‘Excelsior’ campaign ends 5-year run

During Fordham’s 13th annual Founder’s Award Dinner on Monday night, Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, joined hundreds of deep-pocketed donors, outfitted in sharp tuxedos and gowns, in a glitzy Manhattan ballroom to celebrate the close of a five–year fundraising blitz that raked in $540 million for the school.

(Monday’s dinner alone raised $2.3 million, which will be donated to the Fordham Founder’s Undergraduate Research Fund, school officials said.)

The historically large capital campaign – publicly coined “Excelsior  Ever Upward The Campaign for Fordham” – was launched amid a rocky economic climate in 2009 and has since raised $540 million to be put toward scholarships, endowed chairs, facilities and a number of other initiatives throughout Fordham.

“If you wonder who is responsible for the achievement that we celebrate this night, look around you. It’s you,” McShane said to the crowd during an overarching address of gratitude. “Each of you, and all of you, and 60,000 others, have propelled us across the line.”

McShane specifically thanked the university’s Board of Trustees, whose members gave more than $160 million of the total $540 million raised. The football and women’s basketball teams joined the Fordham band on stage with McShane to sing the university’s fight song.

“You have all raised the Old Maroon on high, for the greater glory of God,” McShane said to the crowd.

Thomas A. Moore, Esq., LAW ’72, and Judith Livingston Moore, Esq., parents of Fordham students, as well as William S. Stavropoulos, Ph.D., PHA ’61, and I. Linda Stavropoulos were recognized during the dinner as winners of the Founder’s Award.