I was raised and supported through a Catholic education system that instilled in me a sense of giving back and a responsibility to help others.
David Barth ’73
When I was in high school, an older brother of my best friend who was attending Fordham suggested that I consider Fairfield. I was looking for a small liberal arts college in a suburban setting. Coming from a Catholic high school and knowing of the strong reputation of a Jesuit education system, I decided to apply. The location of campus and proximity to New York, as well as Boston, was one of the deciding factors that put Fairfield at the top of my list.
Favorite Fairfield Memories
There are two or three memories that stand out after 40 years. During my freshman year, I participated in a signature/petition drive supporting the Hatfield-McGovern amendment for an early end to the Vietnam War following the Cambodian incursion. This was at the same time as national protests were being held across the country and four students from Kent State University were shot.
Another memory was the march in New York City in 1973 when the basketball team played in the NIT at Madison Square Garden.
And my last memory, without saying more, was senior year at the Fairfield Beach.
An Unexpected Career Path
My career path did not follow what I would have imagined at age 22. After graduating and spending my first winter skiing, I settled down to focus on historic restoration, mixing my interest (and major) in history with a love of architecture. I started working for the State of New Jersey at Allaire State Park and was responsible for the restoration of several circa 1820 buildings/village.
This work ultimately led to planning for future restoration projects statewide as New Jersey approached the Bicentennial Celebration in 1976. Before I knew it, the planning led to the construction financing of the projects, which brought in new aspects of the state budget process. In the end, after a master’s degree in 1981, I took over the capital financing programs for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
I retired in June, after 39 years with the Department–most recently serving as the director of financial management and the Department’s chief financial officer.
Probably most vivid was Mr. McDonald, who instilled in me a love of Shakespeare and Mr. Davis who was my first history teacher at Fairfield.
What did you learn from your time at Fairfield?
The one critical skill that I have utilized in my professional career that I can trace back to Fairfield is the ability to write and communicate. The foundation that I received while at Fairfield and the importance of writing cannot be understated.
As for values, the one thing that sticks out is a common base of shared experiences that I have found with many others that have graduated from other Jesuit-based universities/colleges. It is one thing that ties graduates of Fairfield to a larger universe.
Why I Give
I am not sure I ever had a choice. I was raised and supported through a Catholic education system that instilled in me a sense of giving back and a responsibility to help others.
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