Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Father McShane's Fordham Bucket List

A few times a year, the Campus Activities Board American Age Lecture Series invites various speakers to come and speak to the Fordham community. In previous years, they have invited speakers such as Leigh Ann Touhy, who's story was created into the movie The Blind Side, and Jerry Greenfield, the "Jerry" of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. This year, they invited our very own president, Father McShane to speak directly to the students. 

This was an incredible opportunity, and it was a very special moment for our university's president to connect on such a personal level with the students. He wanted to do the speech in the style of The Last Lecture, as if this would be the last time he would be speaking to the students. So, we were lucky enough to hear his Fordham Bucket List: all the things we should try to do before we graduate. (And as a sophomore, I am eager to try to finish it within my next two years). So here it is:

1. Thank your parents.
2. Take your best friend for dinner and pick up the tab. 
3. Tell the faculty member who changed your life what they did for you.
4. Take in a game at Yankee Stadium.
5. Eat food in an epic restaurant that serves food that you've never eaten before. 
6. Hit all five boroughs - "When you ride through the subway, you ride through the world."
7. Ride the Staten Island Ferry both ways, and look at the Statue of Liberty as you come back to Manhattan, the way it was meant to be seen.
8. Walk on the promenade on Roosevelt Island or the esplanade in Battery Park.
9. Take a walk through Wall Street or through Times Square before 11AM. 
10. Volunteer.
11. Go to a Fordham basketball game and cheer as loud as you can.
12. Prepare for your future by:
     a. going on a retreat.
     b. developing a habit of giving.
     c. preparing for the job interview.
     d. seeing the ocean.
     e. visiting and praying at Ground Zero.
     f. visiting St. Patrick's Cathedral.
     g. visiting the Jesuit cemetery. 

I didn't want to explain each one too much in depth because my summarized version would not do his eloquent speech justice. My favorite part of his bucket list, though, was the incorporation of not only the Fordham community, but New York City as well. Part of experiencing Fordham University is experiencing all of the wonderful things that our city has to offer, and Father McShane made it very clear that that was the best way to make the most of your time at Fordham. We are so lucky to have all the incredible things that New York City has to offer right in our backyard. 

Many of the things he spoke of seem implied, like thanking your parents and volunteering, but they were important to be reminded of. On behalf of myself and much of the Fordham community, thanks CAB and Father McShane for such a wonderful opportunity!

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