Pioneering Women in Philanthropy at Fordham

Kim Bepler, Fordham Trustee, Fordham Founder '07, Honorary Doctorate '22 

Kim Bepler, the executive trustee of the Stephen E. Bepler Estate and Trust, is one of the University’s most generous supporters.  Since her retirement in 2002, she has devoted much of her time to philanthropy focusing her efforts on causes directly related to the Jesuits and Jesuit education. Kim is a Fordham Trustee, a 2007 recipient of the Fordham Founder’s Award, and a 2022 honorary degree recipient.

Kim Bepler

Mary ByrnePh.D., TMC '72, GSAS '78, '83, PAR

Mary Byrne received a B.A. in theology from Thomas More College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Eastchester New York that focuses on individual psychotherapy for adults who suffer from anxiety and depression. Previously, Byrne was a staff psychologist at Four Winds Hospital in Katonah, New York, and with the crisis unit of the Bridgeport, Connecticut, Community Mental Health Center.

Mary Byrne

Joy Fernandez, GABELLI '88

After graduating from Fordham University in 1988 with a degree in accounting, Joy Fernandez began her career at EY in the entrepreneurial services group. After her children were born, she adopted a flexible work arrangement—and it didn’t stand in the way of her making partner in 2003: Fernandez was the Long Island office managing partner for five years before transitioning into her U.S. East regional independence leader role.

Joy Fernandez

Kathleen Anne Ford, J.D., FCRH '75, LAW '78

Kathleen Anne Ford, J.D, FCRH ‘75, LAW ‘78, was a member of the first class of women to graduate from Fordham College in 1975. After receiving her law degree, she spent her entire career in public service, including roles at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the Organized Crime Strike Force, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Office of Enforcement Operations at the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. She received numerous awards throughout her career, including the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the FBI Director’s Letter of Recognition, and the SEC Chairman’s Award for Excellence.

Kathleen Anne Ford, J.D, FCRH ‘75, LAW ‘78

Theresa Mao, Ph.D., GSAS '60, '64

Theresa Lim Mao, Ph.D., GSAS ’60, ’64 is a retired chemist, businesswoman, and philanthropist. A native of Taiwan, she moved to the U.S. when she was 18 years old. In 1964, she was hired by Exxon Mobil Corporation, then known as Esso Research, as the company’s first female chemist with a doctorate. Unfortunately, when Mao was 46, her husband, Peter T.H. Mao, M.D., died suddenly, leaving her to provide for their two daughters and prompting a career switch to real estate investment.

Theresa Lim Mao

Ann Marino, R.S.H.M., MC '63 

A native of New York City, Ann Thaddeus Marino, R.S.H.M., grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Marymount College in Tarrytown in 1963. Sister Marino was professed as a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary in 1957, and since then she’s taught in schools owned and staffed by the R.S.H.M. in New York, as well as abroad in Colombia, Spain, and Italy.

Ann Thaddeus Marino

Anne Williams-Isom, FCLC '86, Honorary Doctorate '18, James R. Dumpson Chair in Child Welfare Studies, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service

Anne Williams-Isom, FCLC '86, is the James R. Dumpson Chair in Child Welfare Studies at the Graduate School of Social Service and a 2018 honorary degree recipient. In January 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed Williams-Isom as the city’s deputy mayor for health and human services. A native of Queens and an alumna of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, she earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Prior to serving as a deputy mayor, Williams-Isom was chief operating officer and then chief executive officer of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Williams-Isom began her career in child welfare as the deputy commissioner of community and government affairs at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services.

Anne Williams-Isom