Student Handbook Introduction

Dear Fordham Student:

It is my privilege and my pleasure to welcome you to Fordham University for the academic year. In making the decision to pursue your undergraduate education at Fordham, you have chosen a distinctive institution with a proud and rich history and a promising future. Our history spans over 150 years, and is rooted in the nearly 500- year-old Ignatian tradition of education that has long been the hallmark and spirit of Jesuit education. Throughout your tenure here, you will hear Fordham’s history, traditions and future described in many different ways by many different people. The defining element that connects Fordham’s past, present and future is the people whose contributions have made it what it is today, and will provide the promise of what it can become tomorrow.

As a student at Fordham University, you have a very important role to play in the life of the institution. You are the fortunate beneficiary of the many contributions of those who have come before you. You also have a very important responsibility to assist in defining what Fordham is and should be today. Perhaps most important, you are now one of the caretakers of Fordham’s future, responsible for protecting its proud legacy and ensuring its promise of tomorrow for those who will come after you. These responsibilities will be filled with excitement and challenge for you, this year and in the years to come.

During your time here, I encourage you to take an active role in your own education, and in the development of the special communities of Fordham. Understand that a liberal education is as much about character, values, morals, and social responsibility as it is about intellectual development and critical thinking. Strive for excellence in everything you do, and never settle for mediocrity. Commit yourself to the service of others less fortunate than yourself, now and in your future life beyond our gates. Be open to different ideas, and to the many different people and cultures of our campus and world. Learn to live with others in harmony, and to use our collective differences for the betterment of our society.

Take the time to dream and to reflect on your development as a whole person. In so doing, shape and refine your vision of who you are, and who you want to become. The faculty, administrators and staff are here for you, and because of you. We will assist and support you in the process of your education. In doing so, we will also challenge you to stretch your mind, heart and spirit. Do not be afraid to call on us for assistance.

This is the tradition and legacy of Fordham, of which you are now a very important part. This privilege comes with significant responsibilities. Remember, from those who have been given much, much is also expected. Best wishes for a successful academic year.

Jeffrey L. Gray
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs