Michael R. Andrews ’89 Scholarship Connects Alumni, Boosts Participation, and Honors Classmate

Michael R. Andrews ’89  Scholarship Connects Alumni, Boosts Participation, and Honors Classmate

Creative and thoughtful Fairfield alumni find inspiring ways to support their alma mater, as evidenced by the efforts of Andrew Davis ’89, Matthew McLaughlin ’89, and Joseph Solimine Jr. ’89. Together, these classmates created the Michael R. Andrews ’89 Scholarship to commemorate Mike, their friend and fellow alumnus, whose life was taken during the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
Since its inception in 2005, the scholarship fund has grown steadily thanks to the proceeds of an annual golf outing and other memorial events that bear Mike’s name. With the dedication and leadership of Andy, Matt, and Joe, and foremost through the overwhelming generosity of hundreds of donor participants — alumni, colleagues, and friends — the fund is now closing in on the $1 million mark.

“The journey has been a wonderful ride for the three of us. We feel so fortunate to have been able to reconnect and, more importantly, to stay connected to a large and growing circle of friends in memory of a great person,” said Davis, a commercial finance manager at PA Consulting. “We certainly feel a sense of pride when we see Fairfield’s Annual Report on Giving each year and the list of donors to the Michael R. Andrews ’89 Scholarship Fund takes up a page and a half.”

The Final Golf Outing
This fall will be the 12th and final Mike Andrews Open as the trio moves on to fundraise for the scholarship in other capacities.

“We thought we were going to quietly end the golf outings last year,” Davis said. “But Frank Carroll ’89, president of the Board of Trustees and our classmate, stepped up and offered his support for one more big event at his home course.”

“The setting, the location, and the ability to give all involved a chance to go out on the very highest of notes seemed like a perfect fit.  We have been so blessed to have people like Frank step up for us to help make these outings so successful every year.”

The Future
Andy, Matt, and Joe feel that they have only hit the tip of the iceberg with their fundraising work and that the last 12 years have been primarily about reconnecting in Mike’s honor.  But they have vowed to continue fundraising in some fashion until the scholarship becomes “the biggest and most valuable in Fairfield’s portfolio.”

“Three years ago, we had the scholarship recipients come to the outing and speak at the dinner afterwards and it was an amazing feeling for all of us in the room,” Davis continued.  “We collectively saw the result of our efforts  — two awesome students benefiting from some money we raised, neither of whom might have been able to attend Fairfield without the scholarship.  Beyond that, these students had a keen understanding of who Mike Andrews was and what he meant to us.  In a small way, Mike’s name is living on with them forever.  We can almost hear the stereo from Mike’s room on Loyola three blaring again with his favorite artist, Bruce Springsteen, ‘…we made a promise, we swore we’d always remember, no retreat, baby, no surrender!’”

On Giving Back to Fairfield
“It has been a great experience for us and a chance to strengthen friendships, and it can be so rewarding on a personal level,” Davis said.  “The University will work with and support you all the way. The fundraising part is great and important, but does not have to be the core reason to do it. At the very heart of it, we wanted to do something to remember and honor Mike.  We were determined not to let anything get in the way of that.” ●F