Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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Mission

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
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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.

History

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.

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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.

Admission

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.

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!

Community

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

Karen Donoghue headshot

Karen Donoghue

Administration
Jennifer Anderson ’97, MBA ’02 headshot

Jennifer Anderson ’97, MBA ’02

Vice President of Marketing and Communications
ext. 3476
janderson@fairfield.edu

Scott Esposito headshot

Scott Esposito

Vice President for Human Resources

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

Tyler Heffern headshot

Tyler Heffern

Class of '22

Get to Know Tyler

Name: Tyler Heffern ’22
Undergrad Degree: BA in Art History and Politics with minors in Classical Studies and International Relations
Hometown: Stratford, CT

What were your reasons for choosing Fairfield University?

I liked that Fairfield was a small college that allowed for students to feel connected and not drowned out by such a large population. The campus is modern, yet historic and not so large that students can't get around quickly. Finally, it was close to home and near New York City so I could travel often (especially to museums!).

How did you choose your major?

I originally set out as a politics major but wanted to take at least one art history course. My first semester, I took an art history survey class and loved it. I wanted to continue taking art history courses and by my sophomore year, I became a double major and helped to write labels for artworks at the Fairfield University Art Museum.

What have been the best aspects of your experience at Fairfield?

I love the community aspect of Fairfield. People are very friendly, and I often see friends around campus or in the dining hall without knowing they'd be there. I also like the small class sizes, and that professors go out of their way to help students.

What would you tell a student who is considering attending Fairfield as an undergraduate?

There are so many opportunities at Fairfield that you can truly pursue what interests you. Whether you like science, acting, or finance, there is a club for you on campus. I would encourage you to join as many organizations as you can, to get to know people and check out their events. You don't have to stay in these groups for long but it's important to branch out and get engaged.

Pejay Lucky headshot

Pejay Lucky

Director of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

BCC 100

(203) 254-4101

Megan Monahan

Director of Title IX and Equity Compliance

Paul Schlickmann headshot

Paul Schlickmann

Director of Athletics
Corry Unis headshot

Corry Unis

Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management

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