On the evening of April 12, the Fairfield Awards Dinner (FAD), held at Cipriani 42nd St. in the heart of Manhattan,  marked a new level of success for the university. It exceeded its $1 million fundraising goal, raising a record-breaking $1.35 million for student scholarships and providing increased educational opportunities for future generations of Stags. 

Each year, hundreds of alumni, parents, faculty and staff gather together to celebrate their shared Fairfield roots, as well as the achievements and service of a select few. Adrienne Johnson ‘91 and Trish Preston ‘80 helped to facilitate the event as the FAD Committee Co-Chairs. 

Following a prayer led by the Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, the Bishop of Bridgeport, and a welcome from President Mark Nemec, PhD, facilitators introduced each honoree with a video presentation. Honorees were chosen based on their exemplification of the Jesuit values of cura personalis and magis, as well as their service as people for others.

While guests enjoyed dinner, the award-winners took to the stage to give their remarks. 

This year’s honorees included: Deacon Patrick Toole, recipient of the Honorary Alumnus Award, John Thompson III and Monica Moore Thompson, P’23, recipients of the Parent Leadership Award, Philip J. Lane, PhD, P’10, recipient of the Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award, Shannon Siwinski ’92, P’16, recipient of the Alumni Service Award and Andrew J. McMahon ’89, P’19,’13, recipient of the Alumni Professional Achievement Award. 

“Dr. Nemec, words cannot adequately describe my admiration, appreciation and love for this university,” said Toole as he stood at the podium, holding his award. “Thank you to the Board of Trustees for your inspiring vision and tireless efforts to build pathways to higher education, especially for those often denied the opportunity.”

Others offered words of advice to their fellow Stags, both past and present. 

“Don’t ignore bridges; build more connections,” said Siwinski to her fellow alumni. “Not because they help you, but because you’ve been helped by someone in some way and you can pay it forward. You’ll be alumni with a shared experience for the rest of your lives.”

Since 1988, alumni have joined together for the annual event and raised more than $20 million for the Alumni Multicultural Scholarship Fund among other scholarships, according to FAD’s webpage. 

McMahon touched upon this shared effort saying, “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

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