Fairfield’s commitment to excellence, Jesuit tradition, and vision for the future headline President Nemec’s remarks
… What’s exciting about the next 75 years… is that we are at the precipice of getting to our next moment, the moment of modern excellence.
— President Mark R. Nemec, PhD
A spirit of excitement and anticipation filled the newly renovated Oak Room on a stunning October morning, as colleagues from across campus gathered to celebrate and share breakfast on the day before Dr. Mark R. Nemec’s investiture as the ninth President of Fairfield University. Rev. Charles Allen, S.J., led with a prayer of thanksgiving and a blessing for the new President.
“Just as each day begins with a prayer on our lips and food on our plate, so we ask that on this day we might be filled with a prayer of thanksgiving for this smooth transition from our eighth to ninth president, and a prayer of hope for the continued growth and prosperity of Fairfield University.”
President Nemec addressed those gathered and began by recognizing Fairfield’s commitment to excellence. “The commitment of this community, of this family, to be excellent in all things has been remarkable and something that I treasure and am honored to be a steward of.”
Recognizing Fairfield’s distinct Jesuit tradition, specifically the ideal of cura personalis in the formation of its students, President Nemec reflected, “We are committed not just to their mind but to their body and their spirit. Here, the holistic approach, the recognition that as we interact with our students and with one another we are committed to the whole person, is exceptional and is something that is very unique.”
The President also reflected upon Fairfield’s history and evolution. “If you pause and think about it, we are only 75 years old. In the epic of higher education…75 years is a very brief time to have built an institution of this reputation and rigor.”
While emphasizing the founding Jesuits’ “audacity” to establish an institution of higher learning on the heels of Pearl Harbor with a “faith in something bigger —a belief in something more than just the moment,” President Nemec kept focused on Fairfield’s future, “I believe what’s exciting about the next 75 years, the next 125 years for Fairfield, is that we are at the precipice of getting to our next moment, the moment of modern excellence.”