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Big news at the Town Hall

Event Recaps | Oct 05, 2010 |

It was standing-room only in Tognino Hall at last night’s Town Hall meeting with Dean Rapaccioli. More than 250 students crowded in to hear about the renovations that will turn Hughes Hall from a freshman dorm into a state-of-the-art business school, and about the massive gift from Class of 1968 alumnus Mario Gabelli that will rename the school in his honor.

Attendance was particularly strong among seniors and freshmen, which led to a great balance in the discussion. Seniors offered wizened suggestions about further ways to improve the school, and freshmen had an early chance to reflect on how those recommendations, if enacted, might shape the rest of their time at Fordham. Dean Rapaccioli fielded questions for nearly 30 minutes; students had a chance to express their opinions directly to her.

The Town Hall was a cooperative effort among the Gabelli administration, the Gabelli Dean’s Council, and United Student Government. It was initially slated for later in October, but the big news about Hughes Hall and the Gabelli donation compelled an earlier date. In the words of Tim Lynch, who represents Gabelli within the student government:

I feel that it is a very exciting time at the Gabelli School of Business.  We will soon have our own home in Hughes Hall that will grant both students and faculty alike access to amazing resources. The recent Gabelli donation is also exciting for a variety of reasons. For example, the donation will help fund scholarships, which will attract more talented students to Fordham. Additionally, it will help to create a Center of Global Investment Analysis at Fordham, which will increase opportunities for undergraduate research at the business school. With the renaming of the school, we now have a title that rivals other prominent business schools around the country, such as Wharton, Sloan, and Stern. In time, we will grow to identify with our new name, and this identity will assist us in garnering prestige and helping us climb in national rankings. Finally, the donation, the largest in our school’s history, has put the spotlight on Fordham. I think that other donors will now be more willing to donate to the school, which will grow our endowment and help us achieve the financial goals of the university’s Excelsior-Ever Upward-The Campaign for Fordham.

Students who spoke at the Town Hall raised a number of issues that the Gabelli Dean’s Council has pledged to address:

  • One is to improve job and internship placement by solidifying the relationships among the Gabelli School of Business, university Career Services, and university Alumni Relations.
  • Another is to improve communication that comes from clubs, such as the Finance Society and Smart Woman Securities. These student clubs often bring high-profile speakers to Fordham, but these events are not always well-attended because many Gabelli students are not aware of them.
  • A third is to plan further events like this to solicit student feedback, enabling a back-and-forth between students and administration that leads to progress.

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