They are a Jesuit, Catholic university. Their spirit comes from the nearly 500-year history of the Jesuits. It’s the spirit of full-hearted engagement—with profound ideas, with communities around the world, with injustice, with beauty, with the entirety of the human experience.
This is what makes them Fordham: They are a tight community in New York City, and they value and educate the whole person. Much of their Jesuit history and mission comes down to three ideas, which, translated from the Latin, mean roughly this:
-Strive for excellence in everything you do.
-Care for others.
-Fight for justice.
It adds up to an education that works.
Wisdom, experience, morality, critical thinking, creative problem-solving. This is what Fordham students take into the world.
A Transformative History
When John Hughes, coadjutor bishop (later archbishop) of New York, established Fordham as St. John’s College on June 24, 1841, he considered it a “daring and dangerous undertaking”—not least because he initially lacked the funds to purchase the land where he saw a great university taking root.
But he persevered. He understood instinctively that education is the key to first-class citizenship for immigrants and to success for all. And he was determined to establish the first Catholic institution of higher education in the Northeastern United States. Thus, a small college in a farming village was transformed into the Jesuit University of New York.
Inspired by the archbishop’s spirit, thousands upon thousands of students, faculty, and alumni have come together through the years—all in the shared pursuit of wisdom and learning in the service of others.
Fordham University, the Jesuit University of New York, is committed to the discovery of Wisdom and the transmission of Learning, through research and through undergraduate, graduate and professional education of the highest quality. Guided by its Catholic and Jesuit traditions, Fordham fosters the intellectual, moral and religious development of its students and prepares them for leadership in a global society.
Characteristics of the University
As a University . . .
Fordham strives for excellence in research and teaching, and guarantees the freedom of inquiry required by rigorous thinking and the quest for truth.
Fordham affirms the value of a core curriculum rooted in the liberal arts and sciences. The University seeks to foster in all its students life-long habits of careful observation, critical thinking, creativity, moral reflection and articulate expression.
In order to prepare citizens for an increasingly multicultural and multinational society, Fordham seeks to develop in its students an understanding of and reverence for cultures and ways of life other than their own.
As a Catholic University . . .
Fordham affirms the complementary roles of faith and reason in the pursuit of wisdom and learning. The University encourages the growth of a life of faith consonant with moral and intellectual development.
Fordham encourages faculty to discuss and promote an understanding of the ethical dimension of what is being studied and what is being taught.
Fordham gives special attention to the study of the living tradition of Catholicism, and it provides a place where religious traditions may interact with each other and with contemporary cultures.
Fordham welcomes students, faculty and staff of all religious traditions and of no religious tradition as valued members of this community of study and dialogue.
As a Jesuit University . . .
Fordham draws its inspiration from the dual heritage of Christian Humanism and Ignatian Spirituality, and consequently sees all disciplines as potential paths to God.
Fordham recognizes the dignity and uniqueness of each person. A Fordham education at all levels is student-centered, and attentive to the development of the whole person. Such an education is based on close collaboration among students, faculty and staff.
Fordham is committed to research and education that assist in the alleviation of poverty, the promotion of justice, the protection of human rights and respect for the environment.
Jesuit education is cosmopolitan education. Therefore, education at Fordham is international in its scope and in its aspirations. The world-wide network of Jesuit universities offers Fordham faculty and students distinctive opportunities for exchange and collaboration.
As a University in New York City. . .
As home to people from all over the globe, as a center of international business, communication, diplomacy, the arts and the sciences, New York City provides Fordham with a special kind of classroom. Its unparalleled resources shape and enhance Fordham's professional and undergraduate programs.
Fordham is privileged to share a history and a destiny with New York City. The University recognizes its debt of gratitude to the City and its own responsibility to share its gifts for the enrichment of their City, their nation and their world.
Where is Fordham University