Once a Ram, Always a Ram


Photographer:Alvin Trusty

Mary Higgins Clark is a best-selling author and Fordham alumni. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ALVIN TRUSTY VIA FLICKR)


Mary Higgins Clark is a best-selling author and Fordham alumni. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ALVIN TRUSTY VIA FLICKR)
Mary Higgins Clark is a best-selling author and Fordham alumni. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ALVIN TRUSTY VIA FLICKR)

If you attend, or have been on a guided tour of, Fordham University, you are likely aware of some frequently mentioned former students: Denzel Washington, Taylor Schilling, Amanda Seyfried, Donald Trump and Lana Del Rey. Yet, there are many Fordham alumni who have gone on to be very successful in government and arts and media who are not often mentioned, but may be doing exactly what you aspire to do.

Among the many impressive alumni are several current government figures. John O. Brennan has been the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) since 2013. He received a B.A. in political science from Fordham in 1977 and worked for the CIA for 25 years, mainly in counterterrorism analysis, before advising President Obama on counterterrorism in 2008. He also served as President Clinton’s CIA intelligence briefer. He was also awarded an honorary degree in 2012. The current governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, graduated from Fordham in 1979. Cuomo began his career as a lawyer in New York and served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Clinton. He was also New York’s Attorney General for four years before he was elected governor.

In the arts and media, Fordham has produced several successful authors and journalists. New York Times best-selling author Mary Higgins Clark, “The Queen of Suspense,” graduated from Fordham in 1979 and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Fordham in 1998. She has written or co-authored 41 novels, including The Sleeping Beauty Killer, which will be released in November of this year, along with two children’s books and a memoir.

Louis Boccardi, retired president and CEO of The Associated Press (AP), received a bachelor’s degree from Fordham and went on to earn a masters in journalism from Columbia University. Boccardi worked for AP for 36 years, serving in several positions. He started his career working for numerous New York publications before accepting a position at AP.

Lynn Neary earned a B.A. in English from Fordham and is an arts correspondent and frequent guest host for National Public Radio (NPR). She reports on books and publishing and is often granted the opportunity to interview her favorite authors. Neary has been with NPR for the majority of her career, after starting out as a reporter in a couple of local affiliate stations around the country.

Robert L. “Bob” Papa, also known as “the voice of the New York Giants,” received a business degree from Fordham and has had a lengthy career as a sportscaster, covering several Olympic Games, including the recent 2016 summer Olympics, golf, football and various other sports. He began his work at Rose Hill’s radio station, WFUV,  and started his career at SportsPhone, a telephone service that provided sports information to callers until it was shut down in 2000, and a local radio station in upstate New York before returning to the city.

Jim Dwyer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist received a bachelor’s degree in general science from Fordham in 1979 before going on to get a masters in Journalism from Columbia University in 1980.

Amidst the stress of planning their futures, students often turn to alumni for inspiration. “Since I’ve been attending Fordham, it’s cool to see the different things people do once they graduate. Like the guy who just won a Grammy— it’s really cool to see that,” Michaela Browner, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ‘19, said.

The big names advertised around campus may feel intimidating, but Fordham has produced many successful people, even if their names are not as frequently mentioned.