Fordham University welcomed Gerald C. Crotty (FCRH ’73) as the incoming chair of its President’s Council on June 1 and honored outgoing chair Peter John Sacripanti (FCLS ’82) for his service and achievements in leading the group of highly dedicated alumni.

Peter Sacripanti, left, welcomes Gerald Crotty. Photo by Chris Taggart

Speaking at a reception held at the city’s new Bank of America Tower on West 42nd Street, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, thanked the 80-member council for its devotion to the University and its students, especially during the economic downturn.

In spite of the sour economy, the council raised $1 million at Fordham’s Founder’s Award Dinner last March. The money will go toward presidential scholarships for students. Some 25 council members have mentored students throughout the year and others have visited campus classrooms as executives-in-residence.

In addition, said Father McShane, 50 council members have worked with Fordham’s admissions office to recruit some of the most talented students to the University, helping create what promises to be another record-setting freshman class this fall.

“When the council was started a few years ago, we weren’t sure how successful it would be,” Father McShane said. “In the relatively short time that it has existed, it has done remarkable things.”

As Sacripanti passed the mantle to Crotty, he joked that Fordham has been so successful in its rise toward preeminence as a Jesuit university, that if he were to apply to Fordham today, he would not be accepted.

“I take pride in saying that, because we are raising the standards,” said Sacripanti, who is chairman of McDermott, Will & Emery LLP. “Out there are the future superstars, and maybe they don’t come from Ireland, probably not from Italy. Maybe they come from Asia. But they’re here, and what they need is an opportunity. What this council can give them is that opportunity, because if they don’t have the money, they will go someplace else.”

Crotty, president of Weichert Enterprise, LLC, and former chief of staff for New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, pledged to solidify Fordham’s reputation as one of the city’s leading institutions.

“Fordham ought to be front of mind when anybody thinks about the great things about New York City—the Jesuit university of New York,” Crotty said. “I will look forward to working with all of you here to find out what contacts we have throughout the city, the state, the nation and around the world to make it happen.”

Thanks to President’s Council member Michael Davidson (FCRH ’94), senior vice president corporate workplace executive for Bank of America, the council got a look at the new 1,200-foot Bank of America Tower skyscraper, the city’s second-tallest building, which opened this year.

Robert F. Fox Jr., of Cook and Fox Architects, gave an overview of the building’s latest green technology. Among the 2.2 million square-foot building’s innovations are:

—    the use of 35 percent recycled materials in the building’s construction and the recycling of 83 percent of construction debris;

—    a sophisticated water recycling system that enables water collected from rain and from sinks, to be reused either for waste plumbing or to be frozen overnight and utilized in air cooling systems the following day;

—    an insulating glass façade, coupled with a partition system designed to provide all employee stations with a view outside.


Janet Sassi is editor/associate director of internal communications. She can be reached at (212) 636-7577 or [email protected]