Fairfield University Awards Dinner to benefit Multicultural Scholarship Fund tops $1 million


Fairfield University's annual Awards Dinner, held April 2 in New York's Grand Hyatt Hotel, raised over one million dollars. Despite the challenging economic times, alumni, parents and corporate friends turned out in support of the importance of access to a Fairfield education and helping to build a diverse learning community. Earl ("Butch") G. Graves Jr., president and CEO of Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., publisher of Black Enterprise magazine, who gave the keynote address, praised those in attendance, saying, "It's an investment in human capital you won't regret."

A graduate of Yale University with an MBA from Harvard University, Graves said that 75 percent of college-age African American males are not attending college. "Solving the problem will require committed involvement at all levels of our society ... Fairfield University, through its Multicultural Scholarship Fund, has elected to be part of the solution."

University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. noted in his remarks that the awards dinner was primarily about "opening doors" and "widening access to education" to worthy students who might not otherwise have the opportunity. "Diversity," he said, "provides us with a variety of perspectives and ideas that not only challenge our assumptions, but also make us aware of the world beyond the border of our lives."

One student who has benefited from the assistance of the fund is Stefany Accino who will graduate in May with a double major in psychology and sociology. The first person in her family to attend college, she was born in Haiti before coming to the United States, and was referred to Fairfield by her pediatrician, a Fairfield alumna. During her junior year, she began to work in a children's shelter in Greenwich and now wants to work to help adolescents. "Along with many other students in the room," she said, "I am a living example of how life-changing your donations are and I hope you will continue to do for others what you have done for me."

Honored at the dinner were three members of the Fairfield University community: Edward J. Deak, Ph.D., professor of economics, with the Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award; Christopher C. Quick of Purchase, N.Y., with the Alumni Professional Achievement Award; and William J. Crean, Jr. of Hingham, Mass., with the Alumni Service Award.

Edward J. Deak, Ph.D., professor of economics and a resident of Monroe, Conn., is recognized as a primary source of information on the state's economy through his work as the Connecticut Model Manager for the New England Economic Partnership (NEEP). He has also served as an unpaid advisor to several Connecticut governors and congressional representatives and is the author of "The Economics of e-Commerce and the Internet" (Thompson South-Western Publishing,), which was translated into Chinese.

Christopher C. Quick, a 1979 graduate of Fairfield with a B.S. in finance, is a former member of the NYSE Board of Directors. Prior to his retirement he was vice-chairman of Global Wealth and Investment Management with Bank of America and before that, CEO of Banc of America Specialist. A member of the University Board of Trustees since 2005, Quick chaired the 1999 Awards Dinner. Two other family members are also Fairfield graduates, and two campus buildings are named for Quick's parents: the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreational Complex and the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

William J. Crean Jr., a 1991 graduate of Fairfield with a B.S. in politics, began his career in politics but later moved on to commercial real estate brokerage, where he is currently a partner in the Boston office of CB Richard Ellis. A member of the Boston Alumni Club, in 2004 he initiated the Boston Briefcase Breakfast, a biannual event showcasing talented Fairfield alumni speakers on timely business, government, economic, and social topics. Crean also serves as secretary on the Executive Committee of the recently restructured Fairfield Alumni Association Board of Directors, where he will help evolve the Briefcase Breakfast model into other Fairfield alumni networking events across the country.

The co-chairs of the dinner, Fairfield University Trustee Patti Glassford, a 1985 alumna and Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, GE Enterprise Solutions, and Andrew McMahon, a 1989 alumnus, a member of the Dolan School of Business Advisory Council and EVP, AXA Equitable, and Chairman, AXA Advisors, LLC, thanked the 500 alumni, parents, and guests in attendance for their contributions. McMahon told them, “With support from all of us, talented young men and women from many different backgrounds will have access to a Fairfield education - an opportunity that without that support, may not have happened."

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 7, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 291