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A Message from President Gerard J. Rooney

November 21, 2019

Earlier this fall, on September 19, 68 years to the day after St. John Fisher College opened its doors for the first day of classes, we celebrated the launch of Fisher Forward, the College’s largest comprehensive fundraising campaign to date.

Dr. Gerard J. Rooney

It was a wonderful celebration with a room full of alumni, students, colleagues, donors, trustees, and most importantly, pride. Students shared impactful stories about their time at Fisher, alumni shared their reasons for investing in both the College and in today’s students, and together joined in thanking the many donors in the room whose investment and support have brought us to where we are today. The campaign, which has a goal of $75 million, is now in its public phase. I am proud to share that we are more than halfway to goal, having raised $42 million since my first day as president.

We gathered to celebrate not only who we are – but who we might become. While our success is a matter of record, I truly believe that our full potential is yet to be realized. Our institutional accomplishments are the result of clarity of vision, strength of purpose, and value of mission. The story of the last 70 years of St. John Fisher College is one of growth and impact. Through the goodness of so many individuals who have come together with shared focus and priority, Fisher has grown to what it is today.

Through Fisher Forward, by 2023, we will build on our momentum and plan for our future by:

  • Shaping the Student Experience: Fisher students benefit from high impact practices outside of the classroom. From research opportunities to global education, and service trips to clinical placements and internships, these experiential learning opportunities are vital to student success. It is our goal to provide these experiences to every Fisher student.
  • Enhancing our campus: Through this campaign, we are looking to continue to invest in the campus experience by creating integrated and collaborative spaces across our footprint—from academic to residential, recreational to social—all of which will foster stronger living and learning environments for our students.
  • Creating an immediate impact: Gifts to our Annual Fund help us continue to provide our students transformative learning experiences. Members of Spire Society—which is comprised of dedicated supporters, including many of you, who invest in our students, our people, and our mission—have helped students reach their full potential.
  • Securing our future: Through the growth of our endowment, which we aim to increase by 50 percent, we will fund endowed professorships and deanships and attract and retain additional high-quality faculty and continue to grow the academic reputation of the College. And, through additional student scholarships, we will be able to maintain the access to and affordability of a Fisher education for those who will benefit most.

Over the last 70 years, the successes and growth of the institution have been aided by the generosity of generations of alumni and friends who have continued to engage with and support the College. We look ahead with certainty, gratitude, and confidence that we will meet our goal by our 75th anniversary, and continue to provide our students with a transformational education and impactful preparation for their lives after Fisher. I would encourage you to visit the campaign website to learn more:

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, the semester is nearing its end. This issue of Fisher Family News brings you some of our news highlights from the semester, and I think you will agree that it has been another productive and accomplished fall at Fisher.

I hope that your student has enjoyed their time with us and has been able to take advantage of all of the opportunities around them.

As always, should you or your student need anything, my door is always open to you. You and your families have my best wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving.

Kind regards,

Gerard J. Rooney, Ph.D.