The 2013 Awards Dinner celebrates over $2 million raised for scholarships

She and her husband Roger Lynch ’63, a former University trustee and former chairman of the Board, have committed themselves to Fairfield for nearly 50 years. “Fairfield University is almost synonymous with the Lynch family,” she said. “Every time I drive onto the campus, I feel a sense of ownership knowing that we have played a role in advancing the DNA of the University.”

Fr. von Arx presented James and Linda Slattery, P’92, along with their daughter and son-in-law, Erin and Walter Appelle, with the first-ever Fairfield Award. The Slatterys formed a foundation in honor and memory of their son and brother Chris Slattery ’92, who lost his life in the events of September 11, 2001.

In a moving acceptance speech, Jim Slattery told the guests: “Chris loved people; he loved helping people; he loved the Fairfield University community; and he enjoyed a good game of golf, so we established the Christopher Slattery Memorial Scholarship and set about to raise money…to help students in need get a first-rate, Jesuit-inspired education.”

Over the past 10 years, the Slatterys have donated $1 million in support of the scholarship which has helped finance the educations of 16 Fairfield students.

THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER

In her address, Bigelow spoke of students she had met, including Rafique Vahora ’13 of Norwalk, Conn., who could not have pursued his dream of being an electrical engineer without the scholarship he received. Vahora received a NASA grant to create a biomedical device that measures bone density using infrared light.

She also told the story of Minhhieu Nguyen ’13, an accounting major, who was raised in Bridgeport, Conn., where his family moved from Vietnam after the war. As a commuter student, Nguyen was worried about not being able to make use of all the opportunities available, but “I was well accepted and integrated into the Jesuit education and college experience from day one.” Nguyen will continue at Fairfield next year to earn his master’s in accounting.

Bigelow praised the audience for supporting the University through scholarships. “These students were given an opportunity because of each one of you. Let me tell you, these kids are going to make this world a better place and they clearly know the need to give back. And they know that because of you — because of the chance that Fairfield University took on them.”

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