Fordham "DNA" Extends Across Four Generations
Many people could say that Fordham “runs in the family,” with siblings or parents and children proudly carrying on the Ram tradition. For Richard McCauley, FCRH ’53, whose grandson and grandnephew attend Fordham, the connection spans four generations and more than 100 years.
“I think that Fordham is almost a part of my DNA. It has meant so much in forming my life, I get emotional when thinking about it,” said McCauley, who grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “In my family, we knew two things. We knew we were going to Xavier High School, and we knew we were going to Fordham College.”
Richard McCauley’s father, Raymond F. McCauley, graduated from Fordham College at Rose Hill in 1922, preceded by Richard’s uncle, Paul J. McCauley in 1915. Several uncles and cousins also attended Fordham.
Richard and his brother, Lt. Paul J. McCauley, FCRH ’52, attended Fordham together, both members of the ROTC program and both commissioned into the army during the Korean War.
“My most vivid recollection of Fordham was actually my last day, my graduation day, June 6, 1953. The Korean War was still being waged and I, as well as many of my classmates, was also commissioned into the U.S. Army as part of the ceremony on Edwards Parade,” Richard said.
Richard’s son Brian McCauley graduated from FCRH in 1978 and his son Kevin McCauley earned his law degree from Fordham in 1979.
Now Richard is especially proud that his grandson, Kyle Tracy, a sophomore, and his grandnephew, David McCauley Balick, a freshman, are carrying on the family’s Fordham legacy.
“Clearly, I hope that they get a solid education, but even deeper than that, I hope that they strengthen their Christian values,” he said. “You can get an education from a lot of places, but I think the most important thing you can take from Fordham is your faith. You bring those values to your judgements, to your family, and to your relationships.”
Richard McCauley has been a Fordham football season ticket holder for decades. His grandnephew, David, a former high school athlete, has enjoyed being a part of that tradition this year, cheering on the Rams, who are undefeated after eight games—the team’s best start since 1930.
“I’ve attended every home game but the last one, when I was out of town. My high school never won, so it’s great to be at a school that’s winning,” he said.
A winning football team is just icing on the cake for David, who said that while his family’s connection to Fordham helped put the University on his radar, he chose Fordham for its excellent educational tradition.
“I like the idea of a Jesuit education, where your major is important, but it’s also considered important to be a well-rounded person and to be well spoken on many different things,” he said.
David’s grandfather Lt. Paul J. McCauley (Richard’s brother) died before David was born. Though he never had the chance to meet his grandfather, David said he was able to take one of his grandfather’s Fordham mementos with him to campus.
“For Christmas this year, my mom gave me my grandfather’s mug with the Fordham emblem on it, and it’s on my desk now,” David said. “It’s kind of cool to be walking around a place where the same traditions have been going on for so long.”
David’s mother, Kate McCauley Balick, said that while she did not attend Fordham, it has been meaningful to her to see her son enrolled in the University that has meant so much to her family.
“I’m thrilled for him to be getting a good Jesuit education, since I was raised by a man who was raised by Jesuits,” she said.
For Richard McCauley, the tremendous pride he feels at seeing his family’s Fordham legacy carried on brings to mind one very special campus memory. While he vividly recalls being commissioned into the U.S. Army on graduation day, he said the biggest moment of June 6, 1953, was yet to come.
“After the graduation, Phyllis Yeomans and I went to the chapel in Dealy Hall, where we were formally engaged in a solemn ceremony performed by Father Vincent Hart, S.J.,” Richard said.
“We married six months later and are looking forward to our 60th anniversary in less than three months. We are the parents of seven children and 20 grandchildren. Fordham remains a huge part of our lives.”