Members of the Fairfield University community are familiar with the idea of giving back. Each year, thousands of donors make contributions to the University as their way of showing their appreciation for the education that Fairfield provides. The men and women of the Board of Trustees are a part of this community of generosity, and a number of them have established scholarships at the University to help ensure that others may have the experiences that they – or in some cases their children – were privileged to enjoy.
In December, a group of students was fortunate to meet some of these trustees and have the opportunity to thank them in person for their support. In the festively decorated Bellarmine Hall, real connections were made as the students and trustees were able to put faces with names and share stories about their Fairfield experiences.
Jake Herman ’11, the recipient of the Lawrence A. Lessing Jr. Scholarship, was thrilled to have the chance to meet Steve Lessing ’76, a trustee who established the scholarship with his brother Larry ’59. Herman is a senior finance major who knows that the experiences he has had at Fairfield – from his internship with a private equity company to his work with Habitat for Humanity – may not have been possible without scholarship support. He also knows that his time at Fairfield has been invaluable in helping him develop into the individual he is today.
“The Jesuit ideal of cura personalis has really impacted my experience here,” he said. “I have had both classroom and outside exposure to new things and I have definitely changed and grown as a person during my time here. I can’t wait for what the future has in store for me.”
Kaitlin Denis ’11, one of the recipients of the Joseph F. ’72 and Gail T. Berardino Scholarship, also recognizes what an impact the scholarship has had on her Fairfield experience.
“Receiving this scholarship has helped me to attend Fairfield University and allowed me to focus on my responsibilities as a student-athlete. Because of the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Berardino, it is easier for me to focus on maintaining good grades and performing on the soccer field, ” she said.
A Dean’s List student in the Dolan School of Business, Denis has already seen how the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom and on the field will translate well into life after college.
Senior Heather Boyd ’11 is also a recipient of the Berardino Scholarship as well as the Margaret M. Atwell Scholarship, established by University Trustee William Atwell, P’08. A finance major who has made the Dean’s List every semester, Boyd has made the most of her business education, participating by invitation in the Dolan School of Business Dean’s Student Advisory Roundtable and the Fairfield Investment Group, which manages a small portion of the University’s endowment. Last spring, she studied abroad at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, an experience she may not have had without the financial aid she has received. “I am extremely appreciative of these scholarships,” she said. “They have even helped enable me to study finance at one of the top five European business universities! I am so grateful and have worked to make the best use of my time at Fairfield in service to others and in building my skill set.”
Students like these are the pulse of the University, adding life and vigor to the campus community and beyond. They represent just a small portion of the many students whose Fairfield experiences have been enriched by the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends.