Fairfield University announces William G. McGowan Scholars


Fairfield University has announced that Lucy Rodrigues of Naugatuck, Conn., and Steve Norcini of Berwyn, Pa., have been named 2000-2001 William G. McGowan Scholars. Fairfield University is among a select group of 23 colleges and universities that have been invited to participate in the Scholars Program, which is underwritten by the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc., based in Washington, D.C. The program honors the memory of the late William G. McGowan, founder and chairman of MCI Communications Corporation.

The awards are patterned after the early experience of Mr. McGowan, who was able to complete his MBA work at Harvard University only with the assistance of a scholarship award. Lucy Rodrigues and Steve Norcini will each receive $17,650 toward their senior-year tuition this fall. They were selected for their outstanding academic performance, leadership ability and commitment to the greater community.

Lucy RodriguesA finance major with a minor in accounting and economics, Lucy was recently inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, a national honor bestowed upon only about five percent of business students. A presidential scholar and dean's list student at Fairfield, she has managed a portfolio, analyzed financial statements and done business presentations to sell stock and a company as part of her business program.

At home in Naugatuck, Lucy has worked at Two Brothers Paving Inc. as an office assistant, preparing job estimates, contracts and invoices, and at Lewis Engineering Company, where last summer she was a member of the team that worked on the implementation of a new manufacturing system.

A volunteer at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Waterbury, Lucy has taught religion to sixth-grade students since 1995. At Fairfield University she is a member of the Woman to Woman Forum.

Lucy has described the formation of MCI as "similar to a revolution." By leading the fight to break up AT&T's monopoly, she said, "William McGowan changed the face of telecommunications by offering low-cost long-distance phone service." Mr. McGowan, who died in 1992 at age 64, "made MCI a success in less than three decades," she observed. "He led the company into new areas of the world, new technologies and new campaigns."

Steve NorciniSteve Norcini, an accounting major, was also inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma this year. A dean's list student throughout his college career, Steve is a three-year starter with Fairfield's varsity football team where he has been an All League Academic every season and was named a Division 1AA Academic All-American.

He is president of the Student Athletic Advisory Council and a member of the Student Court. A member of the Accounting Honor Society, he was awarded the Connecticut Certified Public Accountants Scholarship. He worked on the Hunger Cleanup program, a national community service work-a-thon sponsored by the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.

This summer Steve is working in New York City in an internship with Ernst & Young.

In a business world where "nickel and dime startup companies can make millions overnight or a multibillion-dollar corporation can go bankrupt with similar ease," Steve noted, "companies must be innovative, efficient, and resourceful ... William G. McGowan was a master innovator and leader who utilized his abilities and created one of the most successful businesses in telecommunications history. Before the billion-dollar databases, the cross-functional teams or organizational theory, William G. McGowan provided the business world with a blueprint for success."

Mr. McGowan earned a place in the history of American business by successfully breaking AT&T's monopoly over the telecommunications industry. By applying new technologies and creating innovative services, he was able to offer long-distance service at substantial savings for the consumer and had far-reaching effects on the telecommunications industry worldwide.

The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc., founded in 1992 by Mr. McGowan, promotes, nurtures and funds promising programs in health care and medical science research, creates educational opportunities, and develops the gifts and talents of the young.

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

Posted on August 15, 2000

Vol. 33, No. 17