Fairfield Now - Spring 2009
Class of '89 profile
Golfing for Mike Andrews - and for Fairfield
By Virginia Weir
Thirty-three Fairfield alumni gathered this September for the third golf outing to raise scholarship funds and celebrate the memory
of their friend and classmate, Mike Andrews '89. Core organizers include Joe Solimine '89 (far left), Matt McLaughlin '89 (center, black shorts), Andy Davis '89 (second from the right) and Bob Sullivan '89 (far right).
Mike Andrews '89 was a broker at Cantor Fitzgerald and at work when the plane crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Andrews and 14 other Fairfield alumni who lost their lives that day are memorialized with a granite plaque and a portion of steel girding from the building outside Alumni House on the Fairfield campus.
"Mike was a true, loyal friend," said his close friend, Andy Davis '89. "We didn't want what happened to stop us from celebrating his life."
In January of 2002, around Mike's birthday, a group of his Fairfield classmates and friends gathered at Coopersmith's, a Manhattan pub that Mike and nine of his friends opened in 2000. The memorial Happy Hours, affectionately called "Mike Nights," have become an annual ritual.
Mike Nights bring together Mike's friends from his different circles, including his Fairfield classmates, friends from his tight knit hometown neighborhood of Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York, and others who came to know and love him in the years since he graduated. "Mike was popular at Fairfield, and it carried over after college," said Davis. "We all feel a bit of Mike when we walk through those doors, and we know he would want to see 'his place' filled up and everyone having a good time." Mike loved sports (especially the Yankees and Notre Dame football), and was a pitcher on Fairfield's baseball team. His jersey is framed and hanging at the bar.
Four years ago, a core group of Fairfield classmates from the Class of 1989 - including Davis, Joe Solimine, Matt McLaughlin, Dave Pooley, and Bob Sullivan - were playing golf together and came up with the idea for an outing to raise money for a scholarship in Mike's memory. "We thought we could probably do something more meaningful - something permanent like a scholarship. We could have some fun and forever link Mike and his name to a place he really enjoyed - Fairfield."
That outing has been going (and growing) strong over the past three years. "Mike is a bit of a magnet - without trying he could pull people together," said Davis. The first two years, the golf outing held at the Pelham Country Club in New York, drew 80 players. The most recent outing this September at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey brought in 120 players, about half of which were Fairfield alumni. "We are trying to keep the event fresh by moving it around to different courses," Davis noted. All proceeds from the outing go to an endowed scholarship in Mike's name.
The Class of 1989 celebrates its 20th Reunion this June, and most of Mike's core group of friends are planning to attend. "I think we will all talk proudly about Mike and the scholarship to those who ask," said Davis. "We love the fact that someone will get a little help from us to attend Fairfield. Mike would have liked that a lot."