Carmen Donnarumma - founding faculty member - passes away

Carmen Donnarumma - founding faculty member - passes away


Carmen Donnarumma - Emeritus Professor in Politics, and one of the University’s first faculty members – passed away on March 18. He was 90.

Donnarumma taught at Fairfield for 45 years, from 1947 until his retirement in 1992. The faculty office building Donnaruma Hall was named in recognition of his long and exemplary service.

The native of Waterbury earned his B.A. at Fordham University and his M.A. from Columbia University. He began his teaching career at Fordham College Preparatory School before joining Fairfield College Preparatory School. Among the initial faculty when Fairfield became a University, he taught on the first day of classes in 1947. He would later be awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University.

In his obituary, it notes that he was a "revered mentor, instructor, and life-guide to students, many of whom continued to seek his care, concern and wisdom across the decades". His final days were punctuated by numerous visits from alumni, along with friends and family.

"Carmen was a valued public speaker, beginning in the 1950s and extending through his life. He was admired for his contemporaneous, unscripted speeches which could soar with grand oratory. It was his personal touch, one-on-one, though, that was marked by humility and a genuine interest in others. Always a commanding public presence, he most valued his time with family and friends, sharing traditional Italian Sunday dinners, and enjoying conversation with an assuring Scotch on the rocks. His signature cigar and red handkerchief, omnipresent for years, are remembrances all share."

Calling hours will be held at the Woodbury Funeral Home of Munson Lovetere, 2 School Street, from 4 p.m. through 8 p.m. on Friday, March 22.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church, 146 Main Street South, at 10 a.m. on Saturday March 23.

Online condolences can be sent via Read the obituary online.

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Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit Catholic university rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.