James E. Buckman, FCRh '66
James E. Buckman is a 1966 alumnus of Fordham College at Rose Hill.
"I feel compelled to do what I can for Fordham," says Jim Buckman, FCRH '66, a member of Fordham University's Board of Trustees. "It's personal.
"I had two great influences on my life: my family and the Society of Jesus. I enrolled at Fordham Prep at age 13. Being schooled by the Jesuits was like breathing values and ethics. They permeated everything."
On his first day at Fordham University in 1961, Buckman found the new dean of students, George McMahon, S.J., to be a dogged opponent in a basketball game. "Father McMahon modeled cura personalis—he cared deeply about students and their welfare," Buckman says. Years later, Buckman and his wife, Nancy, helped to create the Rev. George J. McMahon, S.J., Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund. They also established the Nancy and James E. Buckman Endowed Scholarship Fund.
"I attended Fordham on scholarship," Buckman says. "Financial help was very important to me; my family was not wealthy. I want other students to have the same opportunities I did."
He was the second of three brothers to earn a Fordham degree and delights in naming six relatives who are Fordham alumni. "We had the blessing of education at Fordham. I feel a moral obligation to give Fordham a return on what it gave us." He has served on the Fordham University Board of Trustees since 1997 and has taken on the additional duty of co-chairing Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordham.
In following the spirit of homines pro aliis (men and women for others), Buckman is a member of the board of Sheltering Arms Children's Services in New York City and is involved with Catholic Charities. He says that charitable giving "is my understanding of my obligation to share my good fortune with others."
Buckman views the campaign as an occasion to create greater opportunities for students. "Scholarships are important, but so is faculty support—to help faculty provide personal attention to their students. Endowment is a guarantee of permanence in Fordham's quality. And investing in our campus buildings is important for the community they create for faculty and students."
According to Buckman, "Fordham should rightly be at the highest levels of ranking among all universities in the United States. This campaign gives us the opportunity to get there. We have the leadership in Father McShane, and now we can provide the resources."