I wanted to give back to Fairfield in a way that honors my late wife, Marcia A. Barris… For me, this gift was a way to celebrate her intellectual curiosity and achievements, as well as the tremendous value that Fairfield has and continues to bring to young lives.
Joseph Walton ’75
My Time at Fairfield
I attended Fairfield on an academic scholarship as the son of a single mother, who was a teacher. As a student, in addition to pursuing academics, sports, and the University Glee Club, I worked as a construction worker, a driver of a Wells Fargo armored car, and ultimately a resident advisor.
Most Influential Faculty
Thomas G. ‘TG’ O’Callaghan, S.J., was a tall and intimidating looking ex-BC hockey player who taught a course on prayer and spirituality. His rugged, external ferocity was balanced with a gentleness of the soul that was extraordinary; it really struck me! He embodied the Jesuit balance of faith and intellect — a gift that I have carried throughout my life.
After graduating with a degree in modern languages, I rose in sales management at Burroughs Corp. and at Unisys, a technology services provider, where I ran the European division. My career has spanned sales, marketing, consulting, mergers and acquisitions, and talent acquisition globally. In 1999, I joined EMC, where I first led Global Services and initiated the company’s joint venture with Accenture, and then went on to manage Human Resources and Operations within the company’s information infrastructure business.
Now I am senior vice president for Global Operations, Global Enterprise Services for EMC Corporation, one of the world’s largest IT providers, with a workforce of 60,000 people worldwide.
What I Learned at Fairfield
College experiences can be so pivotal in one’s future, and my years at Fairfield fulfilled that for me. I gained confidence and was challenged intellectually. At Fairfield I learned critical thinking and the process of discernment. I immersed myself for four years in what Fairfield had to offer — both academically and socially — and have benefited ever since.
Why I Give
I have included a bequest to Fairfield in my estate plan. The Marcia A. Barris and Joseph F. Walton Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide support to undergraduate students with financial need, with priority given to those from the suburbs of Boston, New Haven, and New York City.
I wanted to give back to Fairfield in a way that honors my late wife, Marcia A. Barris, an executive at Nasdaq OMX who died of breast cancer in 2007. For me, this gift was a way to celebrate her intellectual curiosity and achievements, as well as the tremendous value that Fairfield has and continues to bring to young lives.
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