University's Multicultural Scholarship Fund raised to $1.3 million

Fairfield University smashed all previous fund-raising records for the Annual Fairfield Awards Dinner as it added $280,000 in April for the Multicultural Scholarship Fund. Since 1988 when the event moved off campus, the dinner has raised more than $1.3 million.

The dinner was sponsored by the University and the Alumni Association and was chaired by Thomas Quick '77. It featured the presentation of awards for distinguished leadership to Isiah Thomas, 12 -time NBA all-star and now executive vice president of the Toronto Raptors; Alumni Service Award to Richard Badolato '62, partner in the New Jersey law firm of Connell, Foley & Geiser; Alumni Professional Achievement Award to Joseph Sargent '59, P '86 and '89, president and chief executive officer of the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America; and Stephen Jakab '62, M.A. '74, associate vice president for administration at the University.

Thomas delivered the main address and declared that five fundamentals enabled him to achieve his dreams. His list was comprised of:

1. Have a dream and "be faithful to it." 2. "Find a teacher of mentor as a role model." 3. "Measure at the roots" which means "be true to who you are and where you come from." 4. "Be part of a team but don't be a cog." He explained, "We always need to be ourselves as well." 5. "Play with your head and heart but shoot from your soul," explaining practice, practice but "when the game is on the line, let your heart and soul take over."

During his talk he described how he came from a family of nine children and the strong influence of his mother who "kept me alive on the streets" and instilled the principles that led him to return to Indiana University to get his degree even after he was earning millions as a star for the Detroit Pistons. "There were hot summer days when I'd drive to campus in my Mercedes and then go sit in a stuffy classroom and wonder what I was doing there. Well, I made my mother a promise and I kept it."

The Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., University President, commented that Fairfield's AHANA (African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American) students "often go far beyond their initial assessment of their aptitude to realize more fully their innate abilities. "He noted that in "bringing the blessing of diversity to Fairfield, our AHANA students enrich the life and learning of every student."

The dinner also featured a performance by the Prayer Tabernacle Mass Choir of Bridgeport and a six-minute video developed by the Media Center, about the importance of financial assistance to students and the achievements of AHANA graduates.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on May 1, 1997

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