Fairfield Now - Fall 2007
In a Commencement address that was more call to action than walk down memory lane, the Rev. Thomas Regan, S.J., challenged the Class of 2007 to listen to their hearts and use what they've learned at Fairfield whenever and wherever they see injustice.
"Because of who you are and the Jesuit education that you have received here at Fairfield University, you should always consider your integrity as non-negotiable," he said. "You can and should always feel an inner urge to get personally involved in the struggle for justice throughout our contemporary world."
In fact, Fr. Regan, the Provincial Superior of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus and a former University faculty member, gave his audience one last assignment, asking them to consider the ways they have embraced - and will continue to embrace - their Jesuit education.
As morning showers gave way to bright sunshine, 1,226 graduates received 863 bachelor's degrees, 340 master's degrees, 17 certificates of advanced study, and six associate's degrees at the May 20 Commencement on Bellarmine lawn.
Ashley Toombs received the St. Ignatius Loyola Medal for outstanding University service, and Anthony Kunz received the Bellarmine Medal, which is given to the student with the highest four-year GPA.
In his valedictory address, David Charles Muccino '07 said he was inspired during his time at Fairfield to support and be an advocate for charity and justice in the community and abroad. The interdisciplinary core curriculum, the service learning courses, and the cultural performances - such as a powerful stage version of Dead Man Walking - encouraged his reflection and action. He told of his mission trip to Haiti, where he encountered Pierre, a boy suffering from malnutrition. "When I first approached Pierre, he was lying in his bed, lethargically swatting flies around his face," he said. Today we graduate with the challenge to be more so that we, too, may effect positive change in the world."
In his closing remarks at the Commencement ceremony, University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., waved a fond goodbye to the Class of 2007. "You leave Fairfield objects of our hopes and our longings, of our dreams and our aspirations," he said. "And you leave of course with our best wishes, our prayers, and our blessings."
Honorary Degree Recipients
For devoting their lives to service and learning, the University conferred honorary doctor of laws degrees upon:
Thomas J. Regan, S.J., Provincial Superior of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus, was honored for his longtime commitment to the exchange of ideas, his lifetime of teaching and service, and his devotion to the Jesuit mission.
Ed Hardiman, Ph.D., a '92 Fairfield alumnus, has built a legacy in Catholic secondary education administration. Now principal of St. John's Prep in Danvers, Mass., he developed the Xaverian Global Encounter Program while at Xaverian Brothers High School.
Meghan K. Lowney, MSW, has spent 16 years upgrading and expanding services for homeless people in the Fairfield region through Operation Hope of Fairfield Inc. Now a consultant for area organizations, she remains committed to finding creative solutions to crucial domestic dilemmas.
James Roach, M.D. '53, has enjoyed a four-decades-long medical career as a urologist. Three years ago, he took the Jesuit challenge to be a man for others quite literally, donating one of his kidneys to a total stranger. Now retired, he continues to serve his community as an active volunteer, board member, tutor, and mentor.