Fordham Welcomes Class of 2020


Freshmen students Kimberly Cruz and Nick Howard with their friends on the outdoor plaza. (PHOTO BY TERRY ZENG/THE OBSERVER)


In Fordham University’s dodransbicentennial year, the class of 2020—also called the “visionary” class by President of Fordham University Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J.—has arrived.

The class of 2020 has a student population comparable to that of last year, comprised of 2,160 students across both campuses, with more than 500 freshmen at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) and more than 100 at Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC), according to Director of Undergraduate Admission Patricia Peek. The freshman class brings together domestic students from 44 U.S. states and 200 international students from across the world. 30 percent of the class of 2020 represent ethnic diversity or are international.

This year’s admission process has been more competitive than ever, according to Peek. Undergraduate admissions only accepted 45 percent of applicants from a pool of nearly 45,000 students.

“We are excited that more than 2,100 students have chosen to join our campus community and share their many gifts with us,” Peek said. “Each year, we strive to enroll a talented and diverse class, and this year is no exception.”

Freshmen Class Dean Joseph Desciak said that he is most impressed by the class’s academic profile because it is among the strongest in the history of the college. He also noted that their thoughtful reflection and interaction on the class blog was enthusiastic and heartfelt.

Nick Howard, FCLC ’20, is a resident from Connecticut. He and his twin brother are continuing their family history of pursuing studies at Fordham, following the footsteps of his mother and uncle.

Howard favors the small class environment at Fordham, which has helped him interact more easily with other students in class. According to College Board, the student-faculty ratio at Fordham University is 14:1.

“I actually made a lot more friends than I thought,” Howard said. “[The student-faculty ratio] has helped me make friends and build community within Fordham.”

“Considering my family has history at Fordham, I can say it’s a thriving college, so it’s really cool to be in the 175th class,” Howard continued.

Kimberly Cruz, FCLC ’21, is a commuter from SoHo. She is enrolled in the five—year Ph.D. in Social Work program. She met Howard in the same orientation group and they have been involved in extracurricular activities together.

Cruz appreciates the support freshmen leaders have given her. “I didn’t expect to be given so many [opportunities],” Cruz said. “I have support from different groups. I have my orientation leader, a CFM (Commuter Freshmen Mentor) and I have a lot of support, which is very nice.”

Cruz chose to study at Fordham because she previously studied at a Catholic high school focused on diversity, acceptance and non-discrimination, which led her to continue her education at a Jesuit university like Fordham.

Freshmen students were encouraged to participate in activities at orientation, such as the dance party held on the outdoor plaza where Cruz met most of her friends. She was surprised to find that education at Fordham is not only about academics, but also about student life.

Cruz feels special being a part of Fordham’s 175th class, and is happy to see a strong school spirit during her first year.

“It means that the school has placed education in the middle of the city that everybody can look at and be in awe and in shock. We have to place school spirit inside us and be happy about it,” Cruz said. “It has changed my perspective and made transitioning from high school to college a lot easier.”