academic programs for Fordham Westchester. “We’ll offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, continuing education and professional development.”

Jacobson said the full-service campus will serve as a portal, of sorts, for the local community.

“We plan to offer lectures and create new opportunities for learning,” he said. “I’d like it to be revolutionary—to create new ways of reaching out to people in terms of facilitating education. We want people to know we are there as a resource to serve their educational needs.’

The Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) will hold classes on the new campus and house its centers there as well. The Bertram M. Beck Institute for Religion and Poverty, the Children and Families Institute for Research, Support and Training (FIRST), and Ravazzin Center for Social Work Research in Aging will have dedicated space at the facility.

“As a premiere school of social work, we now have a premiere campus,” said Peter B. Vaughan, Ph.D., dean of GSS. “Fordham has continued its commitment to the people of Westchester County and the neighboring areas.”

Vaughan praised University officials for “leaving no rock unturned” in finding a campus that will serve the needs of adult learners and working students.

“It’s a campus we will all be proud of,” he said. “Our school has done a fair amount of research and training, and now will be able to expand that because we’ll have capabilities we had not had before.”

The campus offers parking for 250 vehicles and is accessible by all modes of public transportation, including the Metro North and the Westchester County Bus System (the “Bee-Line”). In addition, the University offers a Ram Van shuttle between its three campuses.

The University signed a 20-year lease with GHP Office Properties for the campus.


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.