Most Fairfield students do not know what a trustee is.

“It sounds like a bunch of people sitting in a room with chandeliers eating Brie cheese,” said Tom Meehan ’06.

Fairfield University recently announced a group of five new and diversely talented trustees: two Jesuits, two alumni and a corporate executive.

A trustee is defined as a member of a board elected or appointed to direct the funds and policy of an institution. These trustees have been chosen by Fairfield University because of their involvement and ties to the school. They provide an eclectic range of knowledge and expertise.

Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., president of Loyola University in Chicago, said his area of academic expertise is children and family therapy. He has published numerous books and articles and has worked as a therapist and a professor of marriage and family therapy. He also speaks about child and family issues to elementary and secondary school educators.

At Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., Garanzini’s roommate was Fairfield University President Rev. Jeffrey von Arx.

“I was the better cook, however, so it fell to me to do a lot of the hosting of parties and dinners. Fr. von Arx was smarter,” he said.

Garanzini is also a trustee of Loyola University New Orleans and said, “I’m very honored to be on the Fairfield Board.”

Brian Hull, a 1980 Fairfield graduate and the senior vice president in Global Private Client with Merrill Lynch,majored in accounting and lived in Regis Hall and on Lantern Point. He said he enjoyed his time at Fairfield immensely and knew that he wanted to stay in touch with the university.

Hull went to Catholic school his entire life and said the Jesuit education, with its well-roundedness and spiritual component, has been very helpful to him. He also said he has encountered a number of Fairfield graduates in his profession who “all seem very well prepared for business.”

When Hull was a student, he never imagined he’d one day be a trustee.

“Not in my wildest dreams,” he said.

Hull said he was stunned, honored and incredibly flattered when he was asked to become a trustee.

“I think Fr. von Arx is terrific,” said Hull, who has three children and said he would be very supportive if any of them chose to attend Fairfield. “I’m excited about getting involved to see if there are more ways I can help. I’m here to be a resource and try to be helpful and add whatever perspective I can.”

Before the Pope appointed George V. Murray, S.J., as the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, he was the auxillary pope of Chicago.

Murray said he does administrative and spiritual work in St. Thomas that includes working with priests, visiting each parish and school, meeting with various interest groups and school boards, managing budgets, speaking and writing about issues of importance to people of the diocese and teaching classes on the Catholic faith.

Murray has been a trustee for Inner City Teaching Corps in Chicago, Loyola University in Chicago, Mount St. Mary’s College in Maryland, Detroit Neighborhood Housing Service, Loyola Academy in Detroit, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, University of Detroit and Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C.

He said serving on Fairfield’s Board of Trustees is an honor.

“After my first meeting, I flew back to the Virgin Islands with the thought that the Fairfield Board was one of the best on which I have served,” Murray said. “I am impressed by how focused the meetings are and by the high level of dedication to the university that is evident among the trustees.”

“I am sure that I will learn a great deal from the Fairfield Board, and I hope to make a substantial contribution to the future of the university through my service,” he said.

Other new board members are Patricia E. Hutton, a 1985 Fairfield graduate and executive vice president and chief financial officer of NBC Universal Pictures and Studios, and Fairfield resident Ned Lautenbach, a partner of Clayton, Dubilier and Rice and the Chairman of Covansys.

Accounting major Kristen Vissichelli ’06 does not see herself as being a trustee in the future.

“I don’t really know what they do,” she said. “But it sounds important and prestigious.”

All of the 15 students interviewed did not know what a trustee was. The majority declined comment because they said they “didn’t want to sound stupid.”

“I am very pleased to welcome the new Trustees to the Board and look forward to working with them in the coming year,” Fr. von Arx said. “Each one brings special talents and experiences that will help to inform the board’s decisions

and thus make the University a stronger institution.”

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