Fairfield University announces William G. McGowan Scholars


Seniors Brian L. Beirne, of Milford, Conn., and Gina R. Franceschini, of Centerport, N.Y., and have been named 2002-03 William G. McGowan Scholars at Fairfield University. Each will receive $21,000 towards his or her senior year tuition.

The McGowan Scholars program is underwritten by the Washington, D.C.-based William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc. Named for the late founder and chairman of MCI Communications Corp., it recognizes the academic achievement of students pursuing a major offered by an accredited business school. Its intent is to foster leadership, intellectual curiosity, entrepreneurial potential and involvement in campus and community activities.

The program is based on the experiences of McGowan, who was admitted to Harvard Business School to study for a master's degree in business administration. He lacked sufficient funds to complete his studies until a Baker Scholar Award enabled him to earn a degree and launch a successful business career.

Brian L. BeirneBrian is a Dean's List student, the recipient of a University Fellows Scholarship and a member of three honor societies: Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society for accredited business programs; Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society; and Alpha Mu Gamma, the national foreign language honor society. He is pursuing a dual major in finance and information systems with a minor in mathematics.

Brian has interned at several Connecticut firms. They are: UBS Warburg in Stamford; PaineWebber in Westport; and General Electric Corporate in Fairfield. Recently, his stipend-supported research took him to Ireland to meet with private equity professionals. Brian is studying the prospects for entrepreneurism in the European Union via private equity. He hopes to one day found his own technology-based financial consulting business.

Outside academics, Brian has been involved in a number of volunteer efforts. With his finance professor, Michael Tucker, Ph.D., he researched loan management programs to help struggling families in Nicaragua obtain homes. He is a peer counselor at Bridges Mental Health Center in Milford, Conn., and has aided fundraising efforts for the Milford Literacy Center and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. He organized a local alderman's election and re-election campaigns in 1999 and 2001. Finally, for the past five years, as a member of the Children of the American Revolution, he has participated in an Independence Day ceremony honoring veterans at the Milford Cemetery.

Gina R. FranceschiniGina is a Dean's List student completing a major in finance and economics with minors in accounting and English. She is a Presidential Scholar and a member of the Honors Program, Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Nu. She recently received a Financial Executive Institute Scholarship, and, as a member of the cross country team in 2000 and 2001, was commended as a scholar-athlete.

This summer, she continues her internship with Canaan Partners, a Rowayton, Conn.-based firm where she maintains and updates financial data for portfolio companies. She is fascinated by market dynamics and hopes to one day run her own firm.

Gina is a resident assistant at Fairfield and a member of student government. She was one of a select few asked to participate in the university's L.E.A.D. leadership program in 2000. Her volunteer work has included teaching pre-school children to read, repairing inner-city structures through Campus Urban Experience and constructing a playground at a Fairfield, Conn., elementary school with her cross country teammates.

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

Posted on June 13, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 248