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Ribbon Cutting Marks Official Opening of Fordham Westchester


A day of pouring rain couldn’t tamp down smiles on the crowd of nearly 200 people who attended the ribbon cutting at Fordham’s new campus in Westchester County, N.Y.

“It may be raining outside, but the sun is shining inside,” said John N. Tognino (FCLS ’75), chairman of the Fordham University Board of Trustees, at the Sept. 9 ceremony.

Fordham Westchester is a three-story, 62,500-square-foot building set on 32 landscaped acres at 400 Westchester Ave. in bucolic West Harrison. It is home to the adult undergraduate program as well as the graduate schools of Social Service, Religion and Religious Education, Education, and Business Administration.

Cheering the ribbon cutting at Fordham Westchester are (l to r): the Hon. Andrew J. Spano, Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., Joan Walsh, John N. Tognino, Patrick Ryan, S.J., and Joseph M. McShane, S.J. Photo by Chris Taggart

“This is a momentous and joyous occasion,” Tognino added. “Fordham continues its tradition with the dedication of this new facility in Westchester County.”

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, said his heart filled with gratitude and pride every time he walked the campus last summer as it underwent $8 million in renovations.

As it stands, the building includes 26 classrooms with technological amenities such as “smart boards,” teleconferencing capabilities and newly installed seating and learning areas.

“It’s a magnificent structure in which students can search for wisdom,” Father McShane said. “Fordham will contribute to the welfare of the county as it offers students an education marked by excellence.”

He thanked a number of people who made the move to the new campus possible, including Jim Houlihan (CBA ’74), who with his “encyclopedic knowledge of commercial real estate in Westchester” pointed members of the administration to the new location; the Hon. Andrew J. Spano, Westchester County executive and Fordham alumnus; and Joan Walsh, town supervisor and mayor of Harrison.

“The people and officials of Harrison are delighted that you are here, bringing a Fordham education to Harrison and Westchester County,” Walsh said.

Spano, who noted that he was an undergraduate at Fordham before the Lincoln Center campus was built, said the opening of Fordham Westchester marked yet another milestone in Fordham’s illustrious history.

Father McShane gave special thanks to four people without whom the move to the new campus would not have been possible:

• Brian J. Byrne, Ph.D., vice president for administration, “for his astounding command of detail.”

• Mark Valera, associate vice president for administration and facilities, “who made sure all the work was done with care.”

• Ron Jacobson, Ph.D., associate vice president for academic affairs, dean of Summer Session and executive director of academic programs at Fordham Westchester, “who rallied all the academic troops with enthusiasm.”

• John Spaccarelli, assistant director of facilities operations and director of special projects, “the quiet wonder worker who oversaw the transformation of the building to how you see it this morning.”

Jacobson, who referred to the new campus as a “nexus of nature and nurture,” said it is “wonderfully accessible” not only for those in Westchester County, but also for residents of Putnam and Rockland counties in New York and Fairfield County in Connecticut.


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