By Jennifer Anderson, Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Fairfield University
Fairfield University’s co-ed Class of 2021 will be entering their freshman year with cell phones, the Internet, and the ability to communicate globally at the touch of a hand. Fairfield’s first all-male class in 1942 was armed with pens and paper.
Despite the passage of time and the dramatic changes in campus culture, the Jesuit mission of forming men and women for others has continued to inform everything we do. The Catholic intellectual tradition has grounded our core curriculum through its broad humanism and commitment to reasoned inquiry. As we promote our mission and identity to prospective students, these values are at the heart of all of our communications. Our viewbooks, videos, information sessions, tours and social media all show high school students how our Jesuit mission has shaped our students’ experience and guided their future direction.
As Fairfield turns 75 this year, we are reminded how deeply our Jesuit identity has shaped our institution, and the lives of all of the members of our University community over the years. In recognition of our 75th anniversary, Fairfield’s Vice President for Mission and Identity, Dr. Nancy Dallavalle, sponsored an essay contest, “What Does Fairfield Mean to You?” Members of our community were invited to reflect on how Fairfield’s mission has shaped their lives and those of their families. The contest received over 50 strong submissions from students, alumni, former and present faculty, and staff members from across the University’s divisions, including one in the form of a digital essay, seen below.
A total of eight winners were chosen at the beginning of May, including the video above from Nicole Rosania ’20, and featured a range of experiences and reflections. Lori Boccuzzi ’06 shared a poignant essay about the death of her father who said in his last days, “The fact that we both went to Fairfield…will always be our special memory.” Christine Ducey ’19 expects her transformation to continue after graduation when she can make the world better because of her Fairfield education. Anna Kamradt ’19 explained how transferring to Fairfield was the best decision she has made and that she would not be the individual she is today without the University.
The Jesuits who founded Fairfield in the middle of World War II did so because they were filled with hope for the future, and inspired by the Jesuit mission — to educate and form young people and thereby transform the world for the better. That mission is as alive at Fairfield today as it was 75 years ago.