A Trip Down Memory Lane — 75th Anniversary Exhibition Opens at Fairfield Museum
In conjunction with Fairfield University’s 75th Anniversary, the Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Rd., Fairfield, Conn., is featuring an exhibition of photographs and memorabilia reflecting the University’s origins and ongoing mission. Celebrating Fairfield’s 75th Anniversary: A Proud Past, An Amazing Future, opened on May 11 and will be on display until June 30. The exhibit is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
“Fairfield was founded 75 years ago, precisely to educate and enrich the lives of the local community,” said Fairfield University Interim President Lynn Babington, PhD, RN. “With this exhibit we have an opportunity to thank the town of Fairfield for this special relationship, and to see how the town and the University have grown together and served one another. We are very proud of the exhibit and excited to share our history with all of the visitors to this special museum.”
Fairfield University alumnus, local resident and Assistant Vice President of Administration and Student Affairs, James D. Fitzpatrick ’70, M’72, P’08 reflected on his alma mater and its significance to the town of Fairfield. “Since 1942, the names Fairfield University and town of Fairfield, Connecticut are intrinsically linked together, forming a bond and partnership that enhances this wonderful speck of land in our Nutmeg State!”
Exhibition highlights include:
Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1942, Fairfield University participates in a long-standing tradition of academic excellence in teaching and learning communities. The exhibit pays tribute to the University’s commitment to Ignatian spirituality with replicas of two statues on campus, set before a backdrop of stained glass windows that form two of the panels of the life of St. Ignatius Loyola in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola. The statues are:
- Examen: This bronze statue of St. Ignatius Loyola, created by New York artists Jeremy Leichman and Joan Benefiel, is located at the entrance to the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola.
- St. Robert Bellarmine: Designed by Will Pupa, artist-in-residence at Loyola Marymount University, the bronze statue with carnelian granite base was installed near the DiMenna-Nyselius Library in 2014 and depicts St. Robert Bellarmine, the patron saint of Fairfield University.
Building Our History
Originally founded with the purchase of two adjoining estates, Fairfield University has greatly expanded its physical plant and now includes approximately 11 dormitories, 15 townhouse units and 26 academic and administrative buildings. What’s more, construction still continues as the University seeks to develop more opportunities for living, teaching, and learning on campus. Highlights include:
- Architectural diorama of the campus master plan
- Virtual tour of the campus (standing kiosk)
- Bronze replica of the Stag statue (Fairfield University’s mascot) that forms the centerpiece of the “Quad” on campus
Photographs: Then and Now
Selected historical photographs from Fairfield University’s Archives & Special Collections are paired with recent photos of life and events on campus, revealing both change and continuity in Academics, the Campus, Student Life, Athletics, the Arts and the Community. Examples include:
- Junior Prom 1957 / President’s Ball 2014
- Student volunteers in Appalachia 1968 / Service Learning 2010
- Studying in the library 1964 / Studying in the library 2014
- Move-in day 1966 / Move-in day 2015
Celebrate Fairfield University’s MAAC championships and club history with memorabilia and photographs, including:
- Men’s basketball 1997 MAAC Trophy
- Lacrosse helmet from the Rafferty stadium dedication
- Rugby Club (1964) photo
- Evolution of Fairfield University’s mascot, Lucas the Stag
In March 1942, Fairfield University became the third Jesuit college in New England, joining The College of the Holy Cross founded in 1843 and Boston College founded in 1858. The University has grown from an initial class of 303 undergraduate male students admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences in 1947, into a coeducational University of more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states and 47 foreign countries. Fairfield University has awarded more than 45,000 degrees since 1951, and has developed an international reputation for educational excellence.