The Fairfield Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Times Square in New York City on April 19 raised more than $1 million at the gala and will exceed that goal as gifts continue to be counted. The event raises funds and awareness for the Multicultural Scholarship Fund and other scholarships at Fairfield while honoring outstanding community members for their volunteer commitment, professional achievements, and leadership.
Fairfield is a special University — an institution on the rise where access and inclusion are hallmarks of our commitment to modern excellence.
— President Mark Nemec, PhD
The exceptional generosity of Fairfield’s alumni, parents, friends, and corporate sponsors made this year’s dinner a success. More than 500 alumni, parents, friends of the University and students gathered at the celebration where a palpable sense of Fairfield pride filled the ballroom. Since 1988, proceeds from the Fairfield Awards Dinner have provided scholarships to make a Fairfield education possible for hundreds of students.
A speaker in the event’s program, current student, and scholarship recipient Aliyah Phipps ’18 said in her remarks that she credits the Multicultural Scholarship Fund for helping her realize her potential and making her dream of a college education a reality.
“In the future, I plan to attend graduate school in Beijing, China. This is a career path I could only dream about four short years ago. However, now thanks to Fairfield and the generosity of so many people—including the care of University faculty and staff, I will be able to do just that,” Phipps said. “I know how important the Multicultural Scholarship has been for me, and for so many of my fellow students—all of whom have been transformed by the Fairfield experience.”
The honorees for the evening were Kathleen A. Murphy ’84, president of personal investing at Fidelity Investments, who received the Alumni Professional Achievement Award; Thomas J. Fanning Sr. ’78, P’10, ’06, founder and managing partner of Heritage Strategies LLC, who received the Alumni Service Award; David W. Frassinelli MS’92, vice president of Facilities Management at Fairfield University, who received the Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award; and Joseph and Mary Carlucci, P’18, ’10, ’09, co-chairs of the Parent Leadership Council, who received the Parent Leadership Award.
In her acceptance remarks, Murphy, repeatedly named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in American Business” by Fortune magazine, said, “I treasure my time at Fairfield University. My Jesuit experience at Fairfield not only gave me a strong education through the wonderful and committed work of so many talented professors, it also helped me to think more deeply about the importance of Jesuit values and the role I needed to embrace to make meaningful contributions for others in every aspect of my life.”
During the event, for the first time, a text-to-give software, MobileCause, was implemented for real-time fundraising with the goal of raising $30,000 to celebrate 30 years of the dinner. Alumni, parents, and friends of Fairfield were moved to give throughout the night and over $40,000 and counting was raised — far exceeding expectations.
"It's the 21st century and we've got to use technology in a way that we've never used it before and so this is one of those tools that can get people engaged and excited and I think we knocked it out of the park, said Spencer Thibodeau '10, a past scholarship recipient who is now an attorney and Portland, Me. city councilman, who spoke at the dinner and helped rally support for the new software in the evening’s program. "Fairfield is family and when family calls, you answer."
Appearing at his first Fairfield Awards Dinner, Fairfield University’s ninth President Mark Nemec, PhD, greeted the crowd with inspiration for future generations of Stags.
“Fairfield is a special University — an institution on the rise where access and inclusion are hallmarks of our commitment to modern excellence," Dr. Nemec said. "And where we continue to form men and women for others so they may pursue lives of social justice and productive citizenship."
Learn more and see photos from the event at fairfield.edu/awardsdinner.
Couldn't attend the dinner but would like to donate to scholarships at Fairfield? Please visit the giving form here.