University Announces Leadership Gift to Support Fairfield Bellarmine

University Announces Leadership Gift to Support Fairfield Bellarmine

Exterior photo of Bellarmine Campus, photo provided by: Newman Architects

Photo: Newman Architects

A $1 million gift from alumnus and former University Trustee Kevin Conlisk ’66, will significantly impact the development of Fairfield’s new academic program, offering two-year associate’s degrees and serving students in the Greater Bridgeport region.

We are filled with gratitude for the Conlisks’ enduring support and unwavering commitment to Fairfield University and its mission.

— President Mark R. Nemec, PhD

Fairfield University announces a leadership gift of $1 million from alumnus Kevin Conlisk ’66 and his wife, Mary Beth, for its new Fairfield Bellarmine program. Conlisk served on the University’s Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2016, and is the former principal and CFO of Alinabal Holdings, a global company with operations in Milford and Kensington, Conn. The gift will benefit the ongoing development of the initiative, which includes renovation plans at Bellarmine Campus, located on the property of the former St. Ambrose parish in Bridgeport, Conn.

“We are filled with gratitude for the Conlisks’ enduring support and unwavering commitment to Fairfield University and its mission,” said President Mark R. Nemec, PhD. “Their generous gift will benefit Fairfield Bellarmine in providing pathways to higher learning for under-represented students from diverse communities, as we accompany these young men and women of purpose toward a hope-filled future.”

In the Jesuit tradition of serving urban communities and opening access to education for all, Fairfield Bellarmine will offer strong professional preparation and enhanced academic support to low-income and first-generation students. Building upon Fairfield’s rigorous liberal arts tradition, students will be able to study toward a two-year associate’s degree from among four academic tracks: liberal arts, business, computer science, and pre-nursing & health studies. Graduates will be prepared to either pursue further studies toward a bachelor’s degree or embark on a meaningful professional career.

“I was fortunate to have received a transformative and excellent Jesuit education at Fairfield University,” said Conlisk, who attended school in the city of Bridgeport until enrolling at Fairfield. He acknowledged that this gift was originally inspired by Fairfield’s partnership with Bishop Frank Caggiano and the Diocese of Bridgeport, which has long benefited from strong Conlisk philanthropic support. He added, “To share in this historic moment and be a part of advancing the University’s vision of—and commitment to—access and opportunity for the youth of Bridgeport to receive the same world-class education, is especially meaningful.”

In addition to generously supporting Fairfield Bellarmine, Conlisk is the originator of the annual Rev. John M. Conlisk Irish Scholarship, established in memory of his late brother. The scholarship enhances academic and career opportunities for young people from Ireland by inviting them to pursue a master’s degree at Fairfield’s Charles F. Dolan School of Business and grow their business network in the U.S. Conlisk Scholars receive tuition, housing, and medical insurance expenses while studying at Fairfield. The Conlisk Scholarship is fully funded and has benefited 30 recipients to date.

For his outstanding and enduring commitment to Fairfield, Conlisk received the Alumni Service Award at the Annual Fairfield Awards Dinner in New York in 2001.

Fairfield Bellarmine, the new academic division of Fairfield University, will welcome the first cohort of up to 100 students to its Bellarmine Campus for the 2023-24 academic year. Applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis, with a Priority Application deadline of March 1, 2023

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