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Submitted by Virginia Weir, Assistant Director of Advancement Communications on November 2, 2012

It seems only natural that I should give back to an institution that has given me so much. I received an excellent education, was imbued with indispensable values, and made life-long friends at Fairfield.

Samuel Sica ’09

Major: Politics

Minor: Classical Studies

Occupation: Attorney

Why Fairfield…

I attended the Scranton Preparatory School, the Jesuit high school of Northeast Pennsylvania. In my most formative years, I grew personally and intellectually in an environment of strict discipline, rigorous academics, and Jesuit ideals. The Jesuit commitment to cura personalis, or “care for the entire person,” is embodied in the classical liberal arts curriculum at “Prep” and a hallmark of Jesuit education.

When it came time to choose which college to attend, I knew I wanted to continue my education at a Jesuit institution. I evaluated many Jesuit schools and upon the recommendation of an upperclassman teammate, who was accepted at Fairfield, my family and I took a trip to Connecticut. The school already met many of my criteria. It was a Jesuit university with a strong academic reputation, a wide variety of athletic and extracurricular offerings, and a substantial academic department in my intended major. After meeting with professors, touring the beautiful campus, and dining in the historic coastal town of Fairfield, there was little doubt where I wanted to spend the next four years.

The Rowing Team

My favorite experience at Fairfield was my time spent as a member of the men’s rowing team. Many sports require strict discipline and training but crew, in particular, demands not only strength and endurance, but also precise technique and synchronization. I am certain my coaches can attest that it is no small task to get eight men in a sixty-foot-long boat moving in unison. To be successful in such an undertaking, you must have a total commitment from everyone in the boat and a sense of trust that in those final meters of a regatta each person is pulling with all his strength.

To just be a part of such a beautiful sport would be rewarding enough, but the ability to represent Fairfield in regattas throughout the northeast, while competing against colleges and universities from all across the country was a true honor. Those long hours spent on the river in the fall and spring, and the longer hours spent indoors on the ergometers during the winter helped to forge some of my closest friendships.

Law School

As a product of eight years of Jesuit education there should be little surprise that public service dominated my career motivations. I determined that law would be the ideal vehicle to work towards the common good and effectuate positive change in society. To that end, I began my legal studies in the fall following my graduation from Fairfield. I spent my summers during law school working at a district attorney’s office in my home state of Pennsylvania. I was able to work on myriad issues and cases, including a capital murder case.

In my final year of law school, I worked as a law clerk at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Specifically, I worked in the Environmental Crimes Section. There, I was able to assist senior attorneys on cases of national and international significance. It was incredibly rewarding to work protecting people and their environment from egregious acts of pollution and environmental degradation.

I graduated from law school this past May and will begin my legal career clerking for a judge in Philadelphia this fall.

Influential Faculty: Drs. John Orman and Vincent Rosivach

So many members of the faculty have been instrumental in my education throughout my tenure at Fairfield. To name just two, I would have to say the late Dr. John Orman, and Dr. Vincent Rosivach. As a politics major and classical studies minor, these choices may seem self-evident. Dr. Orman brought a depth of substantive knowledge and passion for teaching that has rarely been equaled. He constantly challenged his students to look upon the world with a skeptical eye, and question everything to seek the truth. His boundless energy, positive attitude, and passion for politics will certainly live on through the countless students whom he has inspired, and I am forever grateful to count myself among them.

Dr. Rosivach has been imparting a love of the classics to his students at Fairfield for the past several decades. The legal, philosophical, and architectural traditions of ancient Greece and Rome are the very foundations of Western civilization, and I have long held a fascination with those ancient cultures—a fascination I was able to explore and advance with over a half-dozen classes with Professor Rosivach. His depth and breadth of knowledge of the classics is truly remarkable. He has been and continues to be a tremendous resource for his students. Whether it is reading the pastoral poetry of Virgil in the Japanese Gardens or discussing the great naval battle of Salamis, under Dr. Rosivach and others, classics education is alive and well at Fairfield, a tradition I hope will continue well into the future.

Pursing Excellence

A prevailing ethic throughout my Jesuit education has been the pursuit of excellence. Whether it is in my personal or professional life, the ideal of the ceaseless pursuit of excellence is a constant challenge to work both harder and better. It is a challenge that is not always easy to fulfill, yet it remains a constant reminder that education and self-improvement is the work of a lifetime.

A similar and related value is the Jesuit principle of the Magis or “the more.” It embraces the Ignatian ideal of doing more for God and by extension doing more for others. Brilliant in its simplicity, it is an invaluable reminder that illuminates and gives purpose to the pursuit of excellence. Thus, success in any worthy endeavor is a product of sound morals, diligent effort, and virtuous purpose. While there are many other important values and lessons I learned while at Fairfield, these fundamental values inform nearly every aspect of my life and guide all of my efforts.

Why I Give Back

It seems only natural that I should give back to an institution that has given me so much. I received an excellent education, was imbued with indispensable values, and made life-long friends at Fairfield.

If I can contribute in some small way to ensure that future students can have similar experiences and opportunities, then there is little question for me. To achieve that goal, an active alumni community is essential. Whether it’s in hiring new faculty, expanding program offerings, or developing the buildings and grounds of Fairfield, alumni support is crucial. Together we can ensure that Fairfield continues to grow as a Jesuit institution and community that is dedicated to rigorous academics, competitive athletics, and an unwavering commitment to service.

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