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An artist’s rendition from the early days of Fordham, then named St. John’s College.
Fordham Prep and University Celebrate 175 Years

July 27, 2016 On June 24, 1841, the feast of St. John the Baptist, Fordham University and Fordham Preparatory School were founded together as St. John's College, a small Catholic school in the Bronx, New York, serving just six students.

Today, Fordham Prep offers over 60 extracurricular activities to nearly 1,000 students, and Fordham University educates over 15,000 students each year in 10 schools. Together, they are celebrating 175 years of Jesuit educational excellence.

To kick off the yearlong celebration, the Fordham University community gathered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on June 24 for a Mass celebrated by Jesuit Father Joseph McShane, president of Fordham University. St. Patrick’s was a fitting location, as it is the final resting place of the school’s founder and first archbishop of New York, Fr. John Hughes.  

Fr. Joseph McShane, SJ, president of Fordham University, celebrates Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in honor of Fordham’s 175th anniversary.

"The cathedral is one of the other gifts that John Hughes gave to the church, the city and the country,” said Fr. McShane. "It is fitting therefore that we gather here, near his tomb, to celebrate what he did for us."

The Mass formally launched the 175th anniversary year, or Dodransbicentennial. Dodrans is Latin for three quarters. The celebration will include special events, speakers, exhibits and programs that highlight the school’s influence as the Jesuit university of New York.

On Aug. 31, the Fordham community will hold a Happy Dodransbicentennial Celebration at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Throughout the academic year the Sapientia et Doctrina Lecture Series will highlight distinguished speakers who will explore vital questions at the intersection of Fordham University’s mission and the most pressing challenges of the contemporary world. The series will commence Sept. 14 with the lecture “Fordham University: Made in New York.”

The Community Service Program was established at Fordham University in 1985, grounded in the Jesuit philosophy of "men and women for others."

The university will further celebrate the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis — care of the whole person — through When Shepherds Preach, which will bring bishops from around the country to preach during the 8 p.m. Sunday Mass at the University Church on the Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx. 

[Sources: Jesuits Northeast Province, Fordham University]

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