As the ambitious Igniting our Mission campaign nears its end, Fordham Prep hosted an event to celebrate its success and dedicate some of the new spaces it has helped to create. Donors and their families, friends of the Prep, faculty, and staff came together to honor our most generous benefactors and visit a dramatically changed Shea Hall.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Prep Community and all of you here today, we have raised slightly more than $72 million to complete the largest comprehensive campaign in school history. Igniting our Mission has expanded our physical space, curriculum offerings and tuition assistance and has strengthened the Annual Fund and the Endowment through a strategic vision that ensures that a Fordham Prep education, steeped in faith, scholarship and service continues to thrive on Rose Hill for years to come,” Fordham Prep's President Rev. Christopher J. Devron, SJ said during his remarks on November 7th.
The dedication featured a few of the newly renovated spaces made possible by campaign donations, including the Rowen Lobby (gift of Diane and James Rowen ‘82), Classroom 217 (gift of Sean and Julie O’Shea P'14', 17, '20), the Adlerman Makerspace Lab (gift of Edwin J. Adlerman ‘89), the Counseling Center (gift of the Brusco family), and the Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola (gift of the McCarthy family P‘17, ‘19 and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation).
Funds raised during the campaign have had an impact on all aspects of the student experience at Fordham Prep.
The Adlerman Makerspace Lab is the centerpiece of the schools recently launched iSTEAM initiative. In this space students can experiment with robotics, try their hand at 3D printing, practice elements of cybersecurity, and participate in gaming competitions with peers around the state, country, and the world.
Edwin J. Adlerman ‘89 and guest Mary Jo Picillo cut the ribbon in front of the Adlerman Makerspace Lab during the Igniting Our Mission Campaign event. (Also pictured: Fr. Devron and Dr. Raymond Gonzalez).
“We spoke to Mr. Adlerman [‘89] and said, ‘The kids need a space to work’, because that’s the whole idea,” says Dr. Raymond Gonzalez, iSTEAM Coordinator at the Prep. “Give them a space to work so they can figure things out,” he continued.
This space has opened up the opportunity for students to host hackathons, conduct cybersecurity drills, and even hold eSports tournaments. “I hope the space can also be utilized for HAP and the REACH program,” said Dr. Gonzalez, who also plans to work with the Prep’s Technology faculty to curate student installations in the Adlerman Makerspace Lab.
For years, the Prep’s college and school counselors have worked in private offices located throughout Shea Hall. In order to facilitate even more collaboration between colleagues and better support students' academic, social, and emotional health, the Counseling Center was created. Each college and school counselor has an office in this modern space, virtually ensuring that there is always a counselor available to assist a student in need.
“Settling into the space was pretty amazing,” School Counselor Sarah Porter recalls. “It’s really nice to be in one place because it makes it easier to collaborate with my colleagues,” Porter states. “It’s also been great for the kids to be able to locate us without having to run around the building trying to find us.”
The new Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola, which was relocated from the Prep’s lobby to the third floor, features the stained glass cross from the chapel’s original location.
(L-R): Chairperson of Religious Studies Elena Soto, PhD, Fr. Devron, and the McCarthys inside the Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola after its dedication and blessing.
“The impacts [of the campaign] on student life seem very tangible, especially the addition of the Chapel of St. Ignatius in the heart of the school,” says donor John McCarthy P’17 ‘19. “It’s vital that students, faculty and staff have a space in which to worship and reflect.”
(L-R): Paul Brusco ‘82, and Mario Ciampi ‘78, Fr. Devron, Jim Rowen ‘82, and Kevin Hackett ‘67 reveal the lettering above the new Rowen Lobby.
Rowen Lobby, gift of Jim Rowen ‘82, founder of the Great Ignatian Challenge, was also unveiled that afternoon with the help of Kevin Hackett ‘67, Paul Brusco ‘82, and Mario Ciampi ‘78.
The campaign also featured gifts to support new endowments including the school's iSTEAM and Global Education programs as well as scholarship and mentor programs like the Patrick S. Joyce, Jr. ‘88 Scholarship, the FitzSimons Civics Education Initiative, and the George Jackson Initiative (GJI). Each of these endowments help ensure students of all economic backgrounds have equal opportunity to participate fully in the life of the school.
“All of the young men in the program are first generation college-bound students,” says Corey Punter ‘07, Associate Director of Admissions and moderator of the George Jackson '76 Mentoring Program. The mentoring program motivates and supports all first generation college-bound students through its mentorship program by helping them with goal setting, study skills,, starting their college search, mock interviews, decision making and service/social justice.
The GJI mentorship program is made up of a group of 13 young alumni who meet and work one-on-one with mentees throughout the year.
“It allows them to be more confident throughout their experience here as a student,” Punter states. “It helps them feel more included and better connected to the institution.”
Honorees and guests in attendance during the dedication and blessings that Sunday afternoon believed they were celebrating the end of the Igniting Our Mission Campaign. However, Fr. Devron, SJ, had a surprise for the crowd during his closing remarks.
Fr. Devron, SJ addresses the crowd during his Igniting Our Mission Campaign closing remarks.
“You may have noticed at the very beginning of my remarks I said that our campaign raised nearly $75 million. Well, this is the ceremonial end today but I decided that we’re going to keep the campaign open until December 31st. Between now and then, we want to get over the $75 million threshold. I’m here asking you, should we do this?”
The crowd cheered in response and accepted the challenge.
Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.