Tributes to Joseph M. McShane, S.J.


Father McShane Chats with Students on the Rose Hill Campus

A Leader of Character

Since September, when Father McShane announced his decision to step down as president of Fordham on June 30, 2022, members of the Fordham family and a host of educational, religious, and civic leaders have shared personal messages of gratitude for his transformational leadership of the Jesuit University of New York.


Joe Biden
46th President of the United States

It is my honor to recognize your accomplishments as the 32nd President of Fordham University. For nearly 19 years, you have led the university with faith, dedication, and love through unprecedented challenges and an ever-changing world.

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Arturo Sosa, S.J.
Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Your colleagues describe you as a “a fierce guardian of Ignatian values.” In a world that too often tempts us to follow other paths, I thank you for inspiring Fordham to embody in word and in deed the core values of Igatian education.

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Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York

It is a joy to greet you as you gather to celebrate the dedication of the Joseph M. McShane, S.J. Campus Center at the Rose Hill Campus of Fordham University. What a fitting honor for Father McShane, who has devoted so much of his life and priesthood to this magnificent university!

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Very Rev. Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J.
Provincial, USA East Province of the Society of Jesus

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 1981

I have no doubt that God’s blessings will continue to be showered upon you as you embrace a new mission after some well-deserved time of renewal. Thank you, Joe, for all you have done and all you will do for the people to whom you are sent.

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Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.
Archbishop of Newark

I congratulate and applaud your dedication to Catholic education and for all that you have done for Fordham University, most especially for its students, faculty, staff, and parents. Since 2003, you have expanded and transformed Fordham University from a well-respected regional institution to a prestigious national university.

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Archbishop Gabriele Caccia
Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations

Allow me further to avail myself of this occasion to express my gratitude for your friendship with and support for the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. For many years, you have facilitated the participation of outstanding students from the Graduate Program in International Political Economy and Development in our internship program, enabled the service of several Fordham professors as experts of the Permanent Observer Mission, and supported the work of The Path to Peace Foundation.

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Rev. Thomas J. Regan, S.J.
Superior, Fordham University Jesuit Community

Fordham University Trustee
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Classes of 1982 and 1984

On behalf of your Jesuit brothers, I write to express our heart-felt appreciation for all that you have done throughout your time at Fordham, not only for the university but also for the Jesuit community. You are a shining example of what it means to be a Jesuit.

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Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

My dear Father McShane, you are a visionary spirit with a gift of innovative thinking and the tenacious patience required to successfully lead meaningful reform. You have positively impacted and shaped the lives of so many people during your tenure at Fordham.

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The McShane Family

It is unlikely that Owen McShane could have imagined the important role this great institution would play in the lives of three generations of McShanes and that his son Joe would one day become the thirty-second president of Fordham University. But it is not hard for us to imagine the bursting pride he would have felt were he here with us today.

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Todd G. Cosenza
Chair, Fordham University President's Council

Gabelli School of Business, Class of 1995
Fordham School of Law, Class of 1998

We are grateful that when you arrived at Fordham in 2003 as its 32nd President, you had a vision to create a Council of Fordham’s top supporters, and to marshal our philanthropy and enthusiasm for Fordham’s mission in a multitude of powerful ways.

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Tania Tetlow
President, Loyola University New Orleans

President-Elect, Fordham University

For decades, you have given Fordham everything you have, with passionate and tireless effort. You brought brilliant strategy, rising ambition, mission and purpose. And, most of all, you have loved the people of Fordham—her students, faculty, staff and alumni—with all of your heart.

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Robert D. Daleo
Chair, Fordham University Board of Trustees

Gabelli School of Business, Class of 1972

Father McShane’s accomplishments could fill several volumes … and still be an incomplete list, but what animates the Fordham community—and what our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents are all drawn to—is his deep commitment to its Jesuit tradition and teachings, and his love for the University and the Fordham family.

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Michael R. Bloomberg
Founder, Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies
108th Mayor of New York City

Father McShane’s leadership has brought extraordinary growth to Fordham, which can be measured not only by its footprint, but also by its prestige and reputation. For many years, Bloomberg Philanthropies has been fortunate to have the benefit of his wise counsel as a board member—and all of New York has benefited from his commitment to the city he loves and the university community he has served so well.

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The Students of Fordham University, Rose Hill
Composed by the United Student Government at Rose Hill

The students of Fordham University at Rose Hill would like to thank Father McShane for his nineteen years of service as Fordham’s President. Jesuit historian Fr. John O’Malley, SJ commented that St. Ignatius wanted Jesuits to go out and “find God in all things.” Father McShane, we find meaning here in this new student center: in our peers, in our relationships, in our work, and in our opportunities. We look forward to honoring your legacy by dedicating this space to you.

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Joseph VanGostein
President, United Student Government at Lincoln Center

Cunniffe Scholar and Global Business Honors Program Member
Gabelli School of Business, Class of 2022

It is often remarked that when you meet a truly inspirational person, you may not always remember what he said or did, but you will always remember how he made you feel. Well, from my four years at Lincoln Center, I know this to be true for you, Father.

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Ted Koppel and Grace Anne Dorney Koppel*
2003 Fordham Honorary Degree Recipients

* Undergraduate School of Education, Class of 1960

We suspect that everyone reading this brief note of tribute (for that is what this is) has had a similar experience, where a brief comment, a phone conversation, a text to or with Fr. McShane has led to a tsunami of unexpected and usually brilliant consequences.

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Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
Senate Majority Leader

It is an honor to pay tribute to my good friend, Father Joseph McShane, whose impact on Fordham University and the surrounding community over nearly three decades of service has been nothing less than extraordinary.

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Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

Like all of you, I have so much admiration for Father McShane. I send him my warm wishes for a wonderful next chapter and extend my gratitude for his service to the people of New York. To everyone celebrating the dedication of the new Joseph M. McShane, S.J. Campus Center, please know that I am celebrating with you.

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Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York

Father McShane’s nearly two decade long role as president of Fordham University saw a remarkable period of growth in the history of this school, due to his insightful leadership and deep commitment to higher education. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I join with a grateful Fordham community in acknowledging Father McShane’s legacy of excellence that will long have an impact on this prestigious institution.

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Eric Adams
Mayor of New York City

New York City is celebrated for its world-class universities and the many renowned faculty members and staff who have made a tremendous difference in the lives of their students. A giant among them is Father Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

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Rep. Jerrold Nadler
Member of Congress, 10th District

School of Law, Class of 1978

As a Fordham LAW ’78 alumnus, I write to commemorate the remarkable legacy of outgoing University President Father Joseph M. McShane. I am honored to recognize Father McShane’s 19 years of service to this institution, during which he presided over the University’s transformation to a prestigious global university. Thanks to his leadership, he leaves Fordham a larger, more prominent institution offering innovative academic programs to the most diverse enrollment ever.

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Rep. Ritchie Torres
Member of Congress, 15th District

As a Representative of the Bronx, I am pleased to join you in celebrating the opening of the Joseph M. McShane, S.J. Campus Center to commemorate the many extraordinary accomplishments of Father McShane as the 32nd Fordham University President.

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Lester W. Young, Jr., Ed.D.
Chancellor, New York State Board of Regents

Graduate School of Education, Class of 1978

It is Father McShane’s unrelenting work to make Fordham—and indeed the whole world—a kinder and more equitable place for all that stands out most for me. Under his leadership, Fordham has become a model of diversity and inclusion in both its student and faculty populations.

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Thomas P. DiNapoli
New York State Comptroller

During Father McShane’s leadership over the past two decades, the university has invested more than $1 billion in major capital projects and expanded its enrollment to over 16,000 students. The dedicated members of the Fordham University community are honoring cherished traditions, and helping create a brighter, more compassionate future for New York State.

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Letitia James
Attorney General, State of New York

It is certainly right and fitting that Father McShane's exceptional contributions over the past two decades be recognized. Under his stewardship, the university has undergone unprecedented growth and successfully weathered a global pandemic.

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Carl E. Heastie
Speaker, New York State Assembly

Father McShane has led one of the most remarkable periods of Fordham’s long history, providing much-needed leadership during a global pandemic and a national revival of social justice activism. I would like to extend my most sincere congratulations to Father McShane on this great honor.

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Toby Ann Stavisky
New York State Senator, 16th District

I thank Father McShane for his leadership in the higher education community and for his nineteen years as President of Fordham University. As people pass the Center, they will honor the past and celebrate the future.

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Deborah J. Glick
New York State Assembly Member, 66th District

I am grateful for Father McShane’s work, and that his legacy will live on at Fordham. I wish him much success (and rest!) in whatever lies ahead, and again congratulate him and the Fordham community on this happy day.

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Alessandra Biaggi
New York State Senator, 34th District

Fordham School of Law, Class of 2012

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes on your retirement as President of Fordham University. During your tenure, Fordham has seen record-breaking enrollment growth, increased support for student-faculty collaboration and research, and innovative new academic programs and partnerships—all of which have helped propel the university to new heights.

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José Rivera
New York State Assembly Member, 78th District

As Father McShane embarks on this new chapter, I would like to personally wish him well and thank him for his contributions to my community. His efforts have gone beyond just serving the University, he has been an asset and in partnership has helped elevate the borough’s status. He leaves behind a more diverse, inclusive and affirmed Fordham community.

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Adrienne E. Adams
Speaker, New York City Council

Guided by his faith and a deep devotion to the treasured traditions and values for which Fordham has always stood—excellence, integrity, and perseverance—he has served to empower thousands of students as they assume their respective roles as members of a global community.  

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Vanessa L. Gibson
Bronx Borough President

He has served with distinction and compassion, and has devoted his life to giving the students at Fordham a quality education. Father McShane will truly be missed by many in The Bronx.  I wish him much success in his future endeavors.

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George Latimer
Westchester County Executive

Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1974

Father McShane leaves behind an indelible legacy after nearly two decades at the helm. His devotion, dedication and commitment has transformed the University, increasing enrollment, diversity and fundraising. His footprint will continue to inspire generations to come.

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More Tributes from the Fordham Family

Andrea Chavez

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Father McShane, there is nothing more pure and more beautiful than the love of Jesus Christ, and I can tell you, on this day, that I see that in you, in Fordham, and all the students. Thank you for putting God first always in your life. I will follow your steps and do the same as well. I thank God for this amazing opportunity to be a Fordham student. I will work hard and make Fordham proud. Thank you for everything you have done for this incredible institution. You will forever be in my prayers. May God bless you today and always!

Anne Hoffman, Ph.D.
Professor of English

With gratitude for your care and concern for all members of the Fordham community.

Phillip Cicione

Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1987
Fordham Parent

Father McShane, Thank you for all you have done for the University we love so much. You make me proud to say I am a part of the Fordham Community. I hope that wherever you go next that you are as happy as you have been these past 19 years. Cheers.

Daria Bermudez

School of Professional and Continuing Studies, Class of 2024

Thank you for your many years of service and dedication at Fordham University, Father McShane, especially with the Jesuit Community. I know you will go on to do great things! All the best with your future endeavors! “Go forth, and set the world on fire.” (St. Ignatius Loyola)   

John Lenehan

School of Professional and Continuing Studies, Class of 2022

Congratulations, Father McShane. Your name will live forever at Fordham in recognition and gratitude for all the blessings you brought to the Fordham community.

John Cecero, S.J.
Vice President for Mission Integration and Ministry

Ever grateful for your enthusiastic and inspirational leadership!

Vincent DeCola, S.J.
Assistant Dean and Coordinator of Global Business, Gabelli School of Business

Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1982
Gabelli School of Business, Class of 2012

Fr. McShane has been a masterful leader, a great success for Fordham, but most importantly, he has been a sensitive and inspiring pastor to the Fordham family throughout some very difficult years. THANK YOU, Joe!

Timothy Bouffard
Senior Advisor to the Vice President for Mission Integration and Ministry

Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 2016
School of Law, Class of 2025

Fr. McShane is the reason I have Fordham in my life. I came to Fordham Spring Preview as a prospective student in April of 2012 very unsure of my plans for college. But then I heard Fr. McShane's speech in the Rose Hill Gym and I had all I needed to know to make my decision. I left campus with a sweatshirt and made my deposit the next day. It was the best decision of my life and I loved every second of my Fordham experience. Now I have the opportunity to work here at Rose Hill in a place that has been so meaningful to me. The place where I met the woman I love and plan to marry. The place where I am continuing my education and will become a lawyer, putting me on the path to future growth and success. I owe everything to Fordham. But really, I owe everything to the man who spoke that beautiful spring day and changed my life. Thanks for everything, Fr. McShane. We will miss you so very much.


Thank you for ALWAYS prioritizing Fordham employees! I've always appreciated the way you speak to individuals. You can speak to a facilities worker or a VP and give them the same treatment and respect. Your charisma and caring nature will truly be missed! Thank you for dedicating so many years of your life to this University and doing such an amazing job as President. 

Peter Johnson
Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing, Gabelli School of Business

We are grateful to God that you became a Jesuit leader and dedicated your mission to Fordham.

Kelly Stewart
Fordham Parent

Father McShane, thank you for your legendary leadership in placing Fordham at the forefront of educational excellence. We will miss your great Irish wit, your infinite wisdom, and your remarkable contributions to campus life. You will forever be remembered in the hearts and minds of Fordham graduates the world over, and your unwavering commitment to education will impact generations yet to come. With sincere best wishes.

Robert Parmach, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for First-Year Students, Fordham College at Rose HIll

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2002
Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, Class of 2007

Thank you for giving Fordham your whole being in mind, body, and spirit.

Joe Parkes, S.J.
Shrub Oak, Class of 1968
Former Trustee

Thank you, Fr. Joe McShane, for your excellent, indefatigable 19 years of service to Fordham University. The focus during your tenure as Fordham President was the academic enterprise and the spiritual-social growth of the students. You succeeded on both accounts, and your legacy will never be forgotten. It is an outstanding contribution to the glorious history of Jesuit education. God bless you. 

James P. Flaherty
Fordham Parent

Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1969

Inspiring priest and president, caring and witty administrator, and a great man and dear friend of the Flaherty family. Thank you for all you have meant to us.

Magda Teter, Ph.D.
Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies and Professor of History
Director, Center for Jewish Studies

Father McShane’s tenure has been transformative at Fordham on many levels. One of them is the existence of a thriving Center for Jewish Studies, which has become a nationally and internationally recognized leader in Jewish studies. Without Father McShane’s vision and support, there would be no such center at Fordham. This has had personal consequences: I would not have been here as the Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies. I am grateful for being given this opportunity to join Fordham and be part of this exciting project. I am grateful to Father McShane for his support over the years, before and since my arrival at Fordham.

Beth Knobel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies

My first year at Fordham in 2007, as a new faculty member, I thought it would be a good idea to attend the University’s Convocation, held in the McGinley Ballroom at Rose Hill. I happened to sit next to a woman whom I soon learned was President McShane’s wonderful assistant Dorothy Marinucci, who had the 40-page text of Father’s McShane's address on her lap.  Father did not have a copy of the speech at all, but simply spoke all 40 pages from memory.  The speech was laden with statistics, like how many books and papers the faculty of each Fordham school had published in the previous year. I could tell that he got them all correct, because I saw the numbers on the script Dorothy was holding for reference. Once, for dramatic effect, Father asked of one of these many figures, “Dorothy, did I get that number right?” to which she replied with a smile, “Yes, Father.” I was gobsmacked. Having worked as a journalist before joining the Fordham faculty, I had met numerous world leaders—and had never seen anything like what I had just witnessed from Father McShane. “This,” I thought to myself, “is a rare talent.” That impression only deepened over the years as I witnessed more remarkable things about Father McShane, including his ability to connect with people and to rally support for this university. I am particularly indebted to him for his support of the Sperber Book Prize, which I now direct—a prize for biographies of journalists and memoirs by journalists. He has almost always found the time to attend our awards ceremony, despite his overflowing plate. The job of running Fordham must be exhausting and complicated beyond anything I can imagine, but Father McShane made it look easy. I can only imagine the toll it has taken on him, and the sleepless nights he spent wrestling with problems. I remain amazed by this remarkable man. God bless, Father. May more wonderful things lie ahead. 

Clara Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology

Wishing  you well in the next phase of your life, and sending “un fuerte abrazo.”   

Craig Frank, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

I have known Fr. McShane since he was the Fordham College at Rose Hill Dean. It is difficult for me to imagine Fordham University without him.

Palmina*, Richard, and the Entire Fava Family
* President, Fordham Law Alumni Association

School of Law, Class of 1997

Dear Fr. McShane, thank you for being a steady and inspiring leader, a captivating orator, an amusing storyteller, and an ardent Fordham cheerleader. We are all better for knowing you and for being led by you. Warmest wishes for a next chapter of your life that is fulfilling and relaxing.

Robert J. Reilly
Former Assistant Dean, School of Law

Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1972
School of Law, Class of 1975
Fordham Parent

I have been a student of Fordham history for more than 50 years, and have read extensively about the people and situations which have shaped the University since its founding and as it stands today. This is what I see:

During his presidency, Fr. McShane has been a key motivator and partner in the elevation of the quality and reputation of all of the University’s schools to the point where each one is currently at, or near, the apex of its stature in the academic community. 

The campuses of Fordham, both in the construction and renovation of its buildings, and in the maintenance of its buildings and grounds, are currently at their highest level of quality ever.  The University is frequently cited as being among the most beautiful campuses in the nation. This is not an accident of nature. Fr. McShane pays attention to both the overall construction projects and even the smallest details of the appearance of the campuses, so that all beholders are left with an impression of excellence, thoughtful planning, and good care. 

During the course of any academic year, in every university, there are sudden events, on or off the campus and in society, that have impact on the students and faculty and staff of the school. In recent years, the nation has been convulsed over a health pandemic, as well as racial unrest. Fr. McShane’s response has been the ultimate expression and articulation of  the Jesuit values of promoting social justice for others and cura personalis for their students.  CBS-TV did a Sunday Morning show tribute to his leadership as an example for others in responsibility to follow. He always sounds the exact right note, at the right moment, without waiting to see what others are doing. He brings great honor to the University.

The responsibility for the financial health of any academic institution rests substantially on the shoulders of its president. During his tenure as president, Fr. McShane has raised over $1 billion for Fordham—this is not only far beyond what any other president has raised, it is more money raised by all other presidents combined, from Archbishop John Hughes to the present day. He has also overseen capital construction on the campuses in the amount of $1 billion, while at the same time raising the endowment of the University to over $1 billion, placing it in the highest category of academic institutions.

The role of president is both public and personal. At large gatherings for alumni, faculty, families, students and staff, he speaks with inspirational eloquence promoting the highest values of the university with humor, grace and insight. His interactions with students from the moment of their arrival is to find a common interest that might make them feel more connected and welcome—it is a very rare trait in someone so busy and pressured. He personally builds our community like no one else in Fordham’s history. From what I can tell, there is no other university president in the nation who can speak to prospective students and their parents with such good sense and logical persuasion that they leave the event convinced that this is the school that will better their lives.

In sum, Rev. Joseph M. Mcshane, S.J., is the greatest president in Fordham history.

Nick Leshi
Adjunct Instructor, Communication and Media Studies

Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1992
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 1999

He followed in the footsteps of a giant and became a giant himself. How lucky we are to have had Fr. McShane as our leader, our role model, and our friend! Thank you for all you have done for our Fordham community, for the legacy you leave behind, and for inspiring us all to be hopeful for the future. You encouraged us to recognize the gifts we’ve been given and to not be afraid to use those gifts in the service of others, in the process all becoming giants ourselves.

Linda Perri
Senior Executive Secretary, Office of Undergraduate Admission

Father McShane, a warm thanks for all you’ve done in the Lord’s service. May your path be filled with simple joys and blessings without end. God bless you!

Edward Stroz

Gabelli School of Business, Class of 1979

No person has ever done more to advance Fordham and make it the Jesuit University of New York than Fr. McShane. I have had the honor of working with him and seeing firsthand what he has done for the institution and its students. The dedication of the magnificent Joseph M. McShane, S.J. Campus Center in recognition of this man and his legacy is a source of immense pride.

Mario Gabelli, 1965 Alumnus, Namesake and Benefactor of the Gabelli School of Business, and Regina Pitaro, Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1976

Fordham is 181 years old. For nearly two decades now, the University has had the great good fortune to have the leadership of Fr. McShane.

He joined the school at a difficult time, and has expertly steered it through a financial crisis as well as the global pandemic, with all of the challenges it brought to New York and our academic community. It is a testament to his vision and leadership that in the last two decades, Fordham has thrived and emerged stronger than ever. Building projects at Lincoln Center helped propel it to a preeminent position in New York, and the Bronx campus has been revitalized. We extend our very best to our dear friend along with gratitude for all he has accomplished for the good of the University. He has been a tireless cheerleader for all things Fordham, and we wish him many more decades of good health and happiness.

Tom Lamberti, Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1952, and Eileen Lamberti

Father McShane is an extraordinary man of faith, wisdom, and grace. Fordham has been blessed by his 19 years of unparalleled service and leadership. He is a beloved member of the Fordham community. We will always remember his energy, stories, and love. We will miss him. May God bless him for the tasks that lie ahead.

Julie Fissinger
Executive Director of the President’s Council

Graduate School of Education, Class of 1996

Dear Father McShane, it’s been an honor to serve as the Executive Director of the President’s Council during your time as President. The University’s accomplishments during your time as President are too numerous to recount, but hopefully you view the creation of the Council among them. Thank you for the opportunity.

Eileen FitzGerald Sudler
Thomas More College, Class of 1971

You have truly been the Good Shepherd to countless young minds and hearts. Your mark will be upon Fordham and its extended family forever. Maith thú!

Michael J. Cosgrove
Trustee Fellow

Gabelli School of Business, Class of 1970

Joe, you moved Fordham ahead dramatically in academics, and together we transformed Lincoln Center. All the best in your next endeavor.

Gene Caiafa
President’s Council Member

Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1991

I think I speak for all alumni when I say that we feel a tremendous sense of pride in Fordham as it exists today. We were all fortunate to have experienced the energy, the leadership, and the vision of Fr. McShane. The reputation of Fordham university grew significantly during his tenure, and as a member of the President’s Council I looked forward to our time spent together—always enjoying his keen Irish intellect and wit! My family and I wish him our sincere best wishes in all of his future endeavors.

Carolyn Albstein, Trustee; Gabelli School of Business, Class of 1982; Fordham Parent; and Andy Albstein, School of Law, Class of 1981; Fordham Parent

With love, appreciation, and gratitude to a superb leader and wonderful friend. You are one of a kind and we are happy to have you in our lives.

Robert D. Daleo, Chair, Board of Trustees; Gabelli School of Business, Class of 1972; and Linda Daleo

Father McShane’s accomplishments could fill several volumes and still be an incomplete list, but what animates the Fordham community—and what our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents are all drawn to—is his deep commitment to its Jesuit tradition and teachings, and his love for the University and the Fordham family. He has been a passionate advocate for and steward of the University and its Jesuit values. He is beloved by the campus community and alumni who know him both as president and “pastor-in-chief.”

Chris Fitzmaurice, Trustee; Gabelli School of Business, Class of 1984; Fordham Parent; and Alison Fitzmaurice, Fordham Parent

Fordham is blessed to have the leadership of Father McShane. His accomplishments are nothing short of incredibly transformative.

Anita Batisti, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Graduate School of Education
Founding Director, Center for Educational Partnerships

Graduate School of Education, Class of 1978

Dear Father McShane, it has been an honor to serve under your inspirational leadership.  Over 16 years ago, when the Center for Educational Partnerships was established, you stated, “The Center for Educational Partnerships is a great step forward for the Graduate School of Education, which is and always has been a service school and a partner school.  

This is what Fordham is about, teaching teachers and helping them set hearts on fire in their students, so that a greater city and a greater nation can be built.” You too “have set our hearts on fire” and will be remembered as we continue our work. 

Hrishikesh Vinod, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
Director of the Institute for Ethics and Economic Policy

You have done so much for Fordham, sir.  We are grateful for your inspired leadership.

Carol Gibney
Associate Director of Campus Ministry

Graduate School of Social Service, Class of 2003

Many blessings to you as you step down from your role as president of Fordham. You have been an amazing leader and have built a legacy at Fordham for years to come! May this next chapter be filled with love, laughter, living and joy. You deserve it!

Liz Manigan
Associate Vice President for Development and University Events

Father McShane, it has been an honor and pleasure to work with and for you (for 19 years) on Fordham community celebrations—and now we are celebrating you! Your care, your leadership, and your energetic, thoughtful contributions to this institution and all it touches are astounding. Here's to your Fordham legacy … and to your future endeavors! Many thanks—go Rams!

Valerie Rainford

Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1987

Fordham will not be the same without you! Thank you for being an incredible servant leader. We will miss you!

Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock
Visual Arts Program Head, Lincoln Center Campus
Clinical Associate Professor of Visual Arts

Many years ago, I wrote to Father McShane about an exhibition that we were holding in one of the visual arts department galleries. Much to my surprise, he wrote back—the President of Fordham University responded to me, a young adjunct! What a delightful shock. Long story short, there have been many such exchanges over the past nineteen years, always peppered with his tremendous insights, extraordinary wit, and ever-present care.

“Going back to Coney Island anytime soon with your young son?” he would ask. “Are you keeping a close watch on our mutual rapscallion friend [Joe, a colleague in my department]? He's a wily one.”

Institutional hierarchy can be impenetrable; however, I always knew that if I wrote to Father McShane, I would get a thoughtful response, and often in record-breaking time. That knowledge and the bountiful presence of kindness and respect are among the many reasons Fordham has always felt like a family. Thank you, Father McShane, for setting the tone and leading by example.

Carolyn Dolan
Trustee Fellow
Marymount College, Class of 1968

Two decades of progress: Father McShane has worked on all levels to make Fordham one of the leading higher education institutions in the United States and possibly in the world. The students, alumni, and professional staff have seen the college develop new programs, improve the facilities at all campuses, and be a leader in many academic disciplines. We are forever indebted to Father McShane and thank you for your vision that has led to a Fordham University that makes the students, alumni, and staff proud.

Chantz Kouveras

Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 2022

Father McShane has, since I first met him by chance on an admitted students’ day, been a kind forward face of the University. His leadership, his charisma, and his genuine compassion have been an example to myself and all of Fordham. Anytime I saw that he’d be presiding over Mass, I put in extra effort to make it (even on weekdays)! I count myself lucky to have spent my four years at Fordham with him as president. 

Joel I. Picket* and Joan Picket
Friends of Fordham
* Trustee Fellow

Dear Fr. McShane, congratulations on your 19-year tenure at Fordham and the naming of the Campus Center in your honor! Certainly no one deserves this tribute more than you. You have tirelessly worked on behalf of the University—no one could have shown more dedication or love. You increased the endowment fund and the academic stature of the University. You cared deeply about both the students and faculty, the Fordham spirit and a Jesuit education. You improved the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses with great new facilities. You hold the attention of all when you speak publicly and offer sage advice in private.

John R. Costantino, Trustee Emeritus; Gabelli School of Business, Class of 1967; School of Law, Class of 1970; Fordham Parent; and Barbara Costantino, Fordham Parent

Trying to find words to describe what Father Joseph M. McShane has meant to Fordham is virtually impossible. His 19 years as president were filled with enormous accomplishments, even in sometimes difficult circumstances. His deep and abiding commitment to the institution, faculty, student body, and the alumni has always made Fordham home. He has always adhered to the important values of the Jesuit order and has instilled the drive in all to strive to attain the role of being “in service to others.” He will be sorely missed but certainly not forgotten. I’ve had the privilege and good fortune of working with Father as a trustee and trustee emeritus for all his years as President. Barbara and I are proud and honored to call him our friend.

Bennett Reinhardt

Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Class of 2023

Fr. McShane has the incredible ability to approach his presidential duties with a personal touch—leaving so many Fordham students, including myself, with fond memories of conversation and welcome. A good-humored and sharp wit, he has surely brightened my Fordham experience, starting with his hilarious address to new students at the beginning of my first year.

Casandra Gomez

Congratulations Father McShane and thank you for your leadership and dedication to Fordham. May you enjoy a peaceful and healthy retirement and may God bless you always.

Patrick Russell

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve this tremendous institution that you have led for the past 19 years. While I only have been here for four years, I have enjoyed and appreciated every event and every reception where you have spoken to alumni, parents and friends about Fordham's progress and vision. And always there have been a few laughs. Every event came with the message: "Brag about Fordham...pray for Fordham... and give to Fordham". And let's face it, we will never have a University President who greets you at the nametag table, remembers your home parish, remembers your accomplishments while a student at Fordham and personally attaches the nametag to one's lapel. To a gracious man - Cheers!

Gaynor Gordon-Smith

Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies, Class of 2024

Humility and Kindness: Father McShane you will be missed but never forgotten. Quietly on a number of occasions you would stop by our custodian work spaces just to say thank you for all that we do for our noble Fordham University. You saw the man and not the title, you model the way of a true leader and today I thank you for being a President who loved and cared for all. The sky is not the limit, there is a new horizon beyond that, so enjoy the view and the new journey of life and may it be with longevity.

Patricia Cole

Graduate School of Social Service, Marymount College 1974 and 2015

Father McShane our great leader and visionary thank you. A special note of gratitude and appreciation also for the beautiful Butler Commons and forever home honoring the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary and Marymount Legacy.

Colleen Jones

Gabelli School of Business, 1988

The Rams from the past, the present, and the future say thank you, thank you, thank you! God bless you. With gratitude and warmth.

Jenifer Campbell

Graduate School of Education, 2019

Thank you for all you have done over the years to make Fordham excellent. Wishing you the best as you move on to other ventures.

Sally Spooner
Friend, Founder’s Award Recipient

The Jesuits gain is Broadway’s loss. Father McShane is the most engaging, compelling speaker ever.

Chris, Cheryl and Grace Kennedy
Alumnus, Student, Parent

Fordham College at Rose Hill

Thank you for your dedication to God’s children. Bless you in retirement.  

Kendra Kleintop
Current Student

Gabelli School of Business (Undergraduate)

Anytime I ask what brought my friends to Fordham, it is incredible how often their reason is Fr. McShane. In our junior and senior year in high school in 2020, he was such a prominent figure, providing healing words for the whole country. He provided words of affirmation to us before coming to Fordham, and he still does. He always seemed to say the exact right thing, and that might be the nature of the Jesuits, but we all believe it truly has to do with the goodness of him as a person.

Patrick Cullinan
Current Student 

Fordham College at Rose Hill

I serve as an acolyte occasionally for masses at the University Church. A few times, I've been lucky enough to serve with Father McShane. The first time this happened, I was assigned to hold the missal for Fr. McShane at the beginning and end of mass. I can remember being frightfully intimidated to be working so closely with the president, and dreadfully afraid that I'd mess up somehow and trigger his wrath. But Fr. McShane is not a wrathful man—he's kind and filled with humor and good spirits. Before every mass, he goes out of his way to meet the students in the sacristy, asking them where they went to high school (and usually commenting upon their high school, if it's Catholic). He's always happy to answer questions about the university's history—he eagerly told me all about the cardinal crests which hang around the altar in the church. And he always makes sure to engage in some gentle ribbing with his fellow Jesuits, who themselves are eager to get in a playful dig about his tardiness or self-importance. All in good fun, of course. You can tell that these men love each other, and love the work they do together. In everything he does, our president makes it clear that Fordham is his home and he strives to make it a home for all students. I will miss him very much.

Alexander Demoleas
Alumnus, Friend, Staff

Fordham College at Rose Hill (Undergraduate) 1989, Gabelli School of Business (Graduate) 1994

Having worked in the IT department of Fordham University my entire career, I have had the blessing and honor to work with Father McShane in his role as the Dean of Fordham College At Rose Hill and again as the President of the University.  I can't think of leader that was more effective at providing a clearer vision and direction for the University.   His commitment had countless positive effects on the University as a whole while manifesting itself in so many individuals students and employee alike, thus embodying the spirit of Cura personalis to each member of the Fordham community.  While Father carried the weight of the University on his shoulders, he always found the time to personally congratulate us in times of success, encourage us in times of struggle and console us in times of loss.  Always selflessly fulfilling his pastoral calling as a servant of Jesus Christ.  Father you will be deeply missed.

Alexander Hom
Current Student, Friend

Fordham College at Rose Hill 2024

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for Fordham. You and your legacy is an inspiration to us all, living on in our new campus center and most of all, our shared memories. May you have a very healthy, safe and enjoyable retirement which you've certainly earned and deserve.

Jim Baisley
Alumnus, Parent

Fordham College at Rose Hill, School of Law College 1954; Fordham Law school 1961

Shortly after Father McShane became President, he came to Chicago to meet  with what was a handful of Fordham graduates like myself. After discussing Fordham and his responsibilities, he paused and said ""I want you to do three things for Fordham.""  After talking about the need to ""talk up"" Fordham and to consider sending our children there, he paused. I expected him to talk about making donations to Fordham but instead he closed by saying ""I want you to pray for Fordham."" In this age of of pernicious secularism, his words were a breath of fresh air. Today, Fordham is well known in Chicago; a plethora of my friends have sent their children to Fordham; and it has become the ""go to"" school for local high school graduates. Why? Because parents are assured that in addition to receiving an outstanding education on secular subjects, by getting to know Father McShane and members of the Fordham faculty like him, they will also learn something about""what is man, what is man's purpose."" Father McShane's spiritual approach to everything has been the source of his success and Fordham has been privileged to have him as its leader." A son and six grandchildren are graduates or currently at Fordham.