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Fordham University

Fordham University (2 campuses in New York City)
Fordham University describes itself as “New York’s Jesuit University.”  Fordham’s three undergraduate schools include Fordham College at Lincoln Center (about 2,000 students, mostly in one very large building and a very large adjoined apartment/dorm building), Fordham College at Rose Hill (about 5,000 students on a large wooded campus in the Bronx) and the Gabelli School of Business (also on the Bronx campus), which has strong programs in accounting and finance.

I visited Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) in 2012, where students take small, personalized classes in the liberal arts.  FCLC students consider Central Park to be their “quad!”  The core courses include nine disciplines, with philosophy and theology courses required.  FCLC excels in the performing arts – the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre is literally a few blocks away – and students can major or minor in a performing or visual arts discipline.  There are over four dozen majors from which students can choose.

FCLC students note the strong sense of community – since the 50% of students who do live on campus all live in McMahon Hall (where students do their laundry for FREE!)  And while religion can play as large or small a role in students’ lives and education as they choose, the Jesuit tenet of “care for the whole person” is apparent in the Fordham education.  Many students participate in service learning and social justice programming, and the campus ministry office’s Global Outreach program offers students the opportunity for “cultural immersion and service” in thirty locations around the world.

In early 2013, I was invited to a small breakfast with the Dean of the Gabelli School of Business, Donna Rapaccioli, when she was visiting Los Angeles.  She gives a very impressive presentation of the undergraduate program, which (unlike many undergraduate business programs) has a strong liberal arts core.  She noted that students who are interested in quantitative work and problem solving will do well in business school.  The curriculum at Gabelli is heavy in writing and speaking, as well as “collaborative competition.”  90% of Gabelli undergraduates do an internship, and given their NYC location, they frequently enjoy speakers who are executives of major international corporations.  In addition to standard business school areas of study, such as accounting, finance and marketing (and others), Gabelli offers some interesting specializations, including sports business, sustainable business, and a new focus on alternative investments, such as hedge funds and commercial real estate.

Famous Fordham alums include Denzel Washington and Los Angeles Dodgers color commentator Vin Scully, as well as Vince Lombardi and former Vice Presidential nominee and Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro.

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