Many changes have been made at Fairfield thanks to the Fairfield Rising campaign, which has thus far raised $120 million and seeks to raise another $40 million by 2017.
Freshman Bob George, referring to the campaign, responded with surprise upon hearing the total that the campaign has raised since its inception in September. “This is generally a smaller school,” said George.
“When you compare to a school like UConn, which is much bigger, I would expect it would be much harder for a school like this to make so much money.”
It has contributed to partially constructing a new Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreation Complex, reconstructing Rafferty Stadium and expanding the nursing program.
Sophomore Ian Warren is excited for these improvements. “It will be good having a new gym” as opposed to the “tiny one in Alumni Hall,” Warren said.
Along with these improvements, the campaign seeks to raise $40 million more for additional student scholarships, academic endowments for research and professorships, vibrant new facilities such as the new RecPlex and Rafferty Stadium and other uses.
According to the Fairfield website, $50 million of the donations will be used for student scholarship endowment, $20 million will be used for academic endowment, $60 million will be used for new academic facilities and centers for student life and wellness and $30 million will be used for current use to support the Fairfield Fund which provides assistance to clubs and financial aid.
The majority of students find these improvements to be helpful and the campaign worthwhile.
“Students who didn’t have access to the University before will now have access thanks to scholarships from this campaign,” said Richard Burke ’17.
Freshman Caitlyn Zarra agreed with this sentiment, adding, “I think this campaign will be a big help for students who weren’t able to come here for financial issues. That could possibly not be an issue anymore because of Fairfield Rising.”
“I think [Fairfield Rising] will help because [the University] can get more helpful resources and train staff more to make students’ education more beneficial.” Zarra added.
Some students, such as Dan Pisani ‘19, responded with surprise to the news that the campaign had raised so much money since September.
“I am surprised,” Pisani said. “I think that’s incredible to make that much money in such a short time.”
Freshman Julia Staszak, however, was not surprised by the news.
“I don’t think I would say I’m surprised,” she commented. “Fairfield University is a reputable school. People know that this place means business, so I think they would want to give money, knowing that it would be put to good use.”
After the success of alumni tours in the fall in New York, Chicago and Hartford, along with other locations, additional ones have been slated for the spring in California, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Along with these, there are other Fairfield Rising events planned, such as the Fairfield Awards Dinner in New York City planned for March 31, and the first-ever STAGiving Day, which has been set for April 21.
STAGiving Day is an annual event held in the Barone Campus Center begun last year which aims to raise $100,000 within 24 hours. There will be a $5 lunch on this day, allowing 500 donors to pay more in order to make a donation to Fairfield Rising.
Fairfield Rising, which has seen much success, will attempt to make more money and more changes as time passes.
“I don’t know if it will improve my immediate experience at Fairfield,” concluded Burke, “But in 10 to 20 years, it will change how people perceive the University. If you look at what Quinnipiac and other competitors are doing, you can see that you have to always be building to keep up. That is what Fairfield Rising is doing for Fairfield. Helping us keep up.”