New President Welcomed Across Campuses

The coffee receptions were the first opportunity staff, faculty and students had to meet Tetlow



University President Tetlow addresses the Lincoln Center community at the coffee reception hosted on Bickford Terrace


Over the summer, Fordham hosted a coffee reception at both the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses to welcome Fordham University’s 33rd President Tania Tetlow, J.D. These welcome events were some of the university’s community members’ first times meeting the new president in person, as she was finishing her term as Loyola University New Orleans’ president prior to assuming office on July 1

At the reception, Tetlow shared that she received her best inspiration to begin her new position a week before she took office. She explained how she went on a pilgrimage to Rome to walk the steps of St. Ignatius alongside members of the board and Vice President for Mission Integration and Ministry John Cecero, S.J.

The president noted that she saw the place where the university’s patron saint worked and was inspired by how he listened to others. This revelation led her to want to learn about what matters most, why Fordham is special, why they fell in love with it and why they have been here for decades. 

Tetlow also expressed that she was honored people came out in the middle of the summer.

“I could not have gotten a warmer welcome than each of you has given me, and I feel so at home here already on week two of my tenure here,” she said. “This is an incredible place and this campus is an incredible place for you to exist, to be part of one of the most exciting square miles of the world.”

Michael Trerotola, assistant university secretary and special assistant to the president, said that people were really excited to meet Tetlow. He added that there were over 100 attendees at each event at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center for the two welcome events in July. 

“I had lots of conversations with my colleagues at the events, and it was clear that they had read and seen so much about her online that they couldn’t wait to meet and hear from her in person,” he said. 

“There’s a lot of hope for what Fordham is going to be able to accomplish moving forward with her leadership.” Juan Carlos Matos, assistant vice president for student affairs for diversity and inclusion at the Office of Multicultural Affairs

He noted that Tetlow made it clear from the beginning that it was her top priority to get to know the campus community. He also added that the president is on a listening tour to get to know how Fordham works, what its faculty, staff and students love about it, and what areas can be focused on to improve the Fordham experience. 

Juan Carlos Matos, assistant vice president for student affairs for diversity and inclusion at the Office of Multicultural Affairs, was an attendee at the Rose Hill welcome event and said that there was a sense of excitement and wonderment about what the future will hold for Fordham’s new president among those in attendance. 

“There’s a lot of hope for what Fordham is going to be able to accomplish moving forward with her leadership,” he said. 

Matos is looking forward to working with Tetlow and the Diversity Leadership Team the university is currently working to develop. He added that at a divisional staff meeting for the division of Student Affairs, Tetlow shared that she was very aware of Fordham’s need to improve on increasing the number of Black students at Fordham, and he believes that she is very versed in diversity work through her previous law experience. 

Melanie Sztulman, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center ’23 and an orientation coordinator for the 2022-23 academic year, said that she and the other orientation coordinators were invited to the Lincoln Center welcome event by Associate Director of First-year experience Dan Patterson. She noted that she was both excited and nervous to meet the president.

“I was just excited to get to know her and to meet her, see what her personality is like, how she interacted with students and whatnot,” Sztulman said.

She added that as an orientation coordinator and an active member of United Student Government, meeting the president is important to students who are in leadership positions because student leaders gauge the president’s likability. She described Tetlow as “incredibly sweet” and noticed that when the president was in conversation with all four of the orientation coordinators, she genuinely seemed like she was curious about their answers. 

“It seemed like she was actually listening to us and not just asking us questions to ask us questions,” Sztulman said. “It genuinely seemed like she cared.”

Sztulman spoke on the upcoming orientation and the challenge that comes with integrating the different cultures of Fordham’s two campuses. As an orientation coordinator, Sztulman is excited to see how Tetlow navigates this and how she plans to culturally unite the two campuses. 

Trerotola said that there will be more events to welcome the president at the start of the academic year to provide the community with opportunities to meet her in person. Tetlow will participate in the Interfaith Prayer Service at Lincoln Center on Aug. 31 and the Mass of the Holy Spirit on Sept. 11 at Rose Hill. All undergraduate students are also invited to the President’s Inaugural Ball at the Rose Hill campus on Sept. 16 and a series of events will be held in October in anticipation of the president’s inauguration on Oct. 14.