All in the Family
Legacy Alumni Celebrate at Commencement
By Rachel Buttner and Miles Doyle
For the fourth consecutive year, the Office of Alumni Relations hosted a pre-commencement legacy breakfast in the William D. Walsh Family Library for Fordham alumni with family members in this year’s graduating class. More than 120 seniors and their relatives swapped stories about their alma mater prior to the start of the University’s 164th Annual Commencement on May 16.
|Arthur Chin, CBA '09, joins his family, from left to right, Benjamin Chin, Constance Fung, Sylvia Chin, LAW '77, and Edward Chin, LAW '77, during the Office of Alumni Relations' annual pre-commencement legacy breakfast in the William D. Walsh Family Library. |
Photo by Bruce Gilbert.
Sylvia Chin, LAW ’77, attended the morning reception with her husband, Edward Chin, LAW ’77, and her son, Arthur, who was one of 455 College of Business Administration graduates.
“I’m very excited to be back,” she said. “We’ve always been a close Fordham family.
“It’s special of Fordham to have this reception.”
Arthur Chin, CBA ’09, said his family’s strong connection to Fordham made the University that much more attractive while he was beginning his college search.
“My parents definitely influenced my decision to come to Fordham,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them.”
Siblings are also part of the University’s ever-growing family. Deanna Howes, FCRH ’07, shared a campus with her brother, John Howes, FCRH ’09, for two semesters, after she returned from her junior year abroad in 2006.
“We really enjoyed being on campus together,” she said. “Although we both had such different experiences and led such different lives [on campus], we share an understanding of Fordham. "We know what it means to graduate from here.”
Legacy alumni were also invited to march in the commencement procession. Two in particular, Nelson Gonzalez, CBA ’75, and John Longobardi, CBA ’85, acted as alumni banner bearer and marshal for the ceremony, respectively. Both attended the morning reception.
For some alumni, returning to Rose Hill for commencement is a semi-annual occurrence. Jeanne Moccia, FCRH ’76, described being back at Fordham in early May as “old hat." Her son, William, FCRH ’09, a member of the Fordham Club, the University’s honor society and advisory group, earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude in English and history, with a minor in philosophy. “It’s a tradition for our family,” she said.
|Before leading the Fordham alumni procession at the University's 164th Annual Commencement, Nelson Gonzelez, CBA '75, poses with his daughter, Jeannette Gonzalez, CBA '09, in front of the alumni banner. |
Photo by Bruce Gilbert.
Jeanne Moccia and her husband, John Moccia, CBA ’76, and their other son, Stephen, a freshman at Fordham College at Rose Hill, are proud to be part of a large Fordham family that includes eight graduates.
“There wasn’t enough room on the [application] form,” joked Moccia about William's effort to list all his relations who are Fordham alumni when he applied for undergraduate admission.
Although the graduating seniors were undoubtedly the stars of the day, members of the Class of 2009 were more than happy to acknowledge their parents, siblings and other relatives who graduated before them. A few students were fortunate enough to have a parent join them on stage when they received their diplomas.
“It meant a lot to me,” said Caitlin Coldrick, CBA ’09, whose father, David Coldrick, CBA ’68, helped Dean Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., present Caitlin with her degree at the College of Business Administration’s diploma ceremony. “It added a special, personalized touch to the ceremony.”
—Rachel Buttner is the assistant editor of FORDHAM magazine. Miles Doyle, FCRH '01, is the magazine's associate editor.