At this year’s Fairfield Awards Dinner, over 700 alumni, parents and friends raised the bar with $1.35 million for scholarships

At this year’s Fairfield Awards Dinner, over 700 alumni, parents and friends raised the bar with $1.35 million for scholarships

This year’s annual Fairfield Awards Dinner at the Grand Hyatt in New York City on March 26 was attended by over 700 alumni, parents, and friends of the University, who gathered together to celebrate three special members of the Fairfield community and to raise money for the University’s Multicultural Scholarship Fund.

This flagship event for the University celebrates the Ignatian values that Fairfield has embraced since the time of its foundation — to provide access and opportunities for further education to all deserving students regardless of their socioeconomic background.

This year’s dinner raised $1.35 million in new scholarship funds. The amount raised brings the historic and cumulative Awards Dinner total to over $16 million since 1988.

The honorees for this year’s event were Brian P. Hull ’80, P’13, a member of the Fairfield University Board of Trustees and chairman and head of strategic clients for UBS Group Americas, who received the Alumni Professional Achievement Award; Elner L. Morrell ’81, P’03, board member of the Connecticut Community Foundation, an IT Architecture Consultant at United Health Group, Inc., and past member of the University’s Board of Trustees who received the Alumni Service Award; and Mark C. Reed ’96, the University’s senior vice president for administration and chief of staff and adjunct professor for the Mathematics Department and the Dolan School of Business’ MBA program, who received the Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award.

Fairfield University president, Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., said in his remarks that the Awards Dinner was a vital part of the University’s mission in education, and added that, “This mission is more critical than it has ever been, as we must strive together as a community to make those opportunities available to persons of all backgrounds.”

This year’s Awards Dinner co-chairs, who led the Dinner committee of 30 alumni and parents, were Douglas W. Hammond ’86, Chairman and CEO of NFP, and Paul J. Huston ’82, Chairman of Hudson Ferry Capital.

“Our attendance here tonight represents an investment in the lives of Fairfield students,” Huston said in his opening remarks. “And we want to ensure that Fairfield is accessible to engaged students who need financial assistance so that they, like generations before them, like many of us, may benefit.”

The Multicultural Scholarship Fund supports scholarships to students of diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, and has been awarded to nearly 500 students over the years. Recipients have gone on to study aerospace engineering, manage world-wide financial companies, become esteemed writers, and create positive change in politics and education.

The featured speaker and master of ceremonies was ABC News anchor Tom Llamas, an accomplished award-winning journalist who has covered historical events, including the Boston Marathon bombings, super storm Sandy and the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Llamas is a graduate of the Jesuit-operated Loyola University in New Orleans and Belen Preparatory School in Miami, Florida.

In his remarks, Llamas acknowledged Bob Murphy ’71, a vice president at ABC, who had invited him to speak at the event, and spoke of the gratitude he felt for having been able to attend two Jesuit institutions.

A highlight of the evening was a performance by The Alternate Routes, an American rock band comprised of three Fairfield alumni. Eric Donnelly ’01, Tim Warren ’03, and Kurt Leon ’07, performed their hit single, Nothing More, which was featured at the 2014 Olympics closing ceremonies and has been performed on national television.