Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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Members of the Fairfield University community are committed to respecting and valuing one another, finding the common good rooted in us all, and working collaboratively to achieve our potential as a modern Jesuit Catholic institution. We aspire to be an inclusive, welcoming community that is representative of an ever-changing and diverse global populace. The Jesuit tradition of cura personalis – care for the whole person – animates our mission. We educate men and women who serve for and with others within the rich tapestry of cultures that comprise our contemporary world.

By encouraging dialogue, communication, community partnerships, and a culture of understanding, we foster in our students, faculty, and staff the capacity and desire to build a better world through productive citizenship and societal stewardship.

Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Narrative

How We Advance Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence

We strive to educate through engaging with the broadest possible range of dynamic ideas, perspectives, and identities in an ever-changing world. Embracing the challenges of competing viewpoints is integral to the rigor of our academic enterprise, pushing the horizons of what is known and possible as we pursue our commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.

A Diverse Community

We recognize the inherent value and dignity of each person, guided by our Jesuit heritage as informed by the contemporary context. Fairfield is committed to shaping a community of learners from diverse social, economic, racial, cultural, national, and religious backgrounds.

Global Engagement

We hope to develop men and women to serve as global citizens, at home in the world, able to engage in diverse cultural circumstances with an open mind and the capacity to empathize with the perspectives of others. We actively promote an awareness of and sensitivity toward the full range of differences within and well beyond our community of learners.

Radical Hospitality

Fairfield recognizes the importance of learning about, and living in, an increasingly interconnected, intercultural world and reflects this by striving to become a microcosm of the global community, in which the other is unconditionally welcomed, respected, and valued.

Through radical hospitality, we welcome and invite all into our learning community. We are committed to pursuing shared standards of excellence. In these ways, Fairfield University strives for the magis (“the more”) in a way that defines modern Jesuit Catholic education.

Employee Demographics

Faculty that identify as people of color: 19% statistic
Employee Tenure: 35% have 11 years of average service

41% - Men 59% - Women, Gender chart
Average Age of Fairfield University Employees is 49.


As a modern Jesuit Catholic University, Fairfield was built on the principles of outreach and social justice and a 500-year tradition dedicated to the life-transforming power of education. Following a call and mission to serve, Jesuits often established academic institutions in under-served communities that were otherwise ostracized and denied access to education.

In 1942, Fairfield’s founding allowed the Jesuits to serve the often marginalized local Catholic population of Bridgeport, Conn. and the surrounding areas, providing new educational opportunities for many first generation immigrants and returning WWII veterans. The same founding principles have guided our community over time as we continue to work towards a more inclusive and diverse campus.


Pictured Above: A. Rev. William C. McInnes, S.J., President of Fairfield University, congratulates a graduate of the F.U.R.S.T. program in 1968. B. UMOJA in 1982. C. Barlow Road entrance, 1942. D. University Faculty, 1947.


Academic Initiatives

Fairfield University believes that when people feel valued, respected, and empowered, they work together for the common good. When each unique point of view is heard, honored, and celebrated, true learning begins.

Bennet Center for Judaic Studies

Established in 1994, the Center for Judaic Studies was developed to enrich Fairfield’s intellectual, cultural, and spiritual life with Judaism through lectures, programs, and other special events that serve the broader community.

Black Studies Program

The Black Studies program was established in 1995 to provide students with a comprehensive study of the origins and experiences of people of African descent and explores the social, political, and economic roots of contemporary problems by examining them in the context of the wider world.

Center for Social impact

Connecting community and campus to create high impact academic opportunities, the Center for Social Impact addresses local, national, and global challenges and develops individuals committed to creating a more just and equitable world.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program

Available to all students regardless of their major, the minor in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) was designed for students who are passionate about social justice. The goal of the minor is to provide students with the economics and social justice knowledge to work effectively in any organization in pursuit of DEI goals.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Inclusive Excellence 3 Initiative

A team of science and mathematics faculty members has been awarded a prestigious grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to transform the introductory experience for STEM students, with the goal of improving retention and success for all students, especially for students of color and others who have been traditionally excluded from these disciplines.

Magis Core Curriculum

The Magis Core Curriculum weaves three “signature elements” throughout the disciplinary-based core courses: an interdisciplinary element, a writing intensive element, and a social justice element that incorporates a focus on race, gender, and class. The curriculum was introduced starting with the Class of 2023.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Established in 1993, the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program challenges the cultural, intellectual, social, and political assumptions about sex, gender, and sexuality systems.

Stag Spotlight

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Prince Addo ‘22

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Prince Addo ‘22 | Make the Most

Lily Fenton ‘22 headshot

Lily Fenton ‘22

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Lily Fenton ‘22 | Make the Most

Vincent Gadioma ‘22 headshot

Vincent Gadioma ‘22

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Vincent Gadioma ‘22 | Make the Most

Luckario Alcide ‘21 headshot

Luckario Alcide ‘21

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Luckario Alcide ‘21 | Make the Most

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Xavier Cole '20

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Xavier Cole '20

Student Life

Fairfield empowers students to work together to build community, lead ethically, and value differences in one another. Whether on or off campus, we always strive to integrate intellect with action for justice.

Students are encouraged to learn and celebrate the wide-variety of cultural, ethnic, and identity diversity present at Fairfield. The Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs supports a wide variety of diverse and affinity clubs that allow students to be engaged outside of the classroom.

Rooted in our Ignatian identity, Campus Ministry welcomes students from all faith traditions and at all points on their spiritual journey. Office of Campus Ministry staff include a Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant chaplain.

Designed to provide incoming first-year students from underrepresented populations an opportunity to become acclimated and succeed at the University, the Cura Personalis Mentoring Program provides students with mentoring and personal and academic resources.

By encouraging dialogue, communication, community partnerships, and a culture of understanding around diversity, equity and inclusion, the Diversity in Action Podcast was created to foster in each student, faculty, and staff member the capacity and desire to build a better world.

Fairfield is committed to providing a safe, affirming, and inclusive community for students

The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee invites the Fairfield community to honor activists in our communities and to reflect on the lessons and legacies of Dr. King. The week-long celebration is a series of events that seek to engage students, staff, faculty, and our local communities in a dialogue about justice and the recognition of all human dignity.

The Center offers spiritual direction to students, faculty and staff, the Diocese of Bridgeport, and community members of all faiths.

Fairfield University is committed to providing accommodations to students with disabilities in order to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities.

Serving the University community by providing support and activities for students that enhance their overall experience and knowledge in respect to the rich diversity and culture that exists at Fairfield.

Fairfield University community members share a commitment to inquiry and discernment, and a determination to serve as global citizens — supporting the dignity and essential human rights of all persons.

Learn more about our Racial and Social Justice Resources, the Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Diversity in Action, Services & Initiatives for students and more!


Presidential Working Group

Made up of more than 15 faculty and staff members representing multiple campus departments, the Presidential Working Group was founded by University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, to support and provide radical hospitality to diverse populations through teaching, learning, scholarship, and service.

Presidential Working Group Members

Jennifer Anderson ’97, MBA ’02 headshot

Jennifer Anderson ’97, MBA ’02

Vice President of Marketing and Communications
ext. 3476

Karen Donoghue '03, EdD headshot

Karen Donoghue '03, EdD

Vice President

Student Life

Ruben Goodwin

Director of Diversity & Academic Support Services at Fairfield College Preparatory School

Learn More
Wally Halas headshot

Wally Halas

Vice President for University Advancement

Pejay Lucky headshot

Pejay Lucky

Director of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

BCC 100

(203) 254-4101

Rev. Kevin O'Brien, S.J. headshot

Rev. Kevin O'Brien, S.J.

Dean and Executive Director

Bellarmine Campus of Fairfield University


Department of Religious Studies

Rev. Paul Rourke, S.J. headshot

Rev. Paul Rourke, S.J.

Vice President

Mission & Ministry

Don C. Sawyer III, PhD headshot

Don C. Sawyer III, PhD

Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Associate Professor

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Paul Schlickmann headshot

Paul Schlickmann

Vice President


Aliyah Seenauth

Class of ’24

FUSA President

Corry Unis headshot

Corry Unis

Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management

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