Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, widow of tennis great Arthur Ashe, will be keynote speaker at Fairfield University Awards Dinner
Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, photographer, author, activist and wife of the late tennis champion Arthur Ashe, will be the keynote speaker at Fairfield University's annual Fairfield Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 12 at 6 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The chair of the dinner is Brian P. Hull, a 1980 alumnus and trustee of Fairfield, as well as senior vice president of Global Private Client, Merrill Lynch.
Also honored at the dinner by the Alumni Association will be the Rev. Charles H. Allen, S.J., executive assistant to the president of Fairfield University, with the Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award; Larry C. Rafferty, '64, P'03, chief executive officer of Rafferty Capital Markets, with the Alumni Service Award; Michele Macauda, '78, P'09, a senior vice president at AT&T, with the Alumni Professional Achievement Award; and AIDS activist Paula Donovan, '77, M.A. '88, with the Alumni Humanitarian Award.
Like Ms. Donovan, Mrs. Ashe is also an AIDS educator. Although Arthur Ashe was famous for his accomplishments on the tennis court, including a U.S. Open Championship and a Wimbledon championship, he is remembered, as John McEnroe put it, as a "a fully-realized human being."
Ashe, who died of AIDS in 1993 after contracting HIV through a blood transfusion, fought inequality, including apartheid and other social discriminations, and elevated pride among black Americans in their heritage. Moutoussamy-Ashe has continued her husband's commitment to social justice causes and charitable efforts, especially those that address the healthcare of inner-city people and the education of children about AIDS.
In the years since his passing, she has also devoted her life to raising their daughter, and continuing her own career as a photographer and author. She has produced seven books, including "Daddy and Me."
Father Allen has been a steadying presence in the Fairfield University and Fairfield Prep communities since he first arrived at Fairfield in 1985. A former headmaster at Fairfield Prep, he has served as executive assistant to the president since 1994 when Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. was University president. He is integral to the many activities of the President's office, while serving as secretary of the Board of Trustees and secretary of the Fairfield University Corporation.
A Boston native, Fr. Allen joined the Jesuits at age 17. His Jesuit travels carried him to Mexico, Italy, Egypt, France, Spain, England, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and a half-dozen other countries – all before he arrived, as he likes to say, "in the closest I will ever come to the Garden of Eden: Fairfield, Conn."
Fr. Allen's involvement in student activities includes heading up Alpha Sigma Nu, chaperoning Campus Ministry trips, and living in the residence halls. Known for his encyclopedic mind and humor, he is a favorite with many community organizations where he is frequently called upon to serve as master of ceremonies at their events.
Paula Donovan has worked in international relations for 20 years, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS since the mid-1990s, when she worked for UNICEF and ran the global advocacy campaign for breastfeeding. She was posted in Nairobi, Kenya in 2000 as UNICEF's Regional Advisor on HIV/AIDS for the 23 countries of Eastern and Southern Africa and was subsequently recruited by UNIFEM, the UN women's agency, as its Africa-wide Gender and AIDS Advisor.
In 2003, Ms. Donovan left the UN but remained in Kenya to independently organize an "International Women's AIDS Run," Africa's first all-women's long-distance road race. Designed to raise awareness of and to acknowledge the millions of women across the continent who care for those left sick or orphaned by AIDS, the race was the curtain-raiser for the international AIDS conference held in Nairobi in 2003. In all, 11,000 female runners from more than a dozen countries registered for the race which is now an annual event.
Returning to the United States in 2004, Ms. Donovan became a senior advisor to Stephen Lewis, former special envoy to the United Nations on HIV/AIDS in Africa. She took on the role of policy consultant on children and AIDS with the Harvard School of Public Health's Francois X. Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights.
She and Stephen Lewis are now beginning a new nonprofit organization, AIDS-Free World, to continue and expand their advocacy for those affected by AIDS in Africa. Ms. Donovan will be its executive director.
Lawrence Rafferty is being honored with the Alumni Service Award. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native's athletic skills led him to earn a walk-on spot on the freshman basketball team of the University. His leadership skills later led him to become captain of the varsity basketball team. He channeled the skills and values learned at Fairfield into successful careers in sales and finance. Today, he is chief executive officer of Rafferty Capital Markets, LLC, an investment banking and brokerage services firm. In addition, he is a long-time member of the Fairfield University Board of Trustees and steadfast supporter of the University's academic scholarship programs and the athletic program.
The Jesuit philosophy about the importance of a liberal arts education and about life are very valuable for students today, he says. "There is more to Fairfield than going to a history or biology class. The Jesuits help you form a more meaningful point of view of the world."
His volunteer activities have included serving on reunion committees and as a committee chair for major gifts during "Our Promise: The Campaign for Fairfield University." He's been known to mentor students and recent graduates on career paths, and has hosted parent and young alumni receptions.
This year, the Alumni Professional Achievement Award will go to Michele Macauda, who graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics. After starting a position with Southern New England Telephone (SNET) in 1978, she rose steadily through the company's ranks.
Named president and CEO of SBC SNET in 2003, she was the first female CEO at the company as it moved from a utility monopoly to a full-service telecommunications provider. As president, Michele led a team of 7,000 employees, was responsible for the operation of more than two million access lines, and oversaw network services, sales, and marketing. In an address to students of the Charles F. Dolan School of Business last year, she advised students, "You should always be fair and execute your duties with good will, integrity, and compassion."
Ms. Macauda made headlines recently when she was promoted to senior vice president, enterprise systems and software engineering, for the entire company, now called AT&T. Her dedication to Fairfield remains strong. She is a member of the Board of Trustees and is on the Advisory Board of the School of Engineering. She has long been a member of The President's Circle. Her daughter, Vanessa, is a member of the Class of 2009.
She has been active in fundraising for victims of domestic violence and breast cancer, and has led numerous initiatives to improve the quality of life for veterans and people with disabilities in Connecticut. In addition, she is a strong advocate for mentoring programs that encourage students to pursue careers in technology.
Brian Hull is committed to building diversity. He is a longtime benefactor of the Alumni Multicultural Scholarship Fund, University athletics, and other campus initiatives. He serves on the board of St. Ignatius School, a Catholic middle school in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Founded in 1995, it is run on the Nativity model in the Jesuit tradition.
After earning a B.S. in accounting at Fairfield, he worked at Arthur Andersen & Co., and then spent 10 years at Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital Corp. Since joining Merrill Lynch in 1994, he has held several senior management positions in Equity, Fixed Income, and Equity Capital Markets.
He was most recently appointed senior vice president in Global Private Client, where he heads Distribution, Business Development, and the Institutional Advisory Division. He is also a vice chairman and member of Merrill Lynch's Executive Client Coverage Group. In all his business and personal dealings, Brian says he recalls his Jesuit education, which emphasized truth and transparency, something that's all too often lost in today's fast-paced world. He says, "The most important thing people do in business is earn other people's trust and respect."
Robert Cottle, Director of Corporate Relations at Fairfield University, said achieving diversity is one of the University's major goals, noting that the Class of 2010 is composed of the largest percentage of multicultural students in Fairfield's history, 18.2 percent of the class. "The University is making great strides in achieving this goal, and the Multicultural Scholarship Fund, with a current value of nearly $7 million, has made a powerful impact on Fairfield's capacity to do so."
The dinner serves as the annual fundraiser for the Multicultural Scholarship Fund. For more information about the event or to attend, contact the Office of Corporate Relations via e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2927. The public is welcome. (Fairfield University employees receive a special discount on event tickets.)
Posted on March 20, 2007
Vol. 39, No. 185