|Latin: Universitas Fairfieldensis|
|Motto||Latin: Per Fidem ad Plenam Veritatem|
|Motto in English||Through Faith to the Fullness of Truth|
|Type||Private, nonprofit, research, coeducational|
|Religious affiliation||Jesuit (Roman Catholic)|
|Endowment||US $254 million|
|Chairman||Paul J. Huston '82|
|President||The Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.|
|Provost||The Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J.|
|Academic staff||Total: 546
(257 full-time / 289 part-time)
|Location||Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
|Campus||Suburban - 200 acres (80.9 ha)|
|Former names||Fairfield University of
St. Robert Bellarmine (1942)
|Fight song||"Hail Stags"|
|Colors||Red and White|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I - MAAC|
|Sports||20 varsity sports teams
(9 men's and 11 women's)
|Nickname||Stags / Lady Stags|
|Mascot||Lucas the Stag|
Fairfield University is a private, co-educational undergraduate and master's level teaching-oriented university located in Fairfield, Connecticut, in the New England region of the United States. It was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1942, and today is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The primary objectives of a Fairfield University education are to develop the creative intellectual potential of its students and to foster in them ethical and religious values and a sense of social responsibility. All schools of the university are committed to a liberal humanistic approach to education, which encourages interdisciplinary learning.
About 3,500 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students study in Fairfield's five schools and colleges: The Fairfield University College of Arts and Sciences, The Charles F. Dolan School of Business, The School of Engineering, The School of Nursing, and The Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions. The university is notable academically for its liberal arts and science programs which have produced a MacArthur Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow and sixty-two Fulbright Scholars since 1993. In addition, two Fairfield faculty members were named consecutive Connecticut Professors of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2009 and 2010 in recognition of their extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.
- 1 History and tradition
- 2 Academics
- 3 Arts and enrichment
- 4 Athletics
- 5 Campus and region
- 6 People
- 7 Publications and media
- 8 Residence life
- 9 Student life
- 10 References
- 11 External links
History and tradition
Fairfield University was founded in 1942 by the Society of Jesus when the Jesuits acquired the two contiguous estates of the Brewster Jennings and Walter Lashar families. In the same year the Rev. James H. Dolan, S.J., the Provincial Superior of the New England Jesuit Province appointed the Rev. John J. McEleney, S.J. the first President of the "Fairfield University of Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J." and Vicar of the Fairfield College Preparatory School. In 1944, the Rev. James H. Dolan, S.J. became the second President. During his tenure, Fairfield University was chartered by the State of Connecticut to grant degrees in 1945; the first class of 303 male students was admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences in 1947; the College of Arts and Sciences was accredited by the State of Connecticut and the first summer session of undergraduate courses was held in 1949.
|Presidents of Fairfield|
|1942–1944||The Rev. John J. McEleney, S.J.|
|1944–1951||The Rev. James H. Dolan, S.J.|
|1951–1958||The Rev. Joseph D. FitzGerald, S.J.|
|1958–1964||The Rev. James E. FitzGerald, S.J.|
|1964–1973||The Rev. William C. McInnes, S.J.|
|1973–1979||The Rev. Thomas R. Fitzgerald, S.J.|
|1979–2004||The Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J.|
|2004 -||The Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.|
In 1971, Fairfield University won a significant legal victory at the Supreme Court of the United States in Tilton vs. Richardson establishing an important legal precedent concerning the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and government financial assistance to religious-based colleges and universities. This landmark court case questioned the legality of Fairfield and three other Connecticut religious-based institutions securing federal construction grants under the Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963. An appeal by the plaintiffs was denied by the Supreme Court on June 28, 1971, ensuring Fairfield a significant amount of federal money which contributed to the construction of the Nyselius Library (1968) and Bannow Science Center (1971). In the majority opinion, the Court upheld, 5–4, the federal construction grants as long as the facilities were not to be used for sectarian instruction or places of worship. The Court held that the church-related institutions in question had not used their federally funded facilities for religious activities, and that the facilities were "indistinguishable from a typical state university facility."
Fairfield has been a frequent stop of candidates for President of the United States throughout several presidential campaigns. During the 1984 presidential election, President Ronald Reagan visited Fairfield on October 26, 1984. During the 1988 presidential election, George H. Bush visited the university and delivered a speech in Alumni Hall attacking the tax-and-budget policies of then Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis days before being elected the 41st president. Alumnus J. Michael Farren '77 served as deputy director to President-elect George H. Bush's transition team and later served as deputy campaign manager for the Bush-Quayle Re-election Committee during the 1992 presidential election. During the 2000 United States presidential election, Texas Governor George W. Bush scheduled and controversially cancelled at the last moment a large student rally at Fairfield following a visit to Bob Jones University, a school that has been characterized as anti-Catholic. Alumnus Thomas J. Josefiak served as general counsel to both the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee and later served as general counsel to the Bush presidential campaign during the 2004 election.
A detailed account of the history of Fairfield University was written by the Rev. Joseph MacDonnell, S.J. in his book entitled If these Stones Could Speak. Further, a brief history of "The Jesuits in Fairfield" can be found on The Fairfield Jesuit Community website.
During the American Revolutionary War in 1779, the Battle of Round Hill took place on the present-day Bellarmine Hill on the campus of the university where the Americans under the command of Colonel Samuel Whiting (whose third-generation grandson Andrew Whiting graduated in 2005) repelled the British invaders under the command of Major-General William Tryon, but not before the British laid ruin to the Town of Fairfield.
In September 2000, Charles F. Dolan H'04, founder of HBO and chairman of Cablevision, donated $25 million to the renamed Charles F. Dolan School of Business, which still represents one of the largest donations from a single source to a business school.
On February 12, 2002, Patrick Arbelo, a 2001 graduate, took 26 students hostage in Canisius Hall and demanded that his list of books and statements against blacks and Jews be read over New York City radio stations. Arbelo surrendered after seven hours and was subsequently found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2003 and committed to a state hospital. On February 7, 2009, state reviewers found Arbelo, now blind, no longer a threat to himself and others and released him to the custody of his father under rules of lifelong medication.
In July 2004, the Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., a graduate of Princeton University, former Chair of the History Department at Georgetown University, and former Dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, became the eighth President of Fairfield University succeeding the Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., the longest tenured and most accomplished President of the University.
In September 2004, von Arx announced that the capital campaign, "Our Promise: The Campaign for Fairfield University," launched and led by the Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., raised a record $137.9 million. The capital raised resulted in the construction and renovation of seven buildings, the creation of four new academic chairs, and the significant increase in the University's endowment.
In October 2006, von Arx, Kelley, and Paul J. Huston '82, chairman of the Board of Trustees, dedicated the Aloysius P. Kelley. S.J. Center, a new environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art welcoming center for prospective students and a "one-stop shopping" administrative center for current students.
In March 2008, von Arx, announced the Bridgeport Tuition Plan offering full-tuition scholarships to admitted students who are graduates of a Bridgeport, Connecticut high school and whose families earn less than $50,000 a year.
Roman Catholic and Jesuit tradition
As one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, Fairfield belongs to an elite group that continues the dedication Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556) to developing the whole person. The university's environment invites students of all traditions to a maturing of faith, self-knowledge, respect for the dignity of themselves and others, a devotion to justice, a commitment to serving the poor, and a passion for truth, reflection, and lifelong learning.
Fairfield's Jesuit ethos trains students in scholarship, prepares them for leadership, encourages them to engage in service projects; and develops graduates with strong social concerns for the common good. The university is an intellectual, social, spiritual, and cultural destination of choice for students and faculty from a diversity of backgrounds.
Fairfield University offers 35 undergraduate majors and 16 interdisciplinary minors, as well as 38 graduate programs leading to Master's degrees and one to a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Certificate programs and more than 250 non-credit courses are also offered. The Fiske Guide to Colleges recognized Fairfield's strongest programs to include Biology, International Studies, Art History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Accounting and Finance, and Mechanical Engineering. The innovative Film, Television and Media Arts major is the first of its kind among Jesuit universities and features Cinefest Fairfield, an annual film festival showcasing student work created in production courses. And Fairfield's new 5-Year Bachelor's/Master's Teacher Program allows students to begin their teacher education program requirements as undergraduates and complete them as graduate students in the University's graduate degree programs in secondary, elementary, or TESOL education.
- The Fairfield University College of Arts and Sciences
- The Charles F. Dolan School of Business
- The School of Engineering
- The School of Nursing
- The Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions
Fairfield students and graduates have been the recipients of numerous nationally acclaimed fellowships and scholarships including the MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship, Goldwater Scholarship, Clare Booth Luce Scholarship, McGowan Scholarship and Udall Scholarship.
- Phi Beta Kappa: Fairfield is the second youngest institution to gain membership in Phi Beta Kappa (ΦΒΚ), the nation's oldest and most prestigious academic honor society. When the Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was chartered at the university in 1994, Fairfield joined a select company of 262 colleges and universities. Nationwide, only one percent of college seniors are invited to join Phi Beta Kappa annually. As of 2007, forty-three faculty and staff members on campus, including University President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, are members of Phi Beta Kappa.
- USA Today All-USA College Academic Team: Two Fairfield students, Chris Pilkerton '95 and Michael Franz '99, were selected to the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team which honors full-time undergraduates who excel in scholarship and also extend their intellectual abilities beyond the classroom to benefit society.
Centers of distinction
The Center for Catholic Studies promotes an understanding and appreciation of the Catholic intellectual tradition by supporting academic programming exploring the Catholic and Jesuit mission and identity and the Minor in Catholic Studies. The Center sponsors the Voices of Others video series in which Dr. Paul Lakeland sits down with scholars, theologians and social activists to discuss issues surrounding the theme “Listening to the Voices of Others.” Past special guests include Loung Ung, Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J., Dr. Paul Farmer and Archbishop Demetrios of America. The Center is directed by the holder of the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies, currently Dr. Lakeland.
The Center for Faith and Public Life provides a cross-disciplinary forum for students, scholars, policy makers, and religious leaders to converse and reflect on issues where religion intersects with civic life. Through academic research, teaching, publications and public initiatives, the Center provides a focus for viewing the role of religion in the public square. The Center sponsors the Politics Meets Faith video series in which American politicians such U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, U.S. Representative Christopher Shays and U.S. Representative Jim McGovern have gone on record in front of an audience of students for such conversations. The Center is home to the Office of Service Learning which incorporates the service learning teaching methodology into the Fairfield curriculum, providing opportunities to combine academics studies with active community service to local organizations in nearby Bridgeport, Connecticut. For example, education and psychology students can participate in the Adrienne Kirby Family Literacy Project, business students can participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and nursing students can work at the Health Promotion Center. The center is the current home for the Connecticut Campus Compact, providing state level support for the Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,100 colleges and universities promoting community service, civic engagement, and service learning in higher education. The Center for Faith and Public Life was founded in 2005 and is directed by the Richard Ryscavage, S.J.
The Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies provides students and the local community exposure to Jewish ideas, culture, and thinking. The Bennett Center has brought several lecturers to the University, including Nobel Prize-winner Elie Wiesel, Former Ambassador Dennis Ross, and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The center was founded in 1994 with an initial endowment of $1.5 million from Carl and Dorothy Bennett of Greenwich, Connecticut and is directed by Dr. Ellen Umansky.
The Center for Microfinance is engaged in the microfinance movement working to help develop self-sustaining business operations in developing countries. Dr. Winston Tellis and Dr. Michael Tucker co-founded the Center in 2001, with a program in which the faculty and business students helped develop self-sustaining businesses in poor rural areas of Haiti and Nicaragua. The center was honored for its work for Haiti's poor by FONKOZE USA (F/USA) which supports Fonkoze (Fondasyon Kole Zepol), Haiti's only alternative bank for the poor. F/USA is one of only five non-profit organizations approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to solicit U.S. investments for foreign organizations.
The International Studies Program at the Fairfield College of Arts and Sciences and the International Business Program at the Dolan School of Business are associated with several programs:
- Fulbright Scholars Program: Fairfield students have been successful in garnering Fulbright Scholarships, which fund students to go abroad for one year after graduation to engage in independent research, study and work. Since 1993, sixty-two Fairfield students have been awarded these scholarship. Fairfield has been ranked No. 1 among universities that grant master's degrees in the Fulbright 's list of colleges and universities that produced U.S. Fulbright Scholars since 2006. This was the fifth time in six years that Fairfield had the largest number of awards in its category. In the last nine years, eight faculty members have been awarded Fulbright Scholar Grants for postdoctoral research. Fairfield faculty members have published hundreds of scholarly articles and books in the past two years.
- The Study Abroad Program: Fairfield offers summer, semester and year-long study abroad options in Florence, Italy at the Florence University of the Arts; Syracuse, Italy at the Mediterranean Center for Arts and Sciences; Galway, Ireland at the National University of Ireland, Galway; Brisbane, Australia at the Australian Catholic University; Managua, Nicaragua at the Universidad Centroamericana; Granada, Spain at the University of Granada; Madrid, Spain at the Complutense University of Madrid; and Seville, Spain at the University of Seville. In addition, MBA students can participate in the Doing Business in Europe program hosted by the ESC Rouen – Rouen School of Management in Rouen, France.
- The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies: Fairfield University students regularly study at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China through a partnership with The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies, a Jesuit consortium program for study in China. Many of these students are winners of Freeman Awards for Study in Asia and ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellowships.
Rankings and ratings
BusinessWeek ranks Fairfield 63rd in the United States and 2nd in Connecticut for Value based on the return on investment (ROI) it provides to its students. The Center for College Enrollment Studies includes Fairfield in annual Guide to 101 of the Best Values in Colleges and Universities. The Fiske Guide to Colleges profiles Fairfield as one of the "country's best and most interesting" colleges and universities, stating that "Fairfield is one of the up-and-coming schools in the Roman Catholic universe" and "is moving into the same class as older, more revered East Coast Jesuit institutions." The guide ranks the Fairfield and its School of Business among "Small Colleges and Universities Strong in Business."
The Princeton Review ranks Fairfield amongst the "Best 361 Colleges;" and the Dolan School of Business among the "Best 237 Business Schools" and one of the top 15 accounting programs in the country based on "Student Opinion Honors for Business Schools" It ranks Fairfield among the "Best Northeast Colleges;" among "America's Best Value Colleges" in 2005 (the only Connecticut school and among 77 schools nationwide); and among "Top 25 Most Connected Campuses" in 2004. U.S. News America's Best Colleges ranked Fairfield at number 2 on its Northeast Regional Universities chart for 2012; and amongst "Great Schools, Great Prices" based on academic ranking and the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid.
Arts and enrichment
Quick Center For the Arts
The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is the major center of theatre and the arts at Fairfield and recognized as the "cultural epicenter of Fairfield County" by Westport Magazine. The center opened in 1990 and hosts events such as popular and classical music, dance, theatre, and programs for young audiences. It houses the 740-seat Kelley Theatre, the 150-seat Lawrence A. Wien Experimental (Black Box) Theatre, and the Thomas J. Walsh, Jr. Art Gallery.
The center is home to the Open VISIONS Forum, which under the direction of Dr. Philip Eliasoph brings a wide range of speakers to campus to participate in an dialogue about topical issues. Past guests have included two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough, prize-winning NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto; documentary filmmaker Ken Burns; Forbes CEO and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes; former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke; United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky; Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim; and former hostage and author Terry Waite
Bellarmine Museum of Art
The Bellarmine Museum of Art, opened in October 2010, is located the University's signature 1920s Tudor mansion and features four galleries with about 2,700 square feet (250 m2) of space. Its main gallery, The Frank and Clara Meditz Gallery, is named in honor of the parents of the lead donor to the project, University Trustee John Meditz '70. Its evocative footprint – which resembles an early Christian basilica in plan – makes the Meditz Gallery an ideal space for displaying ten paintings from the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods, works gifted to the University by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation via Bridgeport's Discovery Museum. In a smaller side gallery, highlights from the University's collection of plaster casts after exemplary works from ancient Rome and Greece (including eight recently donated to the University by the Acropolis Museum in Athens) are displayed. The corridor adjacent to the Meditz gallery holds casts of significant pieces from the Parthenon. In addition to these objects, the museum houses a range of non-Western art artifacts (including pre-Columbian vessels, 19th-century South East Asian sculptures and African masks), and has pieces from the Celtic, Byzantine, Medieval and Romanesque periods on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters.
Theatre Fairfield is the resident production company of the Theatre Program of the Department of Visual & Performing Arts at the university. Theatre Fairfield's season includes professionally directed and designed productions; a Festival of student-written, directed, and designed plays; performances by On the Spot, an improv company; Director's Cut or A Class Act which features the work of advanced directing and acting students; and independent projects created by junior and senior theatre majors. The PepsiCo Theatre, a renovated 1922 carriage house, is the home to Theatre Fairfield. This theatrical facility includes a 70-seat flexible black box theatre, coffeehouse, dance studio, design studio [disambiguation needed], and costume shop/dressing room.
Fairfield on the screen
Five locations on the Fairfield University campus including McAuliffe Hall were utilized in the filming of All Good Things, an upcoming mystery-romance film written and directed by Andrew Jarecki. Among the actors and actresses present on campus June 2 through June 5, 2008 were Academy Award-nominated actor Ryan Gosling and actress Kirsten Dunst. The movie is scheduled to be released in theaters nationally in 2009.
Two locations on the Fairfield University campus including Loyola Hall were utilized in the filming of Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day, an "Oprah Winfrey Presents" adaptation of Mitch Albom's New York Times best-selling book, For One More Day. Among the actors and actresses present on campus on July 23 and 24, 2007 were Emmy Award-winning actor Michael Imperioli and Academy Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn. The made-for-television movie aired nationally on the ABC television network on December 9, 2007.
A team of four Fairfield students won three consecutive matches on the GE College Bowl, a popular quiz game show broadcast live nationally on the NBC television network. The wins brought national recognition to the University along with a total grant of $5,000. In the first match broadcast on September 29, 1963, the Fairfield four defeated a team from Creighton University, 215–140. In the second match, broadcast on October 6, 1963, the Fairfield four defeated a team from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 220–190. In the third match, broadcast on October 14, 1963, the Fairfield four defeated a team from Clemson University, 245–200. The four finally were defeated in their fourth match broadcast on October 20, 1963, falling to Polytechnic University, 145–160. The Fairfield four included John Horvath, John Kappenberg, Joseph Kroll and George Greller; and were coached by the Rev. Donald D. Lynch, S.J.
Dr. Kurt C. Schlichting '70, the E. Gerald Corrigan Endowed Chair in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Fairfield, and a Fairfield alumnus, appeared as an on-screen interviewee and served as an Academic Advisor to the American Experience documentary, "Grand Central." The documentary aired nationally on the PBS television network on February 4, 2008. The documentary was based on his book Grand Central Terminal: Railroads, Architecture and Engineering in New York (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), for which he received the 2002 Best Professional /Scholarly Book: Architecture & Urbanism Award from the Association of American Publishers.
Tony Micelli, the lead fictional character played by actor Tony Danza in the television sitcom Who's the Boss?, which was set and filmed in Fairfield, Connecticut, attended Fairfield and wore an official university sweatshirt during the Season 5 "Winter Break" episode. The episode aired nationally on the ABC television network on February 14, 1989.
Fairfield University is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and is classified as Division 1 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association for a majority of its athletic programs. it sponsors 20 varsity sports – baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's crew, men's and women's cross country, field hockey, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, and women's volleyball. Men's lacrosse is a member of the ECAC Lacrosse League and field hockey is an associate member of the America East Conference.
Fairfield athletes are among the most academically successful in the nation, according to the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate (APR). In the past several years the NCAA has honored many Fairfield sports teams for their academic performance with Public Recognition Awards. These teams posted multi-year APR scores in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports nationwide. In 2006–07, eight teams, and in 2007–08, seven teams received these awards. In recent years, twelve Fairfield student-athletes have been honored as Academic All-Americans or National Scholar-Athletes in recognition of their academic and athletic achievements.
The Stags' most notable success in athletics has been in basketball, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball. The men's basketball team held a half time lead over the number 1 seed University of North Carolina Tar Heels before falling short in the 1997 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship tournament. Darren Phillip '00 was the nation's top rebounder averaging 14 rebounds per game in 1999–00 and Deng Gai '05 was the nation's top shot blocker averaging 5.5 blocks per game in 2004–05. On March 16, 2010, during the first round of the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) men's basketball set the national record for the largest comeback in division I college basketball postseason history by overcoming a 27-point deficit with under 16 minutes to play to defeat George Mason in overtime, 101–96. The Stags were led by Mike Evanovich who finished with a career-high 32 points and a school record nine three-pointers including one with 0.9 seconds in regulation to send the game into overtime. And at the conclusion of 2010 season, head coach Ed Cooley was named the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year. The former women's basketball head coach, Diane Nolan, achieved her 500th career win in 2005–06 and led the Stags to four post-season bids to the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship in 1988, 1991, 1998 and 2001.
The men's lacrosse team earned berths to the 2003 and 2005 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship tournaments while the women won 6 MAAC Regular Season Titles in the last decade and earned a berth to the 2009 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship. On March 13, 2010, men's lacrosse set the school record for the defeat of the highest ranked opponent when the Stags upset the then no. 3 nationally ranked (and eventual 2010 NCAA tournament runner-up) Notre Dame Fighting Irish 10–8 while competing in the inaugural 'Beating Cancer With A Stick Classic' at The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas.
The men's soccer team won the 2005, 2006 and 2011 MAAC Regular Season Championship as well as the 1999, 2006, 2008 and 2011 MAAC Tournament Championship. The 2006 MAAC Championship earned the team a First round NCAA Tournamant Game at in-state rival University of Connecticut. Prior to the game, UConn had never lost an NCAA Tournament game on its home field. Fairfield secured a 2–1 first round victory, thanks to a late goal by star player James Gaughan. During the years of 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011 the team was nationally ranked, rising as high as No. 15 in several polls. In 2007, the Men's Soccer team defeated national champion St. John's University 2–1. No other Fairfield athletic program has ever defeated a former National Championship team. In 2011 the Stags went unbeaten in MAAC conference play, and won the MAAC Championship held at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. In 2012 Fairfield's goalkeeper, Michael O'Keeffe, was called into the New Zealand Olympic squad. He appeared in all of the Oly-Whites games in London 2012, and was the only soccer player in the NCAA to appear in the London Olympics. The women's soccer team has advanced to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship five times, most recently in 2005 and 2008, and has won the MAAC Championship seven times since 1993. And the women's volleyball team was nationally ranked in 1998 (24th) and 1999 (32nd) and competed in five straight NCAA Women's Volleyball Championships between 1997 and 2001.
Sport Clubs offer a competitive athletic opportunity for students including baseball, equestrian, men's and women's ice hockey, martial arts, men's and women's rugby, sailing, men's and women's skiing and snowboarding, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's track and men's and women's volleyball. The Men's Rugby Football Club or Red Ruggers, established in 1963, is the longest continuously running sport club at Fairfield University. The Red Ruggers won the 2008 MET NY Rugby Football Union Division II Title and have produced two USA Rugby Collegiate All-Americans. Former Red Ruggers Paul Sheehy '81 competed for the USA Eagles at the 1991 Rugby World Cup and Will Brazier '05 competed for the United States national rugby league team at the 2004 Liberty Bell Cup. The Equestrian Club was Regional Champions in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, & 2003 and in 2007 seven Fairfield riders were invited to the elite Tournament of Champions, a horse show for the nation's top collegiate equestrian teams. The Men's Hockey Club (formerly an NCAA level Division I program of the now-defunct MAAC) competed in the 2007 MCHC Championship game and the 2008 ACHA National Tournament. The Men's Volleyball Club won the 2006 and 2007 New England Collegiate Volleyball League Division II Championship and competed in the 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008 National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Volleyball Championships. Historically, the 1979 Football Club led by All-America quarterback Craig Leach '81 played in the National Collegiate Football Association's championship game where the Stags fell 60–40 to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. The 1980 Football Club started the season ranked No. 1 in the pre-season NCFA Polls. The men's club baseball team was officially recognized as a sports club during the 2007–2008 academic year. The team competes in the New England Club Baseball Association.
Campus and region
The university is situated on a pastoral campus offering scenic views of Long Island Sound and all the amenities of a major, comprehensive university in a setting of rolling hills, sprawling lawns, picturesque ponds, and bucolic wooded areas-a setting ideal for education. Fairfield's 200-acre (0.81 km2) campus consists of 35 buildings anchored by the three manor homes of the original estates: Bellarmine Hall (1921), formerly the Lashar's 'Hearthstone Hall', renamed to honor Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J,; McAuliffe Hall (1896), originally O.G. Jennings' 'Mailands', renamed for Bishop Maurice F. McAuliffe, who sanctioned the creation of Fairfield University; and David J. Dolan House, Lawrence Jenning's 'Larribee', dedicated to honor the uncle of Charles F. Dolan who made the 1989 acquisition of Dolan Campus possible. Along with Bellarmine Hall, named in honor of Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J, many of the buildings on the campus are named in honor of Jesuit priests. Behind each building name is a story of a Jesuit priest who was an exemplar of the Jesuit mission and their pursuit of educational and intellectual contributions, human rights and social justice.
The university received the 2008 Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award, presented each year by Security On Campus Inc. (SOC). The national award, established in 1994 by Howard and Connie Clery in memory of their daughter who was murdered on a college campus in 1986, honors schools and individuals “that have done extraordinary things to make college and university students safer.” Fairfield was selected for the award based on "...its innovative programs, comprehensive emergency response plan, and overall commitment to...peer education and prevention programming, and a unique study abroad travel safety program."
Built in 1968, the DiMenna-Nyselius Library originally was named the Nyselius Library in honor of benefactors Gustav and Dagmar Nyselius. They were Swedish immigrants who had settled in Stamford and wanted to make a donation to Fairfield University to repay in part the kindness of their adoptive country. In 2001, the Library underwent a major renovation and expansion and was renamed the DiMenna-Nyselius Library in recognition of a donation from alumnus Joseph A. DiMenna, Jr. '80.
The Library contains an extensive collection of print and electronic resources which include over 300,000 bound volumes, 1800 journals and newspapers, over 11,000 audiovisual items and the equivalent of 92,000 volumes in microform. Its electronic resources provide online access to a wide variety of World Wide Web subscription databases that bring full text journals and statistical information to the desktop anywhere on campus. Throughout the Library, wireless access is available in designated areas. The Library also contains two open access computer labs featuring Macintosh and Dell computers (one with 24-hour access for students), two dozen multimedia workstations, an electronic classroom, a 90-seat multimedia auditorium, and study rooms.
In March 2010, a strong Nor'easter storm peeled back a roughly 120’ x 30–40’ section of the roof along the parking lot side of the library building, destroying 2,583 books—some of which were out of print. The worst-damaged sections were the ones on Shakespeare, film, modern languages, science and social science. The minimum estimated value of the books was $88,519.41.
In recent years, the university has implemented an institution-wide Green Movement, taking major steps to reduce its impact on the natural environment and improve sustainability. The university now builds facilities with an eye to energy efficiency, recycling, and receives high marks from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a rating system of the U.S. Green Building Council that promotes responsible building practices and sustainable design. These efforts have earned the university recognition as one of the nation's "Cool Schools" from the Sierra Club and a "C-" grade on the Sustainable Endowments Institute's 2009 College Sustainability Report Card. And in 2010, the Princeton Review and U.S. Green Building Council included Fairfield in the "Guide to 286 Green Colleges"
In October 2007, U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and U.S. Representative Christopher Shays joined the President von Arx in unveiling the university's new environmentally friendly Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP) designed to reduce strain on the region's power grid and reduce the University's overall carbon footprint by more than 10,000 metric tons per year. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored the university with a 2010 Energy Star CHP Award for its energy smart CHP.
In May 2008, von Arx signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the Earth's climate.
On Earth Day 2008, ground breaking took place for the new Fairfield Jesuit Community Center, an environmentally friendly home and retreat and meeting center that features a roof garden and a geo-thermal heating and cooling system. Fairfield is also in the process of replacing its 125-vehicle fleet with biodiesel-powered buses and hybrid vehicles. The building has received widespread acknowledgements for its sustainable design and construction.
Most recently, in August 2009, Fairfield University became the first university in the United States to install Tomra UNO reverse vending machines (RVM), an all-in-one recycling machine, allowing students to deposit plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers for a rebate of a nickel.
The town of Fairfield was rated the ninth-best place to live in the United States and the best place to live in the Northeast by Money in 2006, offering students Fairfield Beach along the scenic shoreline of Long Island Sound and a vibrant downtown area which are both located just five minutes from campus. The university runs a shuttle between campus and downtown.
The Black Rock neighborhood of the City of Bridgeport bordering on the town of Fairfield is located just ten minutes from campus and provides students a metropolitan village-like atmosphere that boasts some of the best restaurants and entertainment in Fairfield County. Fairfield University students frequent the Acoustic Cafe, which has been named "Best Place to Hear Alternative Music" three years in a row by Fairfield County Weekly's reader poll and helped launch Fairfield University's own award-winning Indie rock band, The Alternate Routes.
Fairfield has approximately 40,000 living alumni. Despite the relative youth of the institution, the alumni are achieving considerable success in academia, business, finance, journalism, law, government, medicine, science and social justice.
- In academia and education, Fairfield alumni include: Donald Preziosi, an art historian and former Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University; Charles E. Schaefer, a psychology professor considered the "Father of Play Therapy"; Katherine Lapp, Executive Vice President of Harvard University; David J. McCarthy, Jr., Dean Emeritus of the Georgetown University Law Center; Francis J. Tedesco, President Emeritus of the Medical College of Georgia.
- In business and finance, alumni include: E. Gerald Corrigan, the 7th President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; William P. Egan, venture capitalist; Kathleen Murphy, one of Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Business Women; Joseph DiMenna, hedge fund manager; Christopher McCormick, president & CEO of L.L.Bean; Eileen Rominger, Director of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.
- In journalism and literature, alumni include: Pat Jordan, leading sports writer and acclaimed author of A False Spring; Bob Sullivan, two time New York Times Best Seller author and founding member of MSNBC.com.
- In law and government, alumni include: Raymond J. Dearie, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York; Joseph P. Flynn and William J. Lavery, Chief Judges of the Connecticut Appellant Court; James G. Gilbert, Chief Administrative Law Judge, United States Postal Service; Buddy Cianci, mayor of Providence, Rhode Island; Martin Looney, the Connecticut Senate Majority Leader; Jorge E. Pérez-Díaz, Attorney General and Solicitor General of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
- In medicine and science, alumni include: James Lewis Abbruzzese, Chairman of the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center; Peter Pronovost, a 2008 Time 100 World's Most Influential People and MacArthur Fellow; John T. Lis, a Guggenheim Fellow and Barbara McClintock Professor of Molecular Biology & Genetics at Cornell University; Brian Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress.
- In social justice, alumni include: G. Simon Harak, a Pax Christi National Peacemaker of the Year; Paula Donovan, the founding executive director of AIDS-Free World; Joseph Moylan, founder and president of Durham Nativity School.
New York's 50 Most Powerful Women
- See also: Fairfield University alumni
Among the large donors are: Rudolf F. Bannow, Swedish-American industrialist and namesake of the Rudolf F. Bannow Science Center.; E. Gerald Corrigan '63, former 7th President Federal Reserve Bank of New York and namesake of the E. Gerald Corrigan Endowed Chair in the Humanities and Social Sciences; Charles F. Dolan '04, founder of HBO and Cablevision and namesake of the Charles F. Dolan School of Business and Dolan Campus; Joseph A. DiMenna, Jr. '80, founding Managing Director of Zweig-DiMenna Associates; namesake of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library; William P. Egan '67, founding Partner at Alta Communications; namesake of the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius of Loyola; Steve Lessing '80, Managing Director of Barclays and namesake of Lessing Field; Roger Lynch '63, former Partner of Goldman Sachs and namesake of the Roger M. Lynch Professor of Economics; Gustav Nyselius, Swedish-American Industrialist and namesake of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.; Leslie C. Quick Jr. H'99, founder of Quick & Reilly and namesake of the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreational Complex and Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts; Fay Vincent Jr. '08, former Commissioner of Major League Baseball and creator of the need-based Alice Lynch Vincent Scholarship.; and Thomas J. Walsh Jr., former President & Chairman of Colonial Wire and Cable and namesake of the Thomas J. Walsh, Jr. Athletic Center and Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery.
Publications and media
- Campus Currents – The Official News Publication of Fairfield University
- Fairfield Now – The Magazine of Fairfield University
- Press Room – Fairfield University's Electronic News Room
- In The News – News media highlights featuring Fairfield University
- Fairfield University News – Fairfield University's YouTube news and information video center
- The Mirror – The Independent Student Newspaper of Fairfield University
- The Reluctant Environmentalist – Blogging about Earth-friendly living at Fairfield University
- WVOF – Student operated radio station featuring the best blend of public radio and college programming
- The Ham Channel – Fairfield University's student run television on YouTube
- Mezzo Cammin – An online journal devoted to New Formalist poetry by women, as well as to bringing renewed attention to female poets of the past who wrote in form. This journal was associated with Fairfield university until 2010, when its editor-in-chief and former Fairfield professor Kim Bridgford took a position at another university.
- Mason's Road – An online literary and arts journal sponsored by Fairfield University's MFA in Creative Writing, accepting submissions in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, drama, art, and audio.
The Media Center is a 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) facility located on the ground floor of Xavier Hall that houses the Film Television and Media Arts major (FTM), the Campus Television Network, and the student run HAM Channel. It operates a 32-foot (9.8 m) television production satellite uplink truck that can transmit and receive digitally encoded television signals from geostationary domestic satellites. Fairfield is one of few colleges in the nation to have this technology allowing campus programming and international news organizations including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and Bloomberg Television to be broadcast worldwide from the University.
The Media Center staff and FTM students have won national recognition for their programs and production of multimedia presentations for the university. The Media Center has received a Bronze Telly Award in 2001 and one Silver Telly Award and three Bronze Telly Awards in 2004. Other recent honors have included the Crystal Award of Distinction from the Communicator Awards 2005 Print Competition; two Awards of Excellence from the Videographer 2005 Awards; and the Platinum BEST of Show from The Aurora 2005 Awards.
Fairfield University guarantees first-year students four years of campus housing and provides several housing options depending on their class. Most underclassman live on campus and live the typical residence hall life in the Quad or The Orient sections of campus. The Quad is located in the northwest corner of campus and consists of Campion Hall, Joques Hall, Gonzaga Hall, Loyola Hall, 70 McCormick Road, and Regis Hall. Students typically choose to live in The Quad in order to be close to the classroom buildings and to enjoy the annual battle of dorms water fights; and frisbee and wiffleball games during the warm weather. The Orient is located in the southeast corner of campus and consists of Kostka Hall and Claver Hall which is suite style living, and also the apartments, the newest on campus housing. This section earned its nickname because the original names of the residence halls located in that area were "Southeast" (now Kostka) and "Far East" (now Claver). Though the names were changed in the 1980s, the nickname survived as a non sequitur. Dolan Hall is located in the northeast corner of campus is the primary residence hall for students who request to live in singles housing. This building also holds some freshman doubles.
Loyola Hall is home to the Ignatian Residential College, which offers a unique residential college experience for Fairfield sophomores. Funded by a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, the program provides over 200 students with the opportunity to study and live together while pondering questions of identity, faith and purpose. In addition to living together and taking two classes together students meet once per month in groups of ten with a mentor, hear from weekly speakers, attend one overnight retreat per semester, and take cultural trips.
St. Ignatius House, the former Jesuit community house, will be home to the Just-Us Residential College. The program will allow up to 140 sophomores, committed to community service and social justice, to go beyond the small community service groups at Campus Ministry and live with a group of individuals concerned with life outside of Fairfield County. The program is not inherently religious, but should attract students of all faiths, races and socioeconomic backgrounds who want to do something to help the Fairfield community and beyond.
Upperclassmen choose between living at the Townhouse Complex, the Apartment Village, or Fairfield Beach. The 10 unit Townhouse Complex is a series of 104 two-story student townhouses for 469 juniors and seniors. There are between five and seven students living in each townhouse which has two or three bedrooms upstairs, a living and dining area, a kitchen and two bathrooms. In 2007, townhouse basements have been closed off to students, after an incident in which the administration and Fairfield fire department deemed the basements a fire hazard. During the warmer weather students enjoy their back porches and lawns with an occasional barbecue and wiffleball game. The Apartment Village was opened in September 2000. These apartment-style residences house 192 juniors and seniors. Each apartment contains four single bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room. Fairfield Beach is a unique Fairfield living experience for 200 eligible students to rent beach houses along the Long Island Sound. It historically has been the center of off-campus social life hosting such Fairfield traditions as the Clam Jam and Mock Weddings. However, as it has evolved from a part-time summer beach community into a more permanent residential community, Fairfield Beach has become a source of strain on town-gown relations leading to greater controls over student social life including a ban on large gatherings at Lantern Point since 2001 due to a court injunction.
The goal of Jesuit education is homines pro aliis, “men and women for others”. As a result, Fairfield students are involved in many community service opportunities. Fairfield was among just 119 colleges in the nation named to the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement in 2008. Further, the University was named to the 2009 and 2010 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Learn and Serve America Program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Locally, the award-winning Annual Hunger Clean Up is a one-day service-a-thon where the entire university community joins together to work at 40-plus local agency sites throughout Fairfield County and to raise money for local and national hunger and homelessness causes. The Fairfield chapter of Colleges Against Cancer hosts an annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life, an overnight event designed to spread awareness of cancer prevention, treatments and cures, celebrate cancer survivors and raise money for cancer research. The Adrienne Kirby Family Literacy Project, recognized as a model program by the Corporation for National and Community Service, involves about 175 Fairfield student-volunteers a year in providing individual tutoring to preschool children at the Action for Bridgeport Community Development's Early Learning/Head Start Program.
Internationally, Ignatian Solidarity Corps volunteers annually participate in two-week international service trips during their spring and winter breaks traveling to Ecuador Mexico, Jamaica, Belize and Haiti. In 2004, Mikaela Conley '06 and Aamina Awan '07 founded The Afghan Children's Project to raise awareness and funds for children who have suffered the effects of war, violence, and poverty in the heart of Afghanistan. Both were interviewed on CNN Daybreak in August 2005 for their work in funding the building of a water well for Aloudine, a small village outside Kabul, desperate for clean drinking water. And in 2008, nine Fairfield students, inspired by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, started Sustainable Equity for Women, a micro-lending project designed to raise and invest money in small businesses run by women in developing countries in conjunction with Kiva Microfunds.
In total, the student body hails from 32 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 45 foreign countries. 13% of undergraduate students are African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American (AHANA), or multiracial. Valuing a mix of experiences in the classroom and on campus, increasing diversity at Fairfield is a major goal of the University's Strategic Vision, and in 2005, during the University's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration and Convocation, the Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., called on the university to join him in efforts to increase diversity at the institution. For this reason, the Office of Institutional Diversity Initiatives and the Office of Student Diversity Programs were created to pursue a number of initiatives to increase racial and socioeconomic diversity. These diversity initiatives are helped annually by the Fairfield Awards Dinner held in New York City in which funds are raised for The Alumni Multicultural Scholarship Fund. The 2008 Fairfield Awards Dinner raised a record-breaking $1.1 million.
Fairfield University Student Association
The Fairfield University Student Association (FUSA) is the official student association for full-time undergraduate students and is the largest student organization on campus. The association exists to represent student issues and concerns to the faculty and administration and to sponsor a multitude of student programs and activities. All full-time undergraduate students are members. The association is organized into three branches – legislative', executive, and judicial. The legislative branch consists of the Student Senate, comprising 20 elected representatives (5 from each undergraduate class year). The executive branch is headed by the popularly elected President of FUSA, who serves as the official spokesperson for undergraduate students in addition to administering the student association on a daily basis. In 2002, Karen Donoghue '03 became the first woman elected President of FUSA. The FUSA President is assisted by a popularly elected Vice President, elected class officers, and a number of other appointed officers, including the Chair of Programming and the Chair of the Council of Student Organizations(COSO. The judicial branch, known as the Student Court, serves as a hearing body in certain student conduct cases, as well as performing the judicial functions required for the student association.
A central tenet of a Jesuit education is the promotion of the values of peace and social justice. Fairfield University students have embraced and reflected these values in their own student activism. In 1988, 1989 and 1990, the Coalition for a Better World constructed "Cardboard City" and held a 36-hour vigil, and again in 2008, the Students for Social Justice similarly constructed "Homeless Village" and hosted the "Oxfam Hunger Banquet" to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless in the United States. In 1999, students staged an 11-hour sit-in at the home of the university president and later a hunger strike to protest a contracting company used by the university that the students said was anti-union and paid janitors poorly. Each year, the Students for Social Justice travel to Columbus, Georgia for the annual School of the Americas Watch protest at a combat training school for Latin American soldiers now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The date of the protest marks the anniversary of the murder of six Jesuit priests, their maid, and her daughter in El Salvador at the hands of soldiers trained at the School of the Americas. And in 2008, Fairfield for Peace NOW created "Hope Trail", a pathway of flags around campus symbolizing the cost in life and casualties from the Iraq War, and "A Cry For Peace", a play written and performed with Theatre Fairfield demonstrating the toll of the Iraq War on the families of soldiers back in the United States.
Student clubs & organizations
There are a wide variety of student clubs and organizations that aim to meet the interests of all students. Through the Council of Student Organizations (COSO), clubs become officially recognized and are allocated University funding. COSO exists to encourage student involvement and participation in approximately 90 clubs and organizations each year including the Glee Club, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band, Dance Team, Stag in the Stands, Fairfield Volunteer Corps, Spanish American Latino Student Association, Asian Student Association, mission volunteer trips, and Theater Fairfield. The oldest club on campus is the Fairfield University Glee Club which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2007. The Fairfield University Debate Team of Jason LaRue '99 and Courtney Darts '01 won first place at the 1998 Columbia University Parliamentary Debate Tournament beating 69 other teams, including teams from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Yale and Williams.
- The Cream Filling – The Student Artistic, Literary, and Cultural Special-Interest Magazine of Fairfield University
- Dogwood – A Journal of Poetry and Prose
- The HAM Channel – The Student Television Station of Fairfield University
- The Mirror – The Independent Student Newspaper of Fairfield University
- The Mirror Sports Blog – The Independent Student Sports Blog of Fairfield University Athletics
- The Sound – The Student Literary Magazine of Fairfield University
- WVOF – The Voice of Fairfield University
Student life at the Fairfield is marked by a number of unique traditions and celebrations:
- The Floating Naut – The Floating Naut is a weekly gathering of beach residents at student houses on the beach. The location rotates each week.
- Stagstock – Stagstock is an all day, outdoor concert organized by the HAM Channel and WVOF each year. Stagstock brings together local bands, along with bigger, nationally recognized acts, and showcases them in a free concert. The concert is traditionally held in the Quad on the first weekend of the new school year.
- Mock Weddings – Mock Wedding, created by Chris Tucker '96 and Steve Xeller '96, is a long standing Fairfield tradition in which senior class members select peers to be part of a faux wedding ceremony at The Point at Fairfield Beach followed by a wedding party at a local reception hall late in their final spring semester.
- Powder Puff – Powder Puff is a senior beach event that usually takes place in early November each year.
- Spring Week – Spring Week is a week full of Spring Events sponsored by various clubs and organizations culminating in May Day. Coordinated by IRHA (Inter-Residential Housing Association)
- May Day – May Day sponsored by IRHA and is the last of Spring Week. Free food, cheap drinks, music and fun events take over Lessing Field for the day long event.
- Clam Jam – Clam Jam is one of the final events held at the beach in late April. The Point at Fairfield Beach is jam packed with students celebrating the end of the school year.
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