Memorial Scholarships – honoring and celebrating the lives of Fairfield University alumni.

by Virginia Weir

Like other types of endowments, scholarships made in the memory of a member of the Fairfield community perpetuate the University’s mission. At the same time, they serve for family and friends as a way of honoring what was important in the life of their loved one – namely, the education and community of friendships they developed at Fairfield. “The scholarship is a reflection of the importance of Fairfield in my brother’s life,” said Jamey Cappello ’94 of the scholarship founded in memory of Jonathan Cappello ’00, who was killed in the events of September 11, 2001.

In addition to substantial major individual gifts, some funds have been augmented by annual charity golf outings and other fundraisers. The gatherings have provided opportunities for alumni, friends, and families to come together and share stories, renew friendships, and celebrate the memories of those they love.

Remembering alumni from 9-11

Among the University’s 53 endowed memorial scholarships, four have been established in honor of Fairfield alumni who died on 9-11.

Jim and Linda Slattery, parents of Chris Slattery ’92, an employee at the firm of Cantor Fitzgerald, recognized the outpouring of affection from friends, family, and coworkers. They decided to establish a foundation in honor of Chris – the funds of which support scholarships for students attending Chris’ high school in Mineola, N.Y., and the Christopher Slattery ’92 Fairfield Memorial Scholarship at Fairfield University, where Chris was a history major.

In addition to individual gifts, another source of foundation income has been the annual Chris Slattery Golf Classic, held for the seventh year this summer. “To know Chris was to love him,” said Chris’ father, Jim. “He had a huge number of friends, and something he enjoyed doing with a lot of them was playing golf – so it was a natural that we would stage a golf outing in his name.” The golf tournament maintains a Web site at www.chrisslatterygolfclassic.com.

The Fund, now approaching $800,000, has supported 14 students since it was founded. James Skane ’12, a nursing major, wrote recently to Jim Slattery:

“I cannot thank you enough. Your gift has truly been a substantial help in financing my education at Fairfield. I have appreciated every moment that I’ve spent on campus. I also would like to thank you for giving me the honor of being associated with Christopher. His fun-loving nature and caring personality were rarities in the world and characteristics that I strive to emulate daily. Thank you again for this honor and generous gift.”

Members of the Class of 1986 recently established the H. Joseph Heller and Michael P. Lunden ’86 Memorial Scholarship in memory of Joe Heller ’86, who was a commodities broker at Carr Futures, and Michael Lunden ’86, a Cantor Fitzgerald employee. During college, Heller and Lunden lived together with eight other Fairfield classmates who called themselves the “Caddyshacks” in honor of the “shack” in which they resided and their love of golf.

At their 25th reunion this past summer, the Caddyshacks announced that enough gifts had been raised from individual class members that they could establish an endowed scholarship in their classmates’ names.

“We’ve been a part of each others’ lives for the past 25 years,” said Shaun O’Leary ’86, who initiated the endowment. “We wanted to do something so that Joe and Mike are always in our memory … Fairfield gave us these friendships that are so important.”

Since Mike Andrews ’89, who also worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, passed away, 75 to 150 of his friends and family have gathered regularly around the time of his birthday for “Mike Nights” at Coppersmith’s, a Manhattan pub that Mike and nine of his friends opened in 2000. Like the Slatterys, several of those friends decided to coordinate an annual golf outing to raise funds for the Michael R. Andrews ’89 Memorial Scholarship Fund honoring Mike.

“It may seem cliché, but it really does keep his memory alive for us,” said his close friend, Andy Davis ’89. “Mike was someone who knew a lot of people. As a baseball player, he was popular among his teammates and with other athletes at Fairfield. But he also had a lot of other connections … so the golf outing kind of keeps that spirit of connection going.”

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