2019 Year in Review from Stag Country

2019 Year in Review from Stag Country

Lucas and Students

A Recap of Fairfield University’s Top News Stories of 2019

2019 was a news-filled year in Stag Country and an exciting time to be at Fairfield! Dominating headlines this year were Fairfield’s campus transformation, the growth of its academic programs, and a continued upward trajectory in national rankings.

A new home for the nationally ranked Charles F. Dolan School of Business was unveiled at the start of the 2019-20 academic year, featuring open, collaborative areas, modern simulated trading in a dynamic and interactive learning environment, a state-of-the-art finance lab, a Business Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Lab, an Entrepreneurship Center with Ideation Lab space, and active-learning and case-based classrooms. 

Fairfield University engineering and science majors who returned to class this fall semester at the Rudolph F. Bannow Science Center were excited to discover an array of high-tech advancements to their research space. From the construction of eight brand-new, state-of-the-art research, instrumentation, and teaching labs, to the installation of several advanced research instruments, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering took advantage of the 2019 summer break to implement a series of technology upgrades and facility renovations, tranforming the science facility into a cutting-edge learning environment.

The DiMenna-Nyselius Library also underwent a series of renovations over the summer, to accommodate Fairfield’s new Academic Commons and the College of Arts and Science's new Frederickson family Innovation Lab. The Academic Commons is a technology-rich resource and hub of intellectual life for students and faculty of all disciplines, and includes Academic Support and Retention, the Center for Academic Excellence, the Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab, ITS Help Desk, Math Center, Office of Accessibility and the Writing Center.

Barnyard Manor Townhouses, Fairfield’s newest student residence, celebrated its grand opening at the start of the fall semester. Located on the south side of campus and offering the comforts of home, the expansive eight-person units are equipped with single bedrooms, full bathrooms and kitchens, living rooms, and dining areas.

Fairfield Unveils Plans for New State-of-the-Art Convocation Center

Fairfield University announced plans to build an 85,000-square foot, 3,500-seat Convocation Center to be built on the current site of Alumni Hall. Projected to open in 2021, the new facility will boast a state-of-the-art broadcast and media center, luxury seating and lounge areas, and updated features that will truly make it a showpiece of Fairfield’s modern campus. 

2019 was a year of collaboration that launched new programs across the University:

  • In keeping with Fairfield University’s mission to help students merge their strengths with careers, Fairfield Dolan has launched a new Master of Science in Management (MSM) program for non-business majors. 
  • The Dolan Career Development Center now has a dedicated space to provide professional development services that enrich students’ academic experiences and inspire future business leaders.
  • Dolan students now have more opportunities for mentorship from one of six highly accomplished leaders as part of the new Professional-in-Residence (PIR) program.
  • The Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) announced a new on-line graduate certificate program in multisensory structured literacy instruction in partnership with Wilson Language Training.
  • Fairfield launched the first-of-its-kind, Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health Online Certificate, for mental health professionals who want to serve a diverse range of sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth and adults.
  • The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies launched a new Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MHA) program. Developed by the Egan School with the support of the Charles F. Dolan School of Business, the program offers students the knowledge and experience to pursue a wide range of healthcare-related careers.
  • The Egan School has also expanded its postgraduate program offerings with a new Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (DCN) — the first of its kind in Connecticut.
  • This fall, Fairfield University’s interior design program became the first university in Connecticut to offer a master of arts degree in interior design.
  • As a result of the growing need for social work professionals, the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) launched the Master of Social Work (MSW) program.
  • Fairfield announced new veterans’ fellowships for graduate students. Former servicemen and women interested in pursuing a master’s degree in creative writing or public administration can now apply to receive up to $10,000 in financial assistance from the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • The new Bank of America’s Women and Leadership Series featured former UN Ambassador Samantha Power, one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People,” and award-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario at the Quick.

Strong rankings signal Fairfield’s continued commitment to modern excellence through its academic programs and an exceptional student experience:

  • In higher education news, Fairfield earned placement again in key national rankings, including those from Forbes, The Princeton Review, Kiplinger, College Consensus, College Factual, and Money magazine. Ranked among the top 10 best Catholic colleges and universities in the United States by College Consensus, Fairfield’s No. 6 spot on the list placed it in the company of schools including Notre Dame and Georgetown.
  • Fairfield was named to Princeton Review’s nationwide list of the best 385 colleges for 2020. Within this distinction, Fairfield received high marks in several of the review's national top 20 rankings, placing No. 14 for Best Alumni Network, No. 14 for Best Schools for Internships, No. 16 for its location in the town of Fairfield, and No. 19 for Happiest Students. 
  • College Factual’s 2020 ‘Best Colleges Ranking’ awarded Fairfield a top 5 percent nationwide ranking as a university producing the highest paid graduates in accounting, business administration, finance and finance management, marketing, communication, and journalism.
  • Fairfield University was once again recognized in the annual U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2020 rankings, placing high up for Best Regional Universities in the North at No. 3. Other regional distinctions for Fairfield include a jump to the No. 1 spot at the top of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Undergraduate Teaching list, and No. 2 Most Innovative School. Fairfield’s high placement on the regional lists follows an upward trend in its retention rate (90%) and graduation rate performance, and a rise in SAT scores for incoming students.

Fairfield Earns Top Marks in 2020 U.S. News and World Report Best Regional Universities Rankings

Stags dominated Athletics headlines:

  • Jay Young became the 13th head coach of the Fairfield University men's basketball program. 
  • Andrew Baxter was named the Head Coach of Fairfield University Men’s Lacrosse.
  • For the 11th time in program history and the fourth time in the last five seasons, Fairfield University Volleyball won the MAAC Championship on November 24, taking a 3-1 decision over in-state conference rival Quinnipiac.
  • Fairfield University’s Colleen Young ’20 and Matthew Torres ’23 are among the top swimmers in the world, attaining international success at World Para Athletics and Parapan American competitions.
  • For the second consecutive season, Fairfield Women’s Swimming and Diving stood atop the podium at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Winter Championships, accumulating 16 medals during the three-day event, including gold in five events.
  • Fairfield University student-athletes achieved one of the highest graduation rates in the nation, as announced by the NCAA in its annual Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report. The Stags achieved a 96 percent GSR for a four-year cohort of student-athletes who first enrolled at the University between 2009-12. Fairfield was one of 37 Division I schools to have a 96 percent GSR or higher among freshmen who attended school from 2009-12 and owned the second-highest GSR in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. 
  • After leading Fairfield baseball to a program-record 35 wins last spring, two Stags are continuing their careers in the professional ranks. Austin Pope ’20 was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Jack Gethings ’19 inked a free agent contract with the Kansas City Royals.


In honor of its 25th anniversary, the School of Engineering hosted TEDxFairfieldUniversity on October 28, 2019. Talks are now available for viewing at fairfield.edu/TEDxFairfieldUniversity.

Last but not least, 2019 newsmakers include the Class of 2023 — before setting foot on campus in the fall, this class was already on track to make University history as part of the largest applicant pool on record with more than 12,300 applications submitted at the start of the spring semester.

Stay tuned for more news@fairfield headlines in 2020!



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