The Jesuit University of New York
|Latin: Universitas Fordhamensis|
|Motto||Sapientia et Doctrina (Latin)|
|Motto in English||Wisdom and Learning|
|Type||Private, Independent, Coeducational|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic (Jesuit)|
|President||Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J.|
|Location||New York City, New York, USA|
|Campus||Rose Hill (The Bronx):
Urban, 85 acres (34.4 ha);
Lincoln Center (Manhattan):
Urban, 8 acres (3.2 ha);
Westchester (West Harrison):
Suburban, 32 acres (12.9 ha)
|Former names||St. John's College (1841-1907)
Marymount College, Tarrytown (absorbed 2002 - dissolved 2007)
|Fight song||"Fordham Ram"|
|Colors||Maroon and White|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I
Atlantic 10 Conference Patriot League (football)
|Sports||23 varsity teams|
Fordham University is a private, nonprofit, coeducational research university based in New York City, United States. It was founded by the Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841 as St. John's College, placed in the care of the Society of Jesus shortly thereafter, and has since become an independent institution under a lay board of trustees, which describes the University as "in the Jesuit tradition."
Fordham is composed of ten constituent colleges, four of which are for undergraduates and six of which are for postgraduates. It enrolls approximately 15,000 students across three campuses in New York State: Rose Hill in the Bronx, Lincoln Center in Manhattan, and Westchester in West Harrison. In addition to these campuses, the University maintains a study abroad center in the United Kingdom and field offices in Spain and South Africa. Fordham awards the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, as well as various master's and doctoral degrees. The 2015 edition of U.S. News and World Report lists Fordham as a "more selective" national university and ranks it 58th in this category.
Fordham Preparatory School, a four-year, all-male college preparatory school, was once integrated with the University and shares its founding. It became legally independent in 1972 and moved to its own facilities on the northwest corner of the Rose Hill campus; however, the school remains connected to the University in many ways.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 2.1 Core curriculum
- 2.2 Colleges and schools
- 2.3 Libraries and museums
- 2.4 Research
- 2.5 Honor societies and programs
- 2.6 Study abroad
- 2.7 Rankings
- 3 Campuses
- 4 Student activities
- 5 Traditions and symbols
- 6 Alumni and faculty
- 7 In the arts
- 8 Sustainability
- 9 Affiliations
- 10 Notes and references
- 11 External links
Fordham was founded as St. John's College in 1841 by the Irish-born coadjutor bishop (later archbishop) of the Diocese of New York, the Most Reverend John J. Hughes. The college was the first Catholic institution of higher education in the northeastern United States. In September 1840, Hughes purchased most of Rose Hill Manor in Fordham, New York, for slightly less than $30,000 with the intent of establishing St. Joseph's Seminary following the model of Mount Saint Mary's University of which he was an alumnus. "Rose Hill" was the name originally given to the site in 1787 by its owner, Robert Watts, a wealthy New York merchant, in honor of his family's ancestral home in Scotland. The seminary was paired with St. John's College, which opened at Rose Hill with a student body of six on June 21, 1841. The Reverend John McCloskey (later archbishop of New York and eventually the first American cardinal) was the school's first president, and the faculty were secular priests and lay instructors. The college presidency went through a succession of four diocesan priests in five years, including the Rev. James Roosevelt Bayley, a distant cousin of Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt and a nephew of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. In 1845, the seminary church, Our Lady of Mercy, was built. The same year, Bishop Hughes convinced several Jesuit priests from the St. Mary's Colleges in Maryland and Kentucky to staff St. John's.
In 1846, the college received its charter from the New York state legislature, and roughly three months later, the first Jesuits began to arrive. Bishop Hughes deeded the college over but retained title to the seminary property, about nine acres. In 1847, Fordham's first school in Manhattan opened. The school became the independently chartered College of St. Francis Xavier in 1861. It was also in 1847 that the American poet Edgar Allan Poe arrived in the village of Fordham and began a friendship with the college Jesuits that would last throughout his life. In 1849, he published his famed work "The Bells." Some traditions credit the college's church bells as the inspiration for this poem.
St. John's curriculum consisted of a junior division (i.e. the preparatory school), requiring four years of study in Latin, Greek, grammar, literature, history, geography, mathematics, and religion; and a senior division (i.e. the college), requiring three years study in "poetry" (humanities), rhetoric, and philosophy. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, famed commander of the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry American Civil War regiment, attended the junior division. An Artium Baccalaureus degree was earned for completion of both curricula, and an additional year of philosophy would earn a Magister Artium degree. There was also a "commercial" track similar to a modern business school, offered as an alternative to the Classical curriculum and resulting in a certificate instead of a degree. In 1855, the first student stage production, Henry IV, was presented. The seminary was closed in 1859, and the property was sold to the Jesuits in 1860 for $40,000.
A Congressional act creating instruction in military science and tactics at the college level resulted in St. John's bringing a cadet corps to campus. From 1885 to 1890, a veteran of the 7th U.S. Cavalry, Lt. Herbert C. Squires, built a cadet battalion to a strength of 200, which would provide the foundation for the modern ROTC unit at Fordham. The college built a science building in 1886, lending more legitimacy to science in the curriculum. In addition, a three-year Bachelor of Science degree was created. In 1897, academic regalia for students at Commencement was first adopted.
With the addition of law and medical schools in 1905, St. John's College became Fordham University in 1907. The name Fordham refers to the village of Fordham, in which the original Rose Hill campus is located. The village, in turn, drew its name from its location near a shallow crossing of the Bronx River ("ford by the hamlet"). When Fordham and several other Westchester County towns were consolidated into the Bronx at the turn of the twentieth century, the village became the borough's Fordham neighborhood. Still in existence today, it is located just to the west of the Rose Hill campus.
In 1908, Fordham University Press was established. In 1912, the University opened the College of Pharmacy, which offered a three-year program in pharmacy. Not requiring its students to obtain bachelor's degrees until the late 1930s, the college had a mainly Jewish student body, and in recognition of that, the students were exempted from the then-required course in Catholic theology. The school's longtime dean, Jacob Diner, was also Jewish.
The College of St. Francis Xavier was closed in 1913, and various Fordham colleges were opened at the Woolworth Building in Manhattan to fill the void, beginning an unbroken string of instruction in Manhattan that became what is now Fordham College at Lincoln Center. They were later moved to 302 Broadway.
The University closed its medical school in 1919, citing a lack of endowment and reduced University funds overall due to the First World War. The Gabelli School of Business began in 1920 in Manhattan as the School of Accounting. In 1944, the School of Professional and Continuing Studies was established, largely bolstered by returning veterans taking advantage of the GI Bill.
Though first established in 1882, Fordham gained a significant amount of national notoriety from its football program in the early 20th century. Fordham football played on some of the largest stages in sports, including games before sellout crowds at the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium, a Cotton Bowl appearance and a Sugar Bowl victory, as well as producing the famed Seven Blocks of Granite (including Vince Lombardi). On September 30, 1939, Fordham participated in the world’s first televised football game, defeating Waynesburg College, 34-7. The university discontinued the program during World War II, reinstating it in 1946. However, it proved much less successful and too expensive to maintain, and was again discontinued in 1954, though would revive yet again as an NCAA Division III team in 1970 and Division I team in 1989.
In 1961, the Lincoln Center campus opened as part of the Lincoln Square Renewal Project. The School of Law was the first to occupy the new campus, but the academic programs at 302 Broadway were moved to the new location in 1969. At Rose Hill, the all-female Thomas More College began instruction in 1964.
In the late 1960s, Fordham became a center of political activism and countercultural activity. During this period, students routinely organized protests and class boycotts and used psychoactive drugs on campus open spaces. In response to internal demands for a more “liberalized” curriculum, the University created Bensalem College in 1967. An experimental college with no set requirements and no grades, it was studied by a wide array of educators and reported on by such large-circulation publications of the day as Look, Esquire, and the Saturday Review. The school closed in 1974. In 1969, students organized a sit-in on the main road leading to Rose Hill in response to an announcement that President Richard Nixon would be speaking on campus. As a result of the sit-in, Nixon was forced to cancel his plans to speak. A year later, students stormed the main administration building, occupying it for several weeks, and set fire to the Rose Hill faculty lounge. It was during this period of activism that the University’s African and African American Studies Department, one of the first black studies departments in the nation, as well as the paper, the leftist student newspaper on campus, were founded. While political activism has diminished considerably at the Rose Hill campus, it remains strong at the Lincoln Center campus, where students frequently organize protests and events in support of various political causes.
In 1969, the board of trustees was reorganized to include a majority of nonclerical members, which officially made the University an independent institution. The College of Pharmacy closed due to declining enrollment in 1972. Fordham College at Rose Hill merged with Thomas More College in 1974, becoming coeducational.
In 1993, a twenty-story residence hall was added to the Lincoln Center campus to house 850 students. In 1996, the campus's undergraduate college changed its name to "Fordham College at Lincoln Center," having been called "The Liberal Arts College" and later "The College at Lincoln Center" since its creation in 1968.
Marymount College, an independent women's college founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary in 1907, was consolidated into Fordham in July 2002. The school had been steeped in financial hardship since the 1970s. Located 25 miles (40 km) north of Manhattan in Tarrytown, New York, the college remained open, and its campus received a branch of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies as well as extensions of the Graduate Schools of Education, Social Service, and Business Administration.
In 2005, Fordham announced that Marymount College would be phased out; it awarded degrees to its final undergraduate class in May 2007. University administrators indicated that the campus would remain open for Fordham graduate programs in several disciplines.
In the autumn of 2007, however, the University announced its intention to seek buyers for the Marymount campus. Administrators stated that the expenses required to support the programs at the campus far exceeded their demand. University officials estimated that the revenue gained from the proposed sale would not be greater than the expenses incurred maintaining and improving the campus since the merger with Marymount. President McShane nonetheless stated that the University's decision was a "painful" one. Fordham then indicated its intention to move the remaining programs from the Marymount campus to a new location in Harrison, New York by the autumn of 2008. On February 17, 2008, the University announced the sale of the campus for $27 million to EF Schools, a chain of private language instruction schools.
Fordham's academic ideals are drawn from its Jesuit influences. The University promotes the Jesuit principles of cura personalis, which fosters a faculty and administrative respect for the individual student and all of his or her gifts and abilities; magis, which encourages students to challenge themselves and strive for excellence in their lives; and homines pro aliis, which intends to inspire service among members of the Fordham community.
All undergraduates at Fordham are required to complete the Core Curriculum, a distribution of 17 courses in nine disciplines: English, mathematical/computational reasoning, social science, philosophy and ethics, history, fine arts, religious studies, natural science, and modern or Classical languages. Based on the curriculum established by the Society of Jesus in the sixteenth century, the Core is shared by Jesuit schools all over the world and is intended to provide a sound liberal arts education.
Students are expected to fulfill most of the Core requirements prior to the completion of their sophomore year; a wide variety of courses can be applied to this endeavor. Those students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree complete a modified version of the Core.
Upon the completion of the Core Curriculum, students choose from approximately 50 major courses of study, in which they will receive their degree. One option is the personalized interdisciplinary major, which allows students to create their own course of study across various disciplines.
Colleges and schools
The University is composed of four undergraduate and six graduate schools, which are as follows:
- Fordham College at Rose Hill (also known simply as Fordham College), 1841
- Fordham College at Lincoln Center, 1913 
- Gabelli School of Business, 1920
- School of Professional and Continuing Studies, 1944
Through its undergraduate schools, Fordham offers a number of special academic programs for undergraduates, a selection of which are below:
- Pre-Medical and Health Professions Program
- Pre-professional programs in law, architecture, and criminal justice
- 3-2 Engineering Program, in conjunction with Columbia and Case Western Reserve Universities
- Five-Year Teacher Certification Program
- Applied Public Accountancy (CPA certification) program
- BFA program in dance, in conjunction with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
- Cross registration opportunities with the Juilliard School for advanced music students
- School of Law, 1905
- Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1916
- Graduate School of Education, 1916
- Graduate School of Social Service, 1916
- Graduate School of Business Administration, 1969
- Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, 1969
Fordham participates in the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium, which allows its doctoral students to take classes at a number of schools in the New York metropolitan area.
With the closure of its medical school in 1919 and its College of Pharmacy in 1972, Fordham ceased direct medical instruction on its campuses. Nevertheless, the University continues its tradition of medical education through a collaboration with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. The partnership allows Fordham undergraduate and graduate science students to take classes, conduct research, and pursue early admission to select programs of Einstein. In addition, it involves a physician mentoring program, which permits students to shadow an attending physician at Einstein's Montefiore Medical Center.
In 2009, Fordham began negotiations with New York Medical College regarding the possible merger of the two institutions. While the merger ultimately did not occur, the two schools maintain a close academic relationship in such ways as the provision of joint courses. This relationship is expected to grow in the coming years.
Libraries and museums
The Fordham University Library System contains approximately two and a half million volumes, subscribes to over 65,000 periodicals and electronic journals, and is a depository for United States Government documents. In addition, the University's Interlibrary Loan office provides students and faculty with virtually unlimited access to the over 20 million volumes of the New York Public Library System as well as to media from the libraries of Columbia University, New York University, the City University of New York, and other libraries around the world. Fordham's libraries include the William D. Walsh Family Library, ranked in 2004 as the fifth best collegiate library in the country, and the Science Library at the Rose Hill campus, the Gerald M. Quinn Library and the Leo T. Kissam Memorial Law Library at the Lincoln Center campus, and the Media Center at the Westchester campus. In addition to the University's formal libraries, several academic departments, research institutes, and student organizations maintain their own literary collections. The Rose Hill campus's Duane Library, despite its name, is no longer a library, though it still contains reading and study space for students.
Fordham maintains several special collections that are housed in various museums and galleries on campus. The Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art is located at the Rose Hill campus and contains more than 200 artifacts from Classical antiquity. A gift from alumnus William D. Walsh, it is the largest collection of its kind in the New York metropolitan area. In addition, the University maintains an extensive art collection, which is housed in exhibition spaces at the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses and in galleries around New York City. The collection will eventually be on permanent display at the Fordham University Art Gallery, which is currently under construction at the Lincoln Center campus. Finally, the University possesses a sizable collection of rare books, manuscripts, and other print media, which is housed in the O'Hare Special Collections Room at the Walsh Library.
Because of its Jesuit heritage, the University has placed a greater emphasis on teaching than research throughout most of its history. In recent years[weasel words], however, it has increased its commitment of financial and human resources to research endeavors. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching currently classifies Fordham as a doctoral university with high research activity (RU/H).
A significant amount[weasel words] of the University's research is conducted in the natural sciences. Facilities on campus for this type of research include the Louis Calder Center, a 114 acre biological field station and the middle site along a 81-mile (130 km) urban-forest transect known as the Urban-Rural Gradient Experiment; the William Spain Seismic Observatory, a data collection unit for the US Geological Survey; and other facilities. In addition, Fordham performs research off campus in cooperation with other organizations. It is a member of the Bronx Scientific Research Consortium, which also includes the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, and Montefiore Medical Center. Furthermore, Fordham faculty have conducted research with such institutions as the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and other organizations around the world.
Despite its commitment to scientific research, the majority[weasel words] of the University's research endeavors involve the humanities and social sciences.[clarification needed] As a result, Fordham University Press, the University's official publishing house and an affiliate of Oxford University Press, publishes primarily in these subjects.
Fordham is particularly focused on expanding opportunities for undergraduate research. It hosts an Undergraduate Research Symposium every year during the spring semester and publishes an Undergraduate Research Journal in conjunction with the symposium. In addition, it facilitates research opportunities for undergraduates with such organizations as the National Science Foundation, The Cloisters, and the American Museum of Natural History.
Honor societies and programs
Fordham's undergraduate schools all offer honors programs for their students. The programs' curricula are modified versions of the Core Curriculum; for example, the Fordham College Honors Program offers a Great Books curriculum with seminar-style classes and a senior research thesis in each student's major. Most honors students are inducted into the programs upon admission to the University, though some are invited at the end of their first year. Each program has a designated study space for its members, including Alpha House for the Fordham College Honors Program and the honors wing of Hughes Hall for the Global Business Honors Program. Upon graduating from the University, honors students receive the designation of in cursu honorum on their diploma and transcripts.
In addition to its honors programs, Fordham has chapters of several honor societies on campus, including but not limited to the following:
- Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi
- Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit)
- Beta Gamma Sigma (business)
- Sigma Xi (scientific research)
- Psi Chi (psychology)
- Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish)
- Omicron Delta Epsilon (economics)
- Lambda Pi Eta (communications)
- Alpha Sigma Lambda (non-traditional students)
The Campion Institute is the University's office for academic fellowships and scholarships. Its function is to raise awareness of fellowship opportunities among students, counsel interested students about their eligibility for various programs, and advise fellowship candidates during the application process. The work of the Campion Institute helped make Fordham one of the top producers of U.S. Fulbright students of 2012.
The Matteo Ricci Society is an honor society for Fordham students who are likely candidates for academic fellowships. Students are invited to join based on academic success and other factors. The society assists its members in preparing applications for fellowships, coordinating internships, and obtaining funding for research endeavors. The Rev. William E. Boyle, S.J. Society is a parallel organization for business students.
Through its International and Study Abroad Programs (ISAP) Office, Fordham provides its students with over 130 study abroad opportunities, one of the most extensive foreign study networks of any American university. The programs range in duration from six weeks to a full academic year and vary in focus from cultural and language immersion to internship and service learning. Some of the programs are organized by Fordham itself, such as those in London, United Kingdom; Granada, Spain; and Pretoria, South Africa; while others are operated by partner institutions like Georgetown University, the University of Oxford, and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). In addition to the ISAP programs, the University's constituent schools offer a range of study abroad programs that cater to their specific areas of study.
Fordham placed as follows in the most recent university rankings:
US undergraduate rankings
- 58, America's Best Colleges: National Universities, U.S. News & World Report, 2015.
- 45, High School Counselor Rankings: National Universities.
- 150, America's Best Colleges, Forbes, 2014.
- 99, Best Values in Colleges and Universities: Private Universities, Kiplinger, 2014.
- 38, Best Undergraduate Business Schools, Bloomberg Businessweek, 2014. An increase of eleven spots from 2012; ranked 7th in International Business.
- Included in The Best 377 Colleges, The Princeton Review, 2013.
- Included in The 25 Hottest Schools in America, Kaplan/Newsweek, 2008.
Fordham participates in the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities' University and College Accountability Network, which was created to counter the emergence of formal college rankings.
US graduate rankings
- 36, America's Best Law Schools, U.S. News & World Report, 2014. 
- 3, America's Best Law Schools: Part-Time, U.S. News & World Report, 2014.
- 92, America's Best Business Schools, U.S. News & World Report, 2014.
- 64, America's Best Education Schools, U.S. News & World Report, 2014.
- 11, America's Best Social Work Programs, U.S. News & World Report, 2014.
- 58, Best Full-Time MBA Programs, Bloomberg Businessweek, 2013.
- 39, Best Executive MBA Programs, Bloomberg Businessweek, 2013.
- 66, Best Executive MBA Programs in the World, Financial Times, 2013.
- 63, Best English Programs, U.S. News & World Report, 2013. 
Fordham does not participate in the Shanghai, QS, or THE global university rankings. It does, however, provide information for the Paris School of Mines' listing, which reviews over 3,000 educational institutions around the world, selects some 700 schools and ranks them according to their ability to place their graduates in Fortune 500 CEO and leading positions. The University appeared 63rd on the list in 2009 but the research has been updated and Fordham is now listed as 16th.
Fordham has three main campuses, which are located in and around New York City: Rose Hill in the Bronx, Lincoln Center in Manhattan, and Westchester in West Harrison. In addition, it maintains and utilizes various academic, extracurricular, and residential facilities throughout New York City and New York State and around the world.
The Rose Hill campus, established in 1841, is home to Fordham College at Rose Hill, the Gabelli School of Business, and a division of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, as well as the Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences and Religion and Religious Education. Situated on 85 acres (34.4 ha) in the North Bronx, it is among the largest privately owned green spaces in New York City. At one time spanning over 100 acres, the University sold 30 acres east of Southern Boulevard to the New York City government to become part of the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). The NYBG is now an independent organization; however, Fordham students and staff have virtually unlimited access to the garden during its normal operating hours. Rose Hill is located just to the north of the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx, also known as the "Real Little Italy of New York." Its Collegiate Gothic architecture, expansive lawns, ivy-covered buildings, and cobblestone streets were featured in MSNBC's 2008 edition of "America's Prettiest College Campuses".
Rose Hill is home to several structures on the National Register of Historic Places. One such building is the University Church, which was built in 1845 as a seminary chapel and parish church for the surrounding community. It contains the altar from the Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, as well as stained glass windows given to the University by King Louis Philippe I of France. The windows are particularly notable for their connection to a workshop in Sevres, France, where the earliest stages of the Gothic Revival took place. There are eleven residence halls on campus, including a residential college and nine Integrated Learning Communities that each cater to a particular year (freshman, sophomore, etc.) or area of study (science, leadership, etc.). In addition, the campus contains two residences, a retirement home, and an infirmary for Jesuit priests.
Rose Hill is served by the Fordham station of the Metro-North Railroad, which ends at Grand Central Terminal. Public transit buses stop adjacent to campus exits, and two New York City Subway stations are within walking distance. The University also provides a shuttle service between its three main campuses (the "Ram Van"), which is headquartered at Rose Hill. About 7,000 undergraduates and graduates are enrolled at the campus.
The Lincoln Center campus is home to Fordham College at Lincoln Center and a division of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, as well as the School of Law, the Graduate Schools of Education and Social Service, and the Fordham Graduate School of Business Administration. The 8-acre (32,000 m2) campus occupies the area from West 60th Street to West 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, placing it in the cultural heart of Manhattan. It is served by public transit buses; the A,B,C,D, and 1 Subway trains, which are accessed at the 59th Street/Columbus Circle station; and the University's Ram Van shuttle. Approximately 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled at Lincoln Center, of which about 1,000 reside in University housing. The campus currently consists of the Leon Lowenstein Building, McMahon Hall, the Gerald M. Quinn Library, and the Doyle Building. Fordham University at Lincoln Center also shares a parking lot with New York Institute of Technology, which is located nearby. Lincoln Center has two grassy plazas, built one level up from the street atop the Quinn Library. The larger expanse was once a barren cement landscape known as "Robert Moses Plaza;" the smaller is known as "St. Peter's Garden" and contains a memorial to the Fordham students and alumni who perished in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The Toward 2016 Strategic Plan prescribes a complete reconfiguration of the Lincoln Center campus, to be completed by 2032. The first phase of the project, which includes renovations of the Lowenstein Building as well as a new Law School building and residence hall designed by the decorated architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, is underway and is slated for completion in Fall 2014.
The Westchester campus is home to divisions of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, the Martino Graduate School of Business Administration, and the Graduate Schools of Education and Social Service. It consists of a three-story, 62,500-square-foot (5,810 m2) building on 32 acres (12.9 ha) landscaped with a stream and pond. Fordham signed a 20-year lease for the facility, which includes 26 "smart" classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, a media center, a food service facility, and indoor and outdoor meeting areas. In 2008, the University spent over $8 million renovating the building in order to increase its sustainability.
The campus is served by the Ram Van as well as the White Plains station of the Metro-North Railroad, approximately 4 miles (6 km) away in White Plains, New York. The train station and the campus are connected by the Westchester County Bus System ("The Bee Line").
Fordham operates the Louis Calder Center, a biological field station 30 miles (50 km) north of New York City in Armonk, New York. It consists of 114 acres (0.46 km2) forested with a 10-acre (40,000 m2) lake and 19 buildings. The structures house laboratories and classrooms, offices for faculty and administrators, a library, and residences.
Outside the US, the University maintains a small campus at Heythrop College, the Jesuit philosophy and theology school of the University of London. The campus is home to several undergraduate business and liberal arts programs as well as Fordham College at Lincoln Center's London Dramatic Academy. In addition, Fordham operates field offices in Granada, Spain, and Pretoria, South Africa; which house undergraduate study abroad programs. Finally, the University provides faculty for the Beijing International MBA Program at Peking University in China. The program has been ranked #1 in China by Fortune and Forbes Magazines since its creation by Fordham in 1998.
Town and gown relationships
Relations between Fordham and its surrounding neighborhoods vary according to campus. At Rose Hill, the University actively recruits Bronx students from disadvantaged backgrounds through the Higher Education Opportunity Program. In addition, about 80% of students participate in local community service.
The relationship between the Lincoln Center campus and some of the Upper West Side community residents were strained over campus development in recent years. Recently, the New York State Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit against Fordham brought by the Alfred Condominium Complex. The suit was filed in response to the University’s expansion plans at Lincoln Center and their expected visual and auditory impact on the surrounding community. The Lincoln Center campus does, however, have a lively connection to the artistic scene in Manhattan through its dance and theater productions and visual art exhibitions.
Fordham sponsors over 200 clubs and organizations for its undergraduate and graduate students, of which about 100 are based at the Rose Hill campus and the rest are based at the Lincoln Center and Westchester campuses. Some of these organizations are described below:
The University supports 23 men's and women's varsity athletic teams, as well as various club and intramural sports. The Fordham mascot is the ram, and its colors are maroon and white. In most varsity sports, the Rams compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and are a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. The football team, however, plays in NCAA Division I FCS and is an associate member of the Patriot League, the most academically selective NCAA conference after the Ivy League.
The Rams football program boasts a national championship title (1929), two bowl game appearances (1941 and 1942), two Patriot League championships (2002 and 2007) and corresponding NCAA Division I Football Championship appearances, and the 15th most wins of any college football program. It is best known, however, for the "Seven Blocks of Granite," a name given to the team's 1928 and 1936 offensive lines. The 1936 team was coached by "Sleepy" Jim Crowley, one of the University of Notre Dame's famed "Four Horsemen," and included Vince Lombardi, the legendary professional football coach. Furthermore, it is credited with inspiring the term "Ivy League" after New York Herald Tribune sportswriter Caswell Adams compared it to the squads of Princeton and Yale, two powerhouses of the day. Adams remarked disparagingly of the latter two, saying that they were "only Ivy League." There are currently four Rams in the National Football League. Moreover, the St. Louis Rams NFL franchise was named in honor of Fordham's football heritage.
The University's men's basketball program also has an impressive heritage, boasting four NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship and 16 National Invitational Tournament appearances. During the 1971 season, the program enjoyed its best campaign ever, compiling a 26-3 record and earning a #9 national ranking. That team included Digger Phelps, the renowned University of Notre Dame men's basketball coach, and Peter "PJ" Carlesimo, the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets NBA franchise. Fordham basketball plays in the Rose Hill Gymnasium (also known as "The Prairie"), the oldest on-campus venue currently in use by an NCAA Division I basketball team.
The Rams baseball program is among the oldest in the nation and was the first college baseball team to play the game according to modern rules. The program has launched the careers of dozens of Major League Baseball players, including National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Frankie Frisch (also known as the "Fordham Flash"). In April 2010, a Fordham baserunner made national headlines when he leaped over an opposing team's catcher to score a run during a game. The incident was dubbed the "Fordham Flip." The baseball program has recorded the most wins of any N.C.A.A. Division I baseball program.
There are eight women's teams on campus. The women's basketball team won the Atlantic 10 championship in 2014, advancing to the first round of the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship. This feat came just 6 years after the team set an NCAA record for the worst season, finishing the season 0-29 in 2008.
The University's most recently successful programs include track and field, which claims world record holder and Olympic gold medalist Tom Courtney as an alumnus; sailing, which is headquartered at the Morris Yacht and Beach Club in City Island, Bronx; crew, which rows out of the Peter Jay Sharp boathouse on the Harlem River and regularly attends such prestigious regattas as the Henley Royal Regatta in the United Kingdom; and golf, which is affiliated with the Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York.
The university has a number of publications, including The Observer, the award-winning newspaper for the Lincoln Center campusThe Ram, the primary newspaper for the Rose Hill campus; the paper, Fordham University’s student journal of news, analysis, comment, and review; , Fordham Law Review, the twelfth-most cited law review in the country;; and Fordham Political Review, a journal of foreign and domestic affairs.
WFUV is Fordham's 50,000-watt radio station, broadcasting on 90.7 FM. Founded in 1947, the station serves approximately 350,000 listeners weekly in the New York metropolitan area. It is a National Public Radio affiliate and has an adult alternative format on weekdays and a variety format on weekends. In 2012, The Princeton Review ranked WFUV the 10th most popular college radio station in the US.
Fordham offers a wide variety of performing arts groups, spreading from its non-major theater groups at Lincoln Center and Rose Hill(the Mimes and Mummers, Fordham Experimental Theater, the Theatrical Outreach Group, Splinter Group) to choirs (University Choir, Schola Cantorum, Gloria Dei Choir), to its considerable a cappella groups spanning both campuses (Fordham Ramblers, Satin Dolls, b-Sides, Hot Notes, F-sharps).
Speech and debate
The Fordham Debate Society (FDS) is based at the Rose Hill campus and is the oldest existing club at the University, having been founded in 1854. The club competes in the American Parliamentary Debate Association, which was founded at the University's annual debate tournament in 1982. FDS regularly places among the top teams in the country, and it ranks well in the World Universities Debating Championship standings.
The purpose of Campus Ministry at Fordham is to provide "opportunities and resources for spiritual growth to members of [the University] community." It offers programming for more than 15 faith traditions in such areas as worship, music ministry, and social ministry. One of its most popular initiatives is its retreats, which are held at the University's McGrath House of Prayer in Goshen, New York, and other retreat houses in the New York metropolitan area. In addition to its Jesuit traditions, the university also has organizations devoted to Judaism, Islam, and other religions.
The Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice is responsible for overseeing Fordham's various community service and humanitarian initiatives. Grounded in the Jesuit principle of homines pro aliis ("men and women for others"), the center organizes projects in such areas as poverty, hunger, education, and disaster relief. As a result of Dorothy Day's efforts, the University performed approximately 1 million hours of service in 2011, ranking it sixth in the country in terms of community outreach. A popular volunteer location among students is the Society of Jesus New York Province Health Care Center at the Rose Hill campus, where those students interested in nursing can gain practical experience in the field.
The Fordham Military Science program is available to all undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of their chosen course of study. It is also available to students at over 50 other colleges and universities in the New York metropolitan area. The program consists of membership and training in the Ram Battalion of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and a sequence of military science classes taught on campus. Participants in the program are also eligible to enroll in the Air Force ROTC program at Manhattan College and the Navy ROTC program at SUNY Maritime College. In 2011, Fordham Military Science began offering a combat nursing program in conjunction with Regis University and the University of Colorado at Denver.
The Military Science program has several notable alumni, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, four-star General John M. Keane, and at least four recipients of the Medal of Honor. Furthermore, it has been distinguished as being in the top fifteen percent of military science programs in the country.
In addition to its ROTC program, the University contributes to military education through its Veterans Initiative, which provides full-tuition scholarships and other benefits to post-9/11 veterans of the US military. Because of the initiative, Fordham was named one of the 25 best colleges in the country for veterans in 2013 by Military History Monthly Magazine.
Fraternities and sororities
Fordham does not sponsor any Greek letter fraternities or sororities. Councils of the Knights of Columbus, the national Catholic service fraternity for men, and its sister organization, the Columbiettes, are hosted on campus. In addition, Fordham sponsors a chapter of Pershing Rifles, the national military fraternity.
Traditions and symbols
During its 172 years in existence, the University has developed many traditions. Some of them are described below:
- President's Ball: The President's Ball takes place every autumn on the eve of the Homecoming football game. It is a business formal event held in the Vince Lombardi Field House. It is hosted by the Office of the President, from which the name is derived.
- Winter Ball: The Winter Ball is a business casual event held every January by the Campus Activities Board of Fordham College at Lincoln Center. It takes place at a different location each year in New York City. Past venues have included the Rainbow Room, the Russian Tea Room, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
- Under the Tent: The "Under the Tent" Dance is a smart casual event held the weekend before final exams. Sponsored by the University's Residence Halls Association, it takes place underneath a tent on Martyrs' Lawn, Fordham's second-largest quadrangle, and has a different theme each year. The dance is part of the Spring Weekend Festival, which also includes two concerts, a barbecue, a race around the Rose Hill campus, and a comedy show.
- The Festival of Lessons and Carols: The Fordham University Concert Choir presents a series of Nine Lessons and Carols every year during the Christmas season. An afternoon concert is performed at the University Church on the Rose Hill campus, and an evening concert is performed at the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle adjacent to the Lincoln Center campus.
- Midnight Breakfast: Each semester, the official beginning of the final exam period is marked by a "midnight breakfast," in which professors cook students their favorite breakfast items so as to prepare them for the long night of studying ahead of them.
- The Liberty Cup: The Liberty Cup is awarded annually to the winner of the football game between Fordham and Columbia Universities. The tradition began in 2002, a year after the Fordham-Columbia game was postponed due to the September 11th attacks.
- Rams-Crusader Trophy: Started in 1951 to commemorate a great coach of both Fordham and Holy Cross: Frank "Iron Major" Canvanaugh.
- Encaenia: Fordham College at Rose Hill hosts an Encaenia each year in early May. Faculty, administrators, and students process in academic regalia, and candidates for degrees at the current year's Commencement receive various awards and honors. The ceremony includes a sentimental speech by the year's valedictorian as well as a generally more humorous yet equally endearing speech by the honorary Lord or Lady of the Manor.
In addition to its traditions, Fordham is associated with a number of symbols, some of which are discussed below:
- Maroon: The University's official color was originally magenta, one which was shared by Harvard University. Since it was confusing for the two schools to be wearing the same color during athletic competitions, the matter of which school could lay claim to magenta was to be settled through a series of baseball games. Fordham won the games, but Harvard reneged on its promise. Both schools continued to use the color until 1874, when the Fordham student government unanimously agreed to change to maroon. Maroon was chosen because it was not widely used at the time. Sometime later, Harvard stopped using magenta in favor of crimson.
- The Ram: The ram became the University's mascot as a result of a slightly vulgar cheer that Fordham fans sang during an 1893 football game against the United States Military Academy. The fans began cheering, "One-damn, two-damn, three-damn, Fordham!" which was an instant hit. Later, "damn" was sanitized to "ram" so that the song would conform to the University's image.
- The Victory Bell: Presented to Fordham by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz ('44) of the US Navy, the Victory Bell was the ship's bell of the Japanese aircraft carrier Junyo. First rung on campus by President Harry S. Truman on May 11, 1946, it currently stands in front of the Rose Hill Gymnasium and peals following all Ram athletic victories and at the start of Commencement each year.
- The Great Seal: The Great Seal of Fordham University was designed to acknowledge the presence of the Society of Jesus on campus, hence the order's coat of arms in the seal's center. The coat of arms bears the Greek letters of the lapidary form of Jesus Christ (IHS), with the Cross resting on the center of the H and the three nails of the Crucifixion beneath the epigraph. These figures, dressed in gold, lay in a field framed in maroon, the color of the University, with silver fleur-de-lis at the edge. The fleur-de-lis symbolize the French Jesuits who arrived at Fordham in 1846. Immediately above the central shield rests the laurel crown, enclosing the University's pedagogical disciplines: arts, science, philosophy, medicine, and law. Below the shield is a blue scroll with the University's motto, Sapientia et Doctrina. The scroll rests on a gold field emblematic of learning (doctrina) and is surrounded by the fiery tongues of the Holy Spirit, a symbol of wisdom (sapientia). In a circular maroon field embroidered with beads is Fordham's official title, Universitas Fordhamensis; at the field's lower edge is the date of the University's founding, 1841. Finally, surrounding the entire seal is a heraldic belt, which is employed as a stylistic decoration. The University of Oxford, the only other tertiary institution in the world that uses a belt in its seal, however, maintains that without the belt, the seal is not official.
- The mace: The mace of Fordham is traditionally carried at Commencement by the president of the Faculty Senate, who serves as the grand marshal of the main academic procession. The device, four feet in length, bears a regal crown at the summit to denote the sole power of the State of New York to grant academic degrees in its territory. Above the crown is a cross composed of four windmill sails, which signify the Catholic faith and the Dutch founders of New York City, respectively. The center of the cross displays a heraldic rose, which symbolizes Rose Hill. Immediately beneath the crown is a support, on which the University's seal is emblazoned. The upper node of the mace's staff is decorated with three heraldic roses, the Fordham seal, a ram's head, and a silhouette of the Lincoln Center campus. The titles of the University's constituent colleges are engraved above the node, and the names of the school's presidents from 1841 to 1966 are inscribed below it. The mace was a gift to the University from the Fordham University Alumni Federation.
- The Terrace of the Presidents: Rev. Robert Gannon, SJ, president of Fordham from 1936 to 1949, initiated the custom of engraving the granite steps leading up to Keating Hall with the names of heads of state who visit the University. Among the names engraved are George Washington, who visited the Rose Hill Manor before it was succeeded by St. John's College in 1841; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; Harry S. Truman; Richard Nixon; and the names of various other heads of state from around the world.
- School songs: Fordham's official school song is "Alma Mater Fordham," and its fight song is "Fordham Ram" by J. Ignatius Coveney. "The Marching Song" is typically played during parades and after athletic games (particularly after a Ram victory).
Alumni and faculty
Fordham has over 160,000 alumni spread throughout the world, with 40 regional alumni chapters in the US and abroad.
Geraldine Ferraro, the first female Vice Presidential candidate of a major political party in the United States, attended Fordham, as did three current members of the United States House of Representatives and numerous past members of Congress, including at least two United States Senators. Current New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, is an alumnus. A number of Fordham graduates have served at the highest levels of the U.S. Executive Branch, including John E. Potter, former Postmaster General of the United States; William J. Casey, Director of U.S. Central Intelligence from 1981 to 1987; John N. Mitchell, former U.S. Attorney General; and Bernard M. Shanley, Deputy Chief of Staff and White House Counsel to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John O. Brennan, current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Fordham claims a number of distinguished military honorees, including three Medal of Honor recipients and a number of notable generals, including General John "Jack" Keane, retired four-star general and former Vice Chief of Staff for the United States Army, and Major General Martin Thomas McMahon, decorated American Civil War officer. Fordham has produced college and university presidents for at least 10 institutions around the United States, including two for Georgetown University and one each for Columbia University and New York University. Francis Cardinal Spellman, the late Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of New York, was also a Fordham graduate.
Business and finance magnates that have attended Fordham include Anne M. Mulcahy, retired Chairman and CEO of Xerox and named one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" in 2006 by Fortune Magazine; Rose Marie Bravo, Vice Chairman and former CEO of Burberry and named one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business Outside the United States" in 2004 and 2005 by Fortune Magazine; E. Gerald Corrigan, former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Maria Elena Lagomasino, CEO of JP Morgan Private Bank from 2001 to 2005 and currently on the board of directors of Coca-Cola; Joe Moglia, Chairman and former CEO of TD Ameritrade; John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer of Airbus; Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO of UnitedHealth Group; Wellington Mara, former owner of the New York Giants; Mario Gabelli, billionaire and founder and CEO of GAMCO Investors; Lorenzo Mendoza, billionaire and CEO of Empresas Polar; Eugene Shvidler, billionaire and international oil tycoon; and billionaire Donald Trump (attended, no degree).
In the media and communications field, Fordham has produced Charles Osgood, three-time Emmy Award and two-time Peabody Award-winning journalist for CBS and Radio Hall of Fame inductee; Louis Boccardi, retired President of the Associated Press; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Loretta Tofani; Jim Dwyer, the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and author; G. Gordon Liddy, political operative for President Richard Nixon, leader of the White House Plumbers, political pundit, and radio show host; and Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster and Radio Hall of Famer Vin Scully.
Fordham's list of contributions to the arts and entertainment industry is long and includes Denzel Washington, two-time Academy Award and two-time Golden Globe Award-winning actor;Alan Alda, six-time Emmy Award and six-time Golden Globe Award-winning actor; Dylan McDermott, Golden Globe Award-winning actor; Mary Higgins Clark, best-selling suspense novelist; Don DeLillo, acclaimed novelist and Pulitzer Prize nominee; Bob Keeshan, television's multiple award-winning "Captain Kangaroo;" John LaFarge, painter, muralist, and designer of stained-glass windows; Virginia O'Hanlon, who, as a child, wrote a letter to the New York Sun that prompted the famous response "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."
Among the giants of sports who attended Fordham are Frankie Frisch (known as the "Fordham Flash"), Baseball Hall of Fame inductee; Vince Lombardi, football coaching legend; Bill Chadwick, Hockey Hall of Fame inductee; Tom Courtney, two-time Olympic gold medalist and holder of the world record in the 880-yard run; and Steve Bellán, the first Latin American to play Major League Baseball.
Notable former and current faculty
- Joseph Abboud, fashion designer
- Bruce Andrews, poet and theorist on the state and global capitalism
- Hilaire Belloc, writer
- Doron Ben-Atar, historian
- Daniel Berrigan, S.J., poet-in-residence and world-renowned peace activist
- Thomas Berry, geologian
- Mary Bly, writer
- Joseph Campbell, poet, Irish studies scholar, and Irish republican and POW
- John M. Culkin, leading media scholar and critic, educator, writer, and consultant
- Avery Dulles, S.J., theologian and Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
- Victor Francis Hess, Nobel Laureate for physics
- Elizabeth Johnson, Christian feminist theologian
- Carl Jung, psychologist
- Joseph Koterski, S.J., philosopher, author
- Paul Levinson, author of The Plot To Save Socrates and winner of the 1999 Locus Award for Best First Novel
- Mark Massa, S.J., American Catholicism scholar
- John James Maximilian Oertel, German-American writer and journalist
- Marshall McLuhan, communications theorist, visiting professor and coiner of the phrase "the medium is the message"
- Margaret Mead, anthropologist, visiting professor
- Joe Moglia, Current Chairman and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, Current Coastal Carolina University Head Football Coach
- William O'Malley, S.J., technical advisor and actor in the film The Exorcist, author
- Mark D. Naison, political activist
- Diana Villiers Negroponte, legal historian
- Willie Perdomo, Nuyorican poet and author
- Phylicia Rashad, Tony Award-winning actress, instructor, first to hold the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre
- Taylor Schilling, actress
- Asif Siddiqi, historian specializing in the space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
- Werner Stark, sociologist and economist
- Stan Van Gundy, assistant men's basketball coach-1988
- Dietrich von Hildebrand, theologian
- Thomas Hopko, theologian
- James Oddo, Staten Island Borough President
- Paul Westcott, Talk Radio Host
In the arts
Fordham's campuses have been featured in a number of films, including the following: The Adjustment Bureau, Awake, A Beautiful Mind, Center Stage, Cheerleaders Beach Party, The Exorcist, Fair Game, The Gambler, Godspell, The Iron Major, Kinsey, Love Story, Quiz Show, Solitary Man, The Verdict, and Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. The 1993 crime drama A Bronx Tale is set in the Belmont neighborhood adjacent to the Rose Hill campus.
Television programs filmed at Fordham include Shattered Vows, a 1984 television film starring Valerie Bertinelli, which portrays the true story of a young nun in the 1960s who goes to Fordham for her master's degree and falls in love with a priest; White Collar; Naked City; Saturday Night Live; Chappelle's Show; and the 2009 U2 performance on Good Morning America. The music video for the single What's Luv? by Fat Joe and Ashanti was filmed in the gymnasium at the Rose Hill campus.
Fictional Fordham alumni include the title character of Michael Clayton, Ray Brocco of The Good Shepherd, Michael Patrick Flaherty of Spin City, Jacob Moore of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Annie Norris of Life on Mars, Vinnie Terranova of Wiseguy, Nick Rice of Law Abiding Citizen, Bruno Tattaglia of The Godfather, The father of Gabe Burton in Little Manhattan and Dave Norris of The Adjustment Bureau. Sonek Pran of Star Trek: A Singular Destiny is an alumnus of Fordham University in the 24th century.
The campus has also been the backdrop of Tommy Hilfiger's Fall Fashion campaign.
In order to increase its sustainability, the University has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in 2017. In addition, it has pledged to employ low-flow faucets and shower heads, use sustainable materials like reprocessed flooring, recycle up to 90% of its debris, and seek LEED Silver certification in its construction of new facilities on campus. Finally, the Department of Grounds Maintenance at Fordham has committed to making half of its vehicle fleet electric by 2016.
Fordham is affiliated with the following organizations:
- American Academy in Rome
- American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
- American Council on Education
- American School of Classical Studies at Athens
- Association of American Law Schools
- Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
- Association of Graduate Schools in Catholic Colleges and Universities
- Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
- Center for Academic Integrity
- College Board
- Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- Council of Graduate Schools
- Fulbright Association
- International Association of Universities
- International Federation of Catholic Universities
- Lilly Fellows
- Lower Hudson Valley Catholic Colleges and Universities Consortium
- Marymount Schools
- Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools
In addition, the University and its specific programs are accredited by the following entities:
- American Bar Association
- American Psychological Association
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International
- Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
- Council on Social Work Education
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- National Association of School Psychologists
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- University Council of Educational Administration
- University of the State of New York
Notes and references
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- The author of this section advises readers to use caution in interpreting this information. Rankings data can be misleading if superficially examined. See O'Shaughnessy, Lynn. "Rating the College Rankings." CBS MoneyWatch. CBS Broadcasting, Inc., 12 Sept. 2012. Fordham officially disputes U.S. News & World Report’s A+ Schools for B Students ranking as well as The Princeton Review’s Best 377 Colleges: Worst Food sub-ranking. See Kultys, Kelly. "Rochelle Group Releases Report of Sodexo Food Services, Facilities." The Fordham Ram [Bronx] n.d. 30 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Feb. 2013.
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- Thomas Gaffney Taaffe. A History of St. John's College, Fordham, N.Y. The Catholic Publication Society Co., 1891.
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