25th Annual Fairfield Awards Dinner raises over $1.4 million


"Celebrating a Tradition of Opportunity"
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Grand Hyatt New York, New York City
Benefitting the Fairfield University Multicultural Scholarship Fund

FImage: Former CIA Director George J. Tenet speaks at the Fairfield Awards Dinner 2012.airfield University's 25th Annual Fairfield Awards Dinner, "Celebrating a Tradition of Opportunity," was held on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City. The event, which benefits the Fairfield University Multicultural Scholarship Fund, is Fairfield University's major fundraising event. Last night's Awards Dinner, attended by approximately 500 and featuring as its keynote speaker the former Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet, who is currently Chairman, Allen & Company LLC, raised over $1.4 million, the second largest amount in history. The Fairfield Awards Dinner raises money for need-based scholarships, which are awarded to students from various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds from around the country. Over the course of its twenty-five years, the Fairfield Awards Dinner has raised more than $13 million for the endowed Fairfield University Multicultural Scholarship Fund, providing scholarships to hundreds of AHANA (African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American) students.

The Fairfield Awards Dinner also recognized alumni, faculty, and staff for the highest levels of professional achievement, outstanding leadership, academic excellence, and meritorious service.

This year's honorees include: Paul J. Huston '82, Alumni Professional Achievement Award; Jack L. Kelly '67, P'96, Alumni Service Award; and Ellen M. Umansky, Ph.D., Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award. Co-Chairs for the event are Mark W. DeGennaro, '82, and Michael E. McGuinness '82. For additional information, contact the Fairfield University Office of Corporate Relations, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2927, or visit www.fairfield.edu/awardsdinner.

Image: Fairfield Awards Dinner 2012The 2012 Honorees

Alumni Professional Achievement Award
Paul J. Huston '82

Paul Huston credits Fairfield's small campus environment for his successful development as a student and a person. Paul majored in accounting and during his junior year obtained an internship at Coopers & Lybrand in Stamford, Conn. In 1988, after six years in public accounting, Paul decided to move to Merrill Lynch, where he transitioned from auditor to dealmaker. In 1992, he was part of a small group to exit Merrill Lynch to form Liberty Capital Partners, which he helped grow into a billion-dollar private equity firm. Among his many successes at Liberty, Paul served as chairman of the board of directors of Polaris Pool Systems, Inc. and RathGibson Manufacturing Company. In 2006, Paul embarked on a new challenge, starting private equity firm Hudson Ferry Capital. Paul's focus at Hudson Ferry has been energy companies, which he believes will improve our country's energy self-sufficiency in the future. He currently serves as board chairman of ASAP Industries and Mason Dixon Energy. Paul joined the University's Board of Trustees in 1999 and was elected chairman in 2002. During his tenure as chairman, Paul led the Board in its first presidential search in 25 years and worked to increase Board engagement. Paul is also a graduate of Columbia University's Executive MBA Program.

Alumni Service Award
Jack L. Kelly '67, P'96

After graduating with a degree in economics from Fairfield, Jack Kelly earned his MBA at New York University. Jack's career at Goldman Sachs spanned 30 years before he retired as a Managing Director in 2007. He was responsible for a number of industrial companies, including 3M, Xerox, and ITT Corp., and co-headed the Industrial Research Group, which received recognition as one of the top research groups in the world. Jack has served on the University's Board of Trustees since 2001, and is chair of the Advancement Committee. He is a longstanding member of the Awards Dinner Committee, and is serving on his 45th Reunion Committee this year. For the last several years, he has lectured at the Dolan School of Business in an investment analysis course. Jack is also on the Board of Trustees of Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, N.J.

Distinguished Faculty Award
Ellen M. Umansky, Ph.D.,
Carl and Dorothy Bennett Chair in Judaic Studies, Director of the Bennett Center Fairfield University

With generous support from Carl and Dorothy Bennett, P'96, the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies opened at the University in the fall of 1994, and Dr. Ellen M. Umansky was named the Center's endowed professor and director. It was Fairfield's first academic center, and it is the oldest Judaic Studies Center and interdisciplinary undergraduate program at any Jesuit college or university in the United States. Ellen received a B.A. degree in philosophy from Wellesley College, an M.A. in religion from Yale, and her doctorate from Columbia University. She is the author of many publications, including From Christian Science to Jewish Science: Spiritual Healing and American Jews (Oxford University Press, 2004), and co-editor of Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality: A Sourcebook (Brandeis University Press, 2009). She is currently working on a new book focusing on Judaism, feminism, liberalism, and God. Ellen is the recipient of numerous honors, including honorary membership in Alpha Sigma Nu, (the Jesuit Honor Society), and the 2003 "Woman of Distinction" honor from the Auxiliary of the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield, Conn., among many others. Ellen is a member of several boards, and is an active member of the American Academy of Religion and the Association for Jewish Studies.

2012 Fairfield Awards Dinner Co-Chairs
Mark DeGennaro '82

Head of Trading & Execution,
Pia Capital Management

Mark DeGennaro has been deeply involved in the investment banking and financial services industry since he earned his degree in finance at Fairfield in 1982. He has worked at two of the world's largest, most prestigious financial firms - Lehman Brothers and Bank of America Corporation - where he moved up the ranks to hold a number of senior-level roles in both fixed income and foreign exchange business. Today, he manages a four-person trading desk at Pia Capital Management, a global macro hedge fund started in 2008.

Michael McGuinness '82, P'09
SVP Worldwide Sales & Field Operations Sophos

As senior vice president at Sophos, a security software company, Michael Michael McGuinness is responsible for the company's global sales and customer support organizations as well as its worldwide subsidiary operations. Michael earned a degree in biology, and then went on to a career in technology sales and management. Prior to Sophos, he was CEO at PanGo Networks and NuGenesis Technologies, and rose to senior vice president of Worldwide Sales and Distribution at Parametric Technologies Corporation (PMTC). Michael has served on the University's Board of Trustees since 2000.

Image: top) Former CIA Director George J. Tenet speaks at the Fairfield Awards Dinner 2012; bottom) (L-R) Alumni Association President William Crean Jr. '91; Jack L. Kelly '67, P'96 (Alumni Service Award recipient); Dr. Ellen Umansky (Distinguished Faculty Award recipient); University President Rev. Jeffery P. von Arx, S.J.; Jasmine Fernandez '12, student speaker; Paul J. Huston (Professional Achievement Award recipient); and Dinner Co-Chairs Michael McGuinness '82, P'09, and Mark DeGennaro '82.

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 26, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 281