Fairfield University Alumni celebrate diversity and raise $1.4M for the Multicultural Scholarship Fund


Fairfield University alumni led the 23rd annual Awards Dinner, held this week in New York, to a record-breaking $1.4 million for its Multicultural Scholarship. Co-chairs Frank Carroll of Stamford, Class of 1989, and Kevin Shea of Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., Class of 1987, made the announcement to more than 500 people who came to support the scholarship fund at the Grand Hyatt in New York. "A more diverse campus enriches the educational experience of all of Fairfield's students, helping them reach their fullest potential," said Carroll. To date, 155 students have received scholarships through the fund.

University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., thanked Carroll and Shea for their leadership and said, "A Fairfield University education is an education for the formation of global citizens - individuals who recognize the humanity in all people and cultures, who have the passion to address injustice, and the knowledge and skills to work to transform society for the greater good." He said a hallmark of Jesuit education was "ensuring that young men and women of promise - regardless of their circumstances - have access to this education."

Junior Edwin Muñiz of Bridgeport, a business management major recently elected president of FUSA, the Fairfield University Student Association, credited the Multicultural Fund with transforming him. "Fairfield has been a place for me to find myself. It's through getting to know myself, and building a confidence in my abilities that I've become a student-leader at Fairfield."

For the first time in the dinner's history, a Fairfield graduate delivered the keynote address. Carmen Wong Ulrich of Brooklyn, N.Y., Class of 1993, is the personal finance expert for CNBC where she hosted the daily one-hour personal finance show, "On the Money." She appears regularly as a personal finance expert on NBC's "The Today Show," "Nightly News with Brian Williams," MSNBC and other major network and cable shows.

Image: Fairfield Awards Dinner
Edwin Muñiz of Bridgeport, Conn., a business
management major recently elected president of the
Fairfield University Student Association, credited the
Multicultural Fund with transforming him. "Fairfield
has been a place for me to find myself."
  Image: Fairfield Awards Dinner
Carmen Wong Ulrich, personal finance expert for
CNBC and the first Fairfield University graduate
to deliver the keynote address at the Fairfield
Awards Dinner, meets with Fr. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J.,
university president. The annual dinner raised a
record $1.4 million for the University's
Multicultural Scholarship.

Ulrich dedicated her speech to her mother, who waited tables at the Ponderosa Restaurant so that Ulrich could go to college, and told how her late grandmother from Santiago, Dominican Republic, "looked at me with eyes of unconditional acceptance and love and belief." She thanked the leaders and professors at Fairfield who, like her grandmother, "believed in me and my abilities, with no limits." She said they taught her how to think critically, and to cultivate patience and listening.

The major awards of the evening were presented to three members of the Fairfield University community:

Dr. Thomas Conine Jr., of Easton, professor of finance, received the Distinguished Faculty Award as a "master teacher in both the academic and the corporate classroom." Conine's teaching and consulting have taken him to all corners of the world to work with companies like Gazprom in Russia, Air China in the People's Republic of China, and the Bahrain Defence Force in the Middle East, giving him a wealth of information to share with his students at Faifield, including divergent ways of thinking and solving problems.

Joseph DiMenna of New York City, Class of 1980 and a former University trustee, was honored with the Alumni Professional Achievement Award for his "generosity of spirit and resources" to the University. He is the managing director and portfolio manager of Zweig-DiMenna Associates, a long-short hedge fund that he joined in 1977, while still a student at Fairfield University. In addition to several other gifts to his alma mater, DiMenna in 1998 made a major leadership gift that resulted in the renovation and extensive expansion of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.

John O'Neill of Stamford, Class of 1971, received the Alumni Service award for his leadership of the Charles F. Dolan School of Business Advisory Board for the past seven years. He has also volunteered as a guest lecturer and career networking panelist, and raised funds for the men's and women's rugby clubs on campus. An accountant who held several significant positions with Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young, he last year became the first franchisee in Connecticut for Roni Deutch Tax Centers, a tax preparation and advisory company. His offices are in Stamford, Norwalk, Milford, Orange, and West Haven.

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

Posted on April 29, 2010

Vol. 42, No. 282

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