Founderís Dinner Raises More Than $2.1 MillionContact: Michael Larkin
NEW YORK—More than 1,000 members of New York City society and the Fordham community gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria on April 4 to honor legendary broadcaster Charles Osgood (FCRH '54) and business executive and humanitarian Angelo R. Mozilo (CBA '60) during the 2005 Fordham Founder’s Award Dinner.
The $1,000-a-plate gala raised more than $2.1 million for the Fordham Founder’s Presidential Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to young men and women whose curiosity of mind and strength of spirit have enabled them to go beyond the boundaries of expectation.
While Fordham and the world mourns the loss of Pope John Paul II, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., the president of Fordham University, said that the celebration was fitting because of the pope’s affinity for New York and his expectations of Catholic colleges.
“Catholic universities are places where religion and culture, faith and reason come together [and where we can] work for the common good and build up the human family,” he said, referring to Fordham students as “transformers of society.”
The event attracted several high-profile guests, including best-selling mystery author Mary Higgins Clark (FCLC ’79); Ed Koch, former New York City mayor; Hugh Carey, former governor of New York; Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr.; Larry Kudlow, co-host of CNBC’s Kudlow & Cramer; Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY); Fernando Ferrer, president of the Drum Major Institute; and the Hon. Eugene Hutchinson, consul general of Ireland. NBC News Anchor Felicia Taylor served as the evening’s master of ceremonies and tenor Roberto Iarussi performed two arias. The evening concluded with a rousing rendition of the “Fordham Ram” performed by the Satin Dolls.
Upon receiving his award, Mozilo, the chairman and chief executive officer of Countrywide Financial Corporation, thanked his mother for insisting 50 years ago that he pursue a college education. He also credited his Fordham professors, particularly the Jesuits, for teaching him the importance of "disciplined behavior...and sharing your good fortune with others who are less fortunate."
“I still wear my Fordham ring on my finger…and carry its spirit in my heart,” Osgood said.
Osgood, the anchor of “CBS News Sunday,” said he had no idea when he stepped onto the Rose Hill campus and saw the WFUV radio tower in 1950 that broadcasting would be his future, but Fordham held great promise for him.
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society, offered the benediction at the conclusion of the event, praying for the soul of Pope John Paul II and thanking the evening’s honorees who he said “[reflect] the highest aspirations of the University’s defining traditions: wisdom and learning in service to humanity.”
The dinner co-chairs were Paul B. Guenther (FCRH ’62), chairman of the New York Philharmonic; Frank J. Petrilli (CBA’72), retired president of T.D. Waterhouse U.S.A; John N. Tognino (FCLS ’75), chairman and chief executive officer of the Pepper Financial Group; and William D. Walsh (FCRH ’51), founder of Sequoia Associates.
Established in 2002, the 160th year of the University’s history, the Fordham Founder’s Award recognizes individuals whose personal and professional lives reflect the highest aspirations of the University’s defining traditions, as an institution dedicated to wisdom and learning in the service of others. Recipients are designated Founders of Fordham for their own achievements and contributions to the University but also because they stand as exemplars of the renewal of the University in its identity and mission by different generations of Fordham men and women. The 2004 recipients were Mary Higgins Clark (FCLC ’79) and General John M. Keane (GBA ’66).