Fay Vincent gives Fairfield University $2 million for scholarships


Fairfield University has received a gift of $2 million for student scholarships from Fay Vincent, former commissioner of Major League Baseball. The gift is the largest Fairfield has ever received for student financial need.

Fairfield will receive the $2 million in two stages: $1 million in a direct gift and the second $1 million in a bequest. Vincent's gift will enable the University to create the Alice Lynch Vincent Scholarship, in memory of his mother.

Citing the over 70 percent of Fairfield students who currently receive some form of financial assistance, George Diffley, vice president for advancement, expressed his gratitude to Vincent for making a Fairfield education more accessible financially to qualified students with demonstrated need.

A strong advocate of liberal arts education, Vincent explained that he wanted to assist students at Fairfield because he was impressed by the University's curriculum which requires all students - including those in the School of Business and the School of Nursing - to complete 60 credits in liberal arts courses. Reviewing his own career which has included heading business, law and sports, he said, "My liberal arts education was the best training I received because it teaches one to put all things in context."

In addition, Vincent said he is impressed by Jesuit education which stresses quality academic programs, social responsibility and leadership.

The Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., University President, thanked Vincent for his generous support of the University and its students and commented, "Never before in Fairfield's history has the need for financial aid been more pressing or more important. For many students today, the key factor in selecting a college - and being able to graduate from it - is the availability of financial aid. If we are to guarantee that the Jesuit system of education remains a reality for succeeding generations of Fairfield University students, increasing our financial aid resources must be our number one priority."

During his distinguished career in business, Vincent has served as commissioner of Major League Baseball; executive vice president of the Coca Cola company; president and chairman of Columbia Pictures, Inc.; and currently directs Vincent Enterprises. He is a director of various corporations including Time-Warner and served as a trustee of Williams College for 18 years, a trustee of Carleton College for six years and was chairman of the board of the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. He is a member of the bar in Connecticut, New York, and Washington, D.C.

In recognition of his mother having been a teacher at schools in New Haven, Waterbury and Southington, preference for the scholarship will be given to students from Connecticut. Vincent previously established a scholarship in his mother's name at Central Connecticut State University where she received her degree, and a fund at Carleton College for a fellowship for speakers. He also created the Francis T. Vincent Scholarship at Yale in memory of his father, who captained the Yale football and baseball teams in 1930-31.

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

Posted on December 1, 1996