Fairfield University

Fairfield University
Latin: Universitas Fairfieldensis
Former names
Fairfield University of
St. Robert Bellarmine (1942-1944)
Motto Per Fidem ad Plenam Veritatem (Latin)
Motto in English
Through Faith to the Fullness of Truth
Type Private, nonprofit, research
Established 1942
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Endowment $317 million (2015)[1]
Chairman Frank J. Carroll, III '89[2]
President Jeffrey P. von Arx
Provost Lynn Babington[3]
Academic staff
Total: 546
- 257 full-time
- 289 part-time[4]
Students 4,991
Undergraduates 3,835
Postgraduates 1,156
Location Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.
Coordinates: 41°9′36.61″N 73°15′29.04″W / 41.1601694°N 73.2580667°W / 41.1601694; -73.2580667
Campus Suburban - 200 acres (80.9 ha)
Fight song "Hail Stags"
Colors Cardinal and White[5]
Athletics NCAA Division IMAAC
Nickname Stags / Lady Stags
Mascot Lucas the Stag
Website www.fairfield.edu
Main Entrance and Alumni House

Fairfield University is a private, co-educational undergraduate and graduate level 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.[6] 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[7] 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 Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions. The university is notable academically for its nationally recognized accounting and nursing programs along with its liberal arts and science programs which have produced a MacArthur Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, sixty-two Fulbright Scholars since 1993, and a Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow.[8] 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.[9]

History and tradition


St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J., Patron Saint of Fairfield University

The Society of Jesus founded Fairfield University in 1942 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, the State of Connecticut chartered Fairfield University to grant degrees in 1945; the College of Arts and Sciences admitted its first class of 303 male students in 1947; the State of Connecticut accredited the College of Arts and Sciences and the University held its first summer session of undergraduate courses in 1949.

Presidents of Fairfield
Years President
1942–1944 John J. McEleney, S.J.
1944–1951 James H. Dolan, S.J.
1951–1958 Joseph D. FitzGerald, S.J.
1958–1964 James E. FitzGerald, S.J.
1964–1973 William C. McInnes, S.J.
1973–1979 Thomas R. Fitzgerald, S.J.
1979–2004 Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J.
2004– 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.[10] 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).[11] 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.[10] 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."[10]

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. 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.[12] Further, a brief history of "The Jesuits in Fairfield" can be found on The Fairfield Jesuit Community website.[13]

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.

Recent history

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.[14]

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.

Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Center

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.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17]

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.


Academic programs

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.

Bellarmine Hall

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.[18] 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.

Academic achievement

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 Boothe Luce Scholarship, McGowan Scholarship and Udall Scholarship.

Centers of distinction

The Center for Faith and Public Life (CFPL), founded in 2005, fosters a variety of programs at the University to enlarge the perspective of students to compassionate and global-minded citizenship. CFPL has its own article in this encyclopedia. It assists professors in including faith and justice issues in their coursework, exercises leadership in the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN), and facilitates independent as well as course-based service learning opportunities. It is ready to assist numerous, prominent research scholars who have joined the faculty. It also sponsors a variety of forums, like the Politics meets Faith series.

Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola

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.[20] 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.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23]

International programs

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:

Dolan House, International Programs Center

Rankings and ratings

Business Insider ranked Fairfield the #33 college in the U.S. where students earn the highest salaries.[28] 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.[29] 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 rank 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."[30] 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 & World Report has ranked Fairfield in the top 2% of its peer group for 24 consecutive years while Fairfield students achieve the highest average annual salaries for graduates after five years. In 2016, Fairfield ranked 2nd in Regional Universities North, 1st in Best Colleges for Veterans, and previously among "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.[31] In addition, Fairfield ranked 2nd in Best Colleges for Service Learning Programs which combine community volunteering with coursework.[32]

In 2015, USA Today and CollegeFactual.com ranked Fairfield the 9th Best Roman Catholic University in the United States based on Fairfield providing a strong education while being rooted in the Roman Catholic faith and valuing diversity and open dialogue.[33]

In 2016, Times Higher Education and World University Rankings identified Fairfield as one of 20 universities in the world and just one of nine universities in the U.S. that could “challenge the elite universities” and become globally renowned by the year 2030.[34]

Arts and enrichment

Quick Center For the Arts

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.[35] 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.[36]

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[37]

Fairfield University Art Museum

The Fairfield University Art Museum, opened in October 2010, is located the University's signature 1920s Tudor mansion. CollegeRank.net ranks the Museum the 37th Most Amazing College Museum noting that "with an incredibly rich and broad collection of paintings, sculpture, and plaster casts, the Museum is a must-see for art enthusiasts."[38] The Museum 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 given 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.[39]

Theatre Fairfield

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.[40] 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 and costume shop/dressing room.[41] Veterans of Theatre Fairfield include Paul Marcarelli '92 and January LaVoy '97.

Fairfield on the screen

Betty Draper, the fictional character played by actress January Jones in the television series Mad Men, stated that she had dinner with the Dean of Fairfield University and that she planned to enroll in the fall to pursue a master's degree in psychology during the Season 7 "New Business" episode. The episode aired nationally on the AMC television network on April 12, 2015.

Bellarmine Hall was featured as the filming location[42] for Boychoir an independent film starring Academy Award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman and directed by François Girard during March 2014. Several Fairfield University students were allowed to help with production. The film was released in 2014.

McAuliffe Hall

Five locations on the Fairfield University campus including McAuliffe Hall were utilized in the filming of All Good Things, a 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.[43]

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."[44] The documentary aired nationally on the PBS television network on February 4, 2008.[45] 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.[46]

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.

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,[47] attended Fairfield and wore an official university sweatshirt during the Season 5 "Winter Break" episode.[48] The episode aired nationally on the ABC television network on February 14, 1989.

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.[49] The Fairfield four included John Horvath, John Kappenberg, Joseph Kroll and George Greller; and were coached by the Rev. Donald D. Lynch, S.J.[50]


Main article: Fairfield Stags

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 Colonial Athletic Association 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.[51]

Athletic success

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.[52] 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 7 MAAC Regular Season Titles in the last decade and earned a berth to the 2009 and 2015 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship. On April 21, 2013, men's lacrosse set the school record for the defeat of the highest ranked opponent when the Stags upset the then no. 1 nationally ranked Denver Pioneers 9-8.[53] The previous record was set on March 13, 2010, 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.[54]

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.[55]

Sport clubs

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.[56] 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.[57] 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.[58] 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.[59] 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.[60] 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.[61] 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.[62]

Campus and region

Bellarmine Pond

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.[63]

Campus safety

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."[64]

DiMenna-Nyselius Library

DiMenna-Nyselius Library

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.[65]

Environmental sustainability

Jesuit Center Roof Garden

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.[66] These efforts have earned the university recognition as one of the nation's "Cool Schools" from the Sierra Club[67] and a "C-" grade on the Sustainable Endowments Institute's 2009 College Sustainability Report Card.[68] 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.[69] The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored the university with a 2010 Energy Star CHP Award for its energy smart CHP.[70]

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.[71]

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.[72] Fairfield is also in the process of replacing its 125-vehicle fleet with biodiesel-powered buses and hybrid vehicles.[73] 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.[74]

Fairfield Beach, Connecticut


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.[75] 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.[76] 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.[77]

Publications and media

Academic journals

Media Center

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 received a Bronze Telly Award in 2001[84] and one Silver Telly Award and three Bronze Telly Awards in 2004.[85] 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.[86][87]

Residence life

Residence halls

John C. Dolan Hall

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, Jogues 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.

Residential Colleges

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.[88]

In recent years, Fairfield University has also opened up a third residential college called the Creative Life Residential College. Fairfield Sophomores explore questions about art, roles in society, and even faith in what is now known as "Faber Hall," after Saint Peter Faber, S.J.. Before April 2014, the hall used to be known as "42 Bellarmine Road." A ceremony[89] was held later on in April 2014 to rename the residence hall.

Student life

Community service

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.[90] 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.[91]

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.[92] 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.[93] 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.[94]

Internationally, Ignatian Solidarity Corps volunteers annually participate in two-week international service trips during their spring and winter breaks traveling to Ecuador[95] 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.[96] 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.[97] 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.[98]


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,[99] 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.[100] For this reason, the Office of Institutional Diversity Initiatives and the Office of Student Diversity Programs[101] were created to pursue a number of initiatives to increase racial and socioeconomic diversity. Both offices also recognize that, "there are many dimensions to diversity that go well beyond obvious differences such as race, gender, age, physical ability, and marital status. The less [physically] obvious dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to: veteran status, education, sexual orientation, lifestyle, national origin, religious or political affiliation, departmental or organizational 'culture', and employee status."[102] 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.[103]

John A. Barone Campus Center

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.[104] 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 four branches – legislative', programming, marketing and council of student officers. 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.[105] 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, the Chair of the Council of Student Organizations(COSO), the Chair of Marketing, and Secretary of the Treasury. 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.[106]

Student activism

A central tenet of a Jesuit education is the promotion of the values of peace and social justice.[107] 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,[108] 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.[109] 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.[110] 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.[111] 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,[112] 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.[113]

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, Theater Fairfield, Accounting club, Communication club, Economics club, Finance club, Marketing Club, History club and Colleges against Cancer. 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.[114]

Student media


Student life at the Fairfield is marked by a number of traditions and celebrations:


Notable alumni

Notable benefactors

Among the large donors are: Rudolf F. Bannow, Swedish-American industrialist and namesake of the Rudolf F. Bannow Science Center.;[115] 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 at Zweig-DiMenna Associates and namesake of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library; William P. Egan '67, founding Partner at Alta Communications and namesake of the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius of Loyola; Steve Lessing '80, Managing Director at Barclays and namesake of Lessing Field; Roger Lynch '63, former Partner at Goldman Sachs and namesake of the Roger M. Lynch Professor of Economics; John C. Meditz '70, Vice Chairman at Horizon Asset Management and namesake of Meditz Hall; Gustav Nyselius, Swedish-American Industrialist and namesake of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.;[116] 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; Larry Rafferty '64, founder of Rafferty Capital Markets and namesake of Rafferty Stadium; Fay Vincent Jr. '08, former Commissioner of Major League Baseball and creator of the need-based Alice Lynch Vincent Scholarship.;[117] and Thomas J. Walsh Jr., former President & Chairman at Colonial Wire and Cable and namesake of the Thomas J. Walsh, Jr. Athletic Center and Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery.


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