Meet Alexis and Jason Beckwith, P’23

Meet Alexis and Jason Beckwith, P’23

The Beckwiths family.

The Beckwiths enthusiastically got involved with the Fairfield University parent community and Friends of Fairfield Rowing and are making a long-lasting difference in the lives of our student-athletes.

How did your son, Alexander “Alec” ’23, come to join the Fairfield Men’s Rowing team?

All through high school, Alec aspired to play soccer at a university. During his senior year, however, he expressed that he no longer wanted to play at that level. After getting accepted into every school he applied to and attending campus visits at each, Alec chose to attend Fairfield because the University gave him a good feeling.

While Alec did not intend on being a student-athlete in college, he soon missed the competition and camaraderie he had once experienced while playing with a team. When one of the men’s rowing captains approached him in the Tully Dining Commons and encouraged him to meet with the Fairfield Rowing head coach at the time, Casey Fuller, to discuss joining the team, he jumped at the opportunity. About three weeks into school, he called to let us know he had walked on the rowing team. His teammates have been his family ever since, and I am so thankful, especially through the pandemic, that he had close friends to lean on.

How did you get involved at Fairfield as parents?

We got involved with Friends of Fairfield Rowing and the rowing team right away. At our first regatta, we ended up talking to fellow rowing parents Patrick and Karen O’Brien, P’20 who had been involved in rowing for generations and have been hooked since. We were introduced to the coaches and learned about some resources that were much-needed to help elevate the program, including a top-notch workout facility that would enable the team to have the most effective indoor practices. The generous parents of this rowing program were already providing huge meals at the regattas, hosting the kids all day long, and taking care of any details the coaches needed. My thought was, "I can write a check or I can jump in to try to create something that has a long-lasting impact by creating a culture of giving."

My husband and I have always been of the mind that if we can help, then we will. Once I dug in, I noticed that the Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse really stood out as having a fantastic program and very involved alumni. They all understood the importance of giving back their time, talent, and philanthropic support. I wanted to build a similar culture of giving around the rowing program. STAGiving Day, June 23, 2020, was the kickoff of our reinvigorated Friends of Fairfield Rowing program. It was a great day and the momentum of support for the program just kept growing since then. Within a year, with the help of many families, we had new boats purchased and a new rowing room for the team.

How has your connection with the University grown since you joined the Fairfield family?

In 2020, I was invited to join the newly formed Athletics Advisory Board. When we started, I was the only current parent on the board. We've grown since, and it's a fantastic cross-section of people who can and want to help and believe in Fairfield Athletics. It has been a very fulfilling experience to be on that board.

My husband and I are also part of the Parents Leadership Council (PLC). When the pandemic was at its most critical, I feel like if we had not gotten involved with the PLC we could have missed so much. We have met so many wonderful parents, and have attended many events, including Alumni & Family Weekend and the President’s Christmas and Holiday Reception every year.

What areas at the University do you support philanthropically?

We support men’s rowing, the “Built For Life” Fund and the Charles F. Dolan School of Business. The Athletics Department at Fairfield is led and staffed with top-notch professionals who have an admirable loyalty to the University’s student-athletes. Fairfield Dolan has impressed us from day one. I have told so many people to keep an eye on that school because it’s a rising star!

Throughout the University the staff and leadership have been amazing. They've all been so professional and welcoming, and their loyalty and commitment to Fairfield are unlike anything I've experienced at any other place.

Do you have any advice for fellow Fairfield parents of student-athletes or parents of senior students?

This is an easy one. Just hold on, it goes by fast. Get involved and do it early because before you know it your child will be a junior and Commencement announcements will soon be hitting your inbox. Find the program or cause that means the most to you and your family, and get involved.

Also, it’s always a great idea to encourage your student to get involved in giving even a very small amount early. The continued connection to Fairfield post-graduation is a gift that will keep giving. We have taught this to our boys and Alec has joined the Fairfield giving community just recently.

Tell us a bit about your family.

We have two sons, Alec ’23 and Quinn. We split time between Chesterton, Indiana, and Chicago where Jason is a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch. I (Alexis) run a renovation and construction consulting business and have a background in sports marketing and corporate events. Also, my brother and sister-in-law, James and Elyse (Mueller) Dunbar ’99, are proud StagMates.

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