President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, Honored by Brooklyn Jesuit Prep

President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, Honored by Brooklyn Jesuit Prep

Chris Ferreira, Mark R. Nemec, PhD, Rev. Mario Powell, S.J., and Chris Johnson.

Chris Ferreira, Mark R. Nemec, PhD, Rev. Mario Powell, S.J., and Chris Johnson.

Dr. Nemec received the Thea Bowman Award for Education for his leadership and Fairfield University’s commitment to raising the level of educational access and achievement for underrepresented students.

Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, was honored at the 2022 Brooklyn Jesuit Prep Gala and Celebration on May 11. Dr. Nemec received the Thea Bowman Award for Education, which is conferred upon an individual who demonstrates Sister Thea Bowman’s belief in the transformative power of education to bring about a more compassionate, multi-cultural community of justice and faith.

The granddaughter of a slave, Sister Bowman was a lifelong educator and founder of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University and the National Black Sisters Conference. Her mission centered around intercultural awareness and building up the Black Catholic community, sharing its rich cultural and spiritual heritage through prayer, music, writing, teaching, and preaching.

Senior leadership from Fairfield University and Fairfield Prep were among those who attended the event at the New York Athletic Club in New York City. Dr. Nemec was introduced by Brooklyn Jesuit Prep Class of 2009 alumnus and trustee Chris Ferreira, who presented the award with President Rev. Mario Powell, S.J., and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Christian Johnson.

“Brooklyn Jesuit Prep and Fairfield University are animated by the same call,” said Dr. Nemec. “To, as Superior General of the Society Arturo Sosa, S.J., has stated in our apostolic preferences, accompany our youth in the creation of a hope-filled future,” Dr. Nemec shared, “how grateful the University and I are to receive this award named after Sister Thea Bowman. Sister Bowman’s commitment to racial justice and dedication to education and multi-cultural dialogue serve as a model for us all.” 

During President Nemec’s tenure at Fairfield University, he has led efforts to serve broader student populations in innovative ways. Inspired by its long-standing relationship with Brooklyn Jesuit Prep, the University has expanded its Academic Immersion Program, created the Company Scholars program for high-achieving first generation students from Jesuit high schools, and is launching Bellarmine College in partnership with the Diocese of Bridgeport. This new academic unit of the University will offer at two-year associate’s degree program and world-class education to students from the Bridgeport community.

The proceeds raised at the gala will benefit Brooklyn Jesuit Prep’s Summer Leadership Academy. The four-week program hosted at Fairfield University during the month of July builds upon students’ academic work and offers enrichment, outdoor sports and activities, leadership skill development, community building across grade levels, and the opportunity to experience life on a college campus.

“This is an investment for the future of BJP,” remarked Fr. Powell. “This is an investment to the partnership that we have with Fairfield University. Only in the Jesuit world can you have a small Black middle school, over the course of almost two decades, be welcomed with open arms as we have been by the Fairfield University and Prep community...the camp is our heart and soul of what we do.”

Brooklyn Jesuit Prep is a Catholic Jesuit middle school serving students of significant economic need, of diverse races, ethnicities and faiths in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. Its mission is to develop young leaders who are intellectually competent, open to growth, loving, religious, and committed to doing justice. Brooklyn Jesuit Prep offers a rigorous academic program during an extended school day, a residential summer leadership camp, and a graduate support program offering academic and tuition support through high school.

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Last modified: 05-13-22 11:58 AM

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