Vin Scully Tells Graduates Dreams Do Come TrueContact: Snipe, Michele
NEW YORK (May 20) - Vin Scully, the "Velvet Voice" of the L. A. Dodgers regaled an audience of more than 10,000 at Fordham Universityís 155th commencement with tales of his life at Fordham and encouraged students to "always make time for your dreams."
"I want to take this opportunity to announce am a candidate for the U.S. Senate represening the state of New York," Scully joked, telling the audience that "itís only me up here and I am one of you," not an accomplished general, or philosopher, but "me, who was once you. I walked the halls you walked. I sat in the same classrooms. I took the same notes and sweated out the final exams. I played sports on your grassy fields. I hit a home run here - in Jack Coffey Field against CCNY, the only one I ever hit."
Fordham, he said, evokes three words for him: Home, love and hope.
Home, because he spent eight years at Fordham both in the preparatory school and as an undergraduate. Love, because he made lifelong friends and hope, because Fordham is where his dreams thrived.
He recalled a conversation with "In this world I urge all of you to take some time away from the craziness around you to foster the things that are important," Scully said. "Donít let the winds blow away your dreams or your faith in God. And remember, sometimes your wildest dreams come true."
Scully also received an honorary doctorate of human letters, honoris causa.. In presenting the award, Michael T. Gillan, dean of Fordham College of Liberal Studies, noted that when Jesuit schoolmasters developed their plan of studies in the 16th and 17th centuries, they defined "the goal of Jesuit education as eloquentia perfecta ... which connotes a mastery of expression that is informed by good judgment and consistent principles. Those Jesuit schoolmasters of another age, if they had known anything about baseball, would certainly have approved the rhetorical gifts of the man who has been the voice of the Dodgers for the past 51 years, Vincent E. Scully."
Scully graduated from Fordham in 1949. Famous for his vivid, yet simplistic description of the Dodgers games, Scully thrills fans with his mastery of the English language. He has won numerous awards, including induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the Ford C. Frick Award recipient in 1982. He was named Most Memorable Personality in L.A. Dodger history by Dodger fans in 1976; the country's Outstanding Sportscaster four times and California Sportscaster of the Year 22 times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Also receiving an honorary degree was Brother Richard (Rick) Curry, S.J., founder and artistic director of the National Theatre Workshop for the Handicapped, who was presented with an honorary doctorate of fine arts. The Rev. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, commended the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped, founded by Brother Curry in 1977, for pursuing "the greater glory of God in a highly original manner." Through the program Curry and his colleagues "enable their students to overcome the barriers of stereotype that too often thwart the creative aspirations of the disabled," Grimes said. "The astonishing growth of NTWH from the idea of a Jesuit graduate student to the growing conglomerate it has now become reflects the improbable combination of gifts, artistic and entrepreneurial, that Rick Curry brings to his Jesuit life and ministry: compelling advocate, imaginative stage-master, audacious fund-raiser and author."
Rose Marie Bravo, CEO of Burberry and Fordham alumna, class of 1971, received an honorary doctorate of humane letters. "When Rose Marie La Pila [Bravo] of Tenbroek Avenue in the Bronx and a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science arrived on the Rose Hill campus in February 1969, she was a young woman in a hurry," said the Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, dean of Fordham College of Rose Hill. "Displaying the energy and sense of direction that have distinguished her business career, she took summer classes and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971." Bravo has not slowed since, said von Arx. "Fordham University is pleased that Rose Marie has returned from Burberryís to the Bronx this Saturday in May so that her alma mater can salute her brilliant career by bestowing on her the degree of Doctor of Human Letters."
General John Keane, vice chief of staff of the Army and Fordham alumnus, class of 1966, received an honorary doctorate of laws. General Keane is an infantry officer who has commanded at every level, from company to corps. His commands include the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 101st Airborne Division and the Joint Readiness Training Center.
"The Jesuit tradition of Fordham University summons its graduates to lead lives of service for others," said Sharon P. Smith, dean of the College of Business Administration. "The military forces of the United States are asked to keep peace, enforce justice and defend freedom and human rights around the world. To respond to such challenges, the men and women of our armed services need leaders of integrity and honor, who care about the men and women under their command." She said it was for "such leadership" that Keane was being presented with the degree of Doctor of Laws.
Among Keane's numerous honors and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, five Legions of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Commendation Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
Mary Ann Quaranta, dean of the Graduate School of Social Service, was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters for her service to the school.
Calling Quaranta a "heroine," Robert F. Himmelberg, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, said, "a grateful University recognizes that under her leadership, the School is emblematic of the Jesuit tradition has not simply changed but has been transformed. Its stature of national leadership reflects in no small part the enormous respect that its dean commands from her colleagues in social work education throughout the country."