Yesterday marked 175 years to the date that Archbishop John Hughes (Dagger John) ushered in six students as the first class of St. John's College in the village of Fordham, Westchester County, New York. Since then a world of change has gone on in and around what was then just a small college eight miles north of New York City; from the city's own expansion in taking over the lower part of Westchester County, what we now know as The Bronx, to the group of Jesuits in Kentucky taking over St. John's College and transforming it into the world-renowned institution of higher education we now know as Fordham University, The Jesuit University of New York.
|Father McShane entrusts six freshmen with the |
To celebrate the Dodransbicentennial, more than the usual festivities were in store for the class of 2020, who President Father Joseph McShane, S.J. dubbed as a "visionary" group of young minds. At the opening mass on Sunday when new students moved into their residence halls and kicked off orientation, Father McShane selected six new students and entrusted them with their class banner, a new tradition each graduating class from 2017 and on will carry from convocation to commencement, as well as the university's dodransbicentennial banner, which will be passed to the class of 2017 at the close of the dodransbicentennial year at commencement. And of course Father McShane ended this mass as he always does with students, by welcoming them "home" to Fordham.
|Ally, FCRH '20 with her Orientation Leader and past |
Ambassador/Tour Guide Teresa, FCRH '17
Apart from the dodransbicentennial festivities, Fordham welcomed in the class of 2020 in style as usual. New Student Orientation volunteers rolled out the maroon carpet for 1,192 freshmen and didn't allow them to lift a finger - more than 200 volunteers at both campuses unloaded cars, U-haul trailers and SUV's for the incoming class and moved all of their belongings into their dorm rooms - a tradition that has been centric to welcoming students to Fordham for years. This was followed by the yearly candle-lighting on the first night, encouraging the newest generation of the Fordham Family to live by the Jesuit values our university is grounded in, and to follow the words of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, to "Go forth and set the world on fire."
Now orientation has finally come to a close, and classes have begun at all 3 undergraduate colleges. These bright new students joining the university will only propel Fordham further upward from where we began 175 years ago, and on behalf the student admission ambassadors in Rose Hill Society and our counterparts in the Lincoln Center Society, welcome home.