Letter from the President – Winter 2011

So our University is thriving. Still, if we are really going to take the leadership position that we have the character, the location, and the capacity to take as a University community, then we must raise the bar.

First, and critically, as a Jesuit and Catholic institution, we have an obligation to provide a quality education to every capable young person who wants one — regardless of his or her financial resources.

It is simply unacceptable that there be young men and women of promise who cannot come to Fairfield because they cannot afford it. We should be a university that is about opportunities — think of the opportunities that we gave to the Class of 1951. Increasing our endowment so that we can embrace promising students of all backgrounds is critical. It is in our DNA and we must do it.

Second, we must invest in our teaching-scholars so that we continue to take leadership positions on the scholarly, scientific, and social concerns of our time. We should be a thought leader in a range of areas that concern our world — economics, health care, the dialogue between faith and reason. These are areas where Fairfield can and should be making its voice heard.

Third, we must ensure that our teaching facilities are state-of-the-art. This is particularly pressing for us in the nursing and life sciences areas. Our School of Nursing is already filled to capacity. We have first-rate research scientists exploring new frontiers in biology and chemistry. We need to make sure these scholars have the tools they need to succeed, and to prepare our students at the highest level.

In coming months and years, you will be hearing a lot from me on this theme. I am personally asking everyone in the Fairfield University community — faculty, staff, and most critically, alumni, to join me in embracing this challenge and making this stretch so that Fairfield can take its place as a leader.

As I write today, I’m filled with gratitude for the many blessings we have received together by having found our place within the Fairfield community. The work that lies before us is noble work, but it wouldn’t be given to us to do if we weren’t a University with the capacity to meet the challenge. I thank you all for joining with me as we work together to make Fairfield the leader in the renewal of Jesuit education for the 21st century.



Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.


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