McShane Delivers State of University Address


Published: April 20, 2011

About one hundred people gathered in Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH)’s Keating First auditorium on April 15 for Rev. Joseph McShane, S.J.’s state of the University address. McShane paced around the front of the auditorium reminding students why they should be proud to be a Ram.

McShane updated students on the current status of admissions, developments and endowments at the University as it celebrates its 170th year and heads towards achieving the goals established in its capital campaign for 2016.

“We’ve made progress,” McShane said. “We’re happy, but were not satisfied, not by a long shot.”

According to McShane, 31,650 prospective students applied to Fordham University this year, the most in the school’s history. That compares to 1992, when nearly 4,000 students applied.

Among these students, only 19 percent were from the five boroughs, as compared to 75 percent being from N.Y. and N.J. in 1992. Six percent of this year’s freshman class is from Calif.

“The university is strong and gaining recognition as a strong and increasingly selective school,” McShane said, “but not an elitist institution.” The president also outlined the University’s progress within the development campaign, which he called “the most ambitious in Fordham University’s history.”

According to his speech, the school has raised $75 million towards the campaign. That includes the 25-million-dollar donation from Mario Gabelli, for whom the Gabelli School of Business was recently named after, and a 20-million-dollar anonymous donation that was inspired by Gabelli’s donation.

The money raised is going towards the renovation of the former residence hall, Hughes Hall, on FCRH’s campus, into the Gabelli School of Business  building, the new apartment resident halls, Campbell and Salice-Conley, and the recently started project at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) to construct a new building for Fordham Law School.

“It’s the most beautiful hole in the ground,” McShane said, referring to the beginning stages of the new building. “The architect [Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, with Henry N. Cobb and Yvonne Szeto] believes it’s the last great space in the cultural center of the Lincoln Center area.”

But McShane also said much more needs to be done to put Fordham on par with other competitive Catholic schools, namely Boston College and Georgetown University.

He listed improvements like updating the science department, constructing a campus center at FCLC and a new student center at FCRH, as well as more up to date classrooms.

“I’m selling everything; even this room needs a name,” he said.

McShane ended the night with a question and answer session. In response to a question about the recent Sodexo cafeteria grading, McShane said, “We can’t apologize often enough.”

“I want you to be proud of Fordham,” he said. “Together, we’ll put Fordham where it’s supposed to be.”