The 2019 Fairfield Awards Dinner Raises Close to $800,000 for Scholarships

The 2019 Fairfield Awards Dinner Raises Close to $800,000 for Scholarships

Senior nursing major Zaid Aparicio ’19  greets Awards Dinner Co-Chair Patricia E. Glassford ’85 on stage.

Senior nursing major Zaid Aparicio ’19 greets Awards Dinner Co-Chair Patricia E. Glassford ’85 on stage.

Last night, more than 460 alumni, parents, students, and friends of the University gathered at the Grand Hyatt in New York City and raised close to $800,000 for scholarships through sponsorships, tickets, and real-time fundraising to support student scholarships while honoring extraordinary members of the Fairfield community.

Since 1988, the Fairfield Awards Dinner has been a true celebration of Fairfield and has raised more than $18 million for the Alumni Multicultural Scholarship Fund and other endowed scholarships, to help students realize their full potential through a Fairfield education, regardless of economic or social barriers.

A scholarship recipient and current senior nursing major, Zaid Aparicio ’19, spoke at the close of the program and his remarks elicited a warm standing ovation. Aparicio credited Fairfield for helping him to find and nurture his passion for healthcare, and for supporting him throughout his college career.

“These accomplishments would not be possible if I didn't find the inspiration in myself to follow my dream,” Aparicio said in his remarks. “But most importantly the inspiration from my family who motivated me every step of the way, my professors for never giving up on me, my friends for always lending me a helping hand, and all of you in the audience who give students like me the opportunity to make our dreams a reality.”

The Awards Dinner also annually recognizes members of the University community who have exemplified Jesuit values in their communities, careers, and commitment to Fairfield.

This year’s honorees were Sheila Kearney Davidson ’83, executive vice president, chief legal officer and general counsel at New York Life who received the Alumni Professional Achievement Award; Daniel J. Sullivan Jr. ’73, president and CEO of Collette Vacations who received the Alumni Service Award; Shannon M. Harding, PhD, P’14, associate professor of Psychology, who received the Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award; and Anne Harris, P’18 who received the Parent Leadership Award.

“I am a proud first-generation college graduate,” Sheila Davidson said as she addressed the audience after accepting her award. “My broad-based liberal arts Fairfield education is the greatest gift my parents gave to me and has been the foundation for a rich personal and professional life. Tonight, I thank each and every one of you not only for this honor, but for every dollar raised here tonight to give the gift of a modern, Catholic Jesuit Fairfield education to the next generation of strivers.”

While the evening was a tribute to the heartfelt generosity of the Fairfield community, it was also a celebration of inclusive excellence at the University.

“Your generosity guarantees that access to a Fairfield education is as broad as possible,” Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, said in his remarks. "Thank you for your support, your dedication, and your commitment as we continue our rise as the model of the modern, Jesuit Catholic University.”

Then, Kristin (Dodge) McMahon ’87, P’21, P’20, president of the Alumni Association, talked about the importance of alumni participation in her remarks. “I challenge each of you to continue your engagement with the University, to pay it forward and ensure the transformation of the next generation of Stags!”

Learn more about the Fairfield Awards Dinner here and check out what our scholarship students shared on social media throughout the evening by searching #FADinner19.

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