Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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Mission Statement

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. 

At Fairfield University, we advance this mission through:

  • Inclusive Excellence as a critical dimension of our academic mission. 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, which is a distinguishing hallmark of Jesuit education. 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 as a defining outcome of a modern Fairfield education. 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 as a way of relating with others, shaped by our Jesuit traditions. 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.

Presidential Working Group


Chartered by the President, the purpose of this Working Group on Inclusive Excellence is to advance the Jesuit Catholic Commitment of Fairfield University to creating and supporting radical hospitality for and with diverse others in our teaching, learning, scholarship, and service.

Membership & Co-Chairs

Karen Donoghue headshot

Karen Donoghue



Jennifer Anderson headshot

Jennifer Anderson

Vice President of Marketing and Communications
ext. 3476

Scott Esposito headshot

Scott Esposito

Vice President for Human Resources

Vincent Gadioma, ‘22

President, Fairfield University Student Association

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 Stategic Enrollment Management


Fairfield is a Catholic and Jesuit institution and our mission is fundamentally about the service of faith and the promotion of justice. The University has many programs, academic initiatives, clubs, resources and events that promote and support our students of every background. Fairfield’s work in this area continues to grow and evolve.

Fairfield also has no achievement gap in the graduation rates of our minority students when compared to our non-minority students, and the University community reflects an increase in its minority population of students and employees over the last several years. Over the past five years, the University has increased the enrollment of students of color by 22%, and has also provided full scholarships through a tuition grant program, to students from a number of Jesuit and affiliate high schools.

Office of Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs seeks to develop and implement programs and services that will increase the engagement of students in activities that promote and foster an inclusive living and learning community.

Students will obtain a greater understanding and appreciation of diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice through participation and celebration in a variety of activities.

Study Abroad

In addition to study abroad partnerships with other schools, Fairfield University offers its own semester and year-long study abroad options in Florence, Italy; Galway, Ireland; Brisbane, Australia, Managua, Nicaragua; and Madrid, Spain.

International Student Life

The Office of Student Engagement (OSE) is the main resource for international students at Fairfield University. The OSE is responsible for advising all non-immigrant students on immigration issues and provides personal advising involving information on medical health insurance, campus life, and adapting to student life in the United States.

Global Community and Citizenship

As a Jesuit institution, Fairfield University's adherence to Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy involves developing a vision of the world that unites us rather than divides us, is holistic and balances intellectual, emotional, and spiritual understandings and responses.

Fairfield's mission is to produce students whose academic, cultural, and aesthetic acumen equips them to recognize the value of others — those both similar to and different from themselves — and the importance of community building.

Magis Core

Rooted in Jesuit ethos, guides Fairfield’s commitment to preparing young women and men for others through a distinctive academic experience. Crucial to student success in academia and as future professionals in the workplace, the Magis Core Curriculum engages students to establish their own values and understanding of the world while emphasizing excellence in writing, critical reasoning, synthesis of solutions, communication, and an understanding of the “why” and “how” of associated human behaviors.

Multicultural Scholarship Fund

The Multicultural Scholarship Fund has been in existence for over 30 years, and has proven to be an important fund to support scholarship for minority students.

Amplify access and inclusion of students of color through immediate-use scholarship, diversifying the student body, and promoting the value we can realize when we teach, learn, and grow together.

Center for Social Impact

Grounded in Fairfield University's Jesuit, Catholic mission to share its intellectual resources for the betterment of the community and to educate students to be socially and morally responsible, the Center for Social Impact connects community and campus to create high impact academic opportunities that address local, national, and global challenges and develop individuals committed to creating a more just and equitable world.

Bennett Center for Judaic Studies

The Bennett Center for Judaic Studies was founded in 1994 with an initial endowment from Carl and Dorothy Bennett of Greenwich, Connecticut. Its goal is to enrich the intellectual, cultural, and spiritual life of Fairfield University through lectures, programs, and other special events; enhancement of the university library's Judaic collection; monthly Shabbat services and dinners, and ongoing support of the College of Arts and Sciences' undergraduate interdisciplinary program in Judaic Studies.

Bennett Center events are open to the University and greater Bridgeport/Fairfield communities.

Campus Ministry

Reflecting our Catholic value that all people are created in the image and likeness of God, Campus Ministry strives to be a home for all students to integrate faith into the whole of their lives from an intellectual and spiritual perspective. Rooted in our Ignatian identity, we welcome students from all faith traditions and at all points on their spiritual journey. Recognizing the need for solidarity in today’s world, we seek to nurture a "faith that does justice."

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