FDU today and tomorrow: Academic Convocation 2016 opens new school year

Convocation panorama 2016

Gillian Small, the new University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, presides over Academic Convocation 2016 at the Florham Campus. (Photos by Bill Blanchard)


By Kenna Caprio

With a new president at the helm, Fairleigh Dickinson University celebrated the 2016-2017 academic year at Convocation on September 7, 2016 in the Italian Gardens outside of Hennessy Hall at the Florham Campus. The annual ceremony, during which faculty and staff are honored for their achievements, serves as an official “welcome back” to the University community.

University President Christopher A. Capuano delivered the keynote address, “FDU Today and Tomorrow: Shaping Our Future.”“We all must work together to transform this wonderful university… to turn it into one of the very best universities in the dynamic metropolitan area in which we live,” Capuano said. “Now is that time, my friends — it is time for us to go for it. Together, we will transform our University into something greater than it has ever been before.”

New University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Gillian Small invited the deans of University College: Arts • Sciences • Professional Studies, Silberman College of Business, Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences, Anthony J. Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies and the newly-minted School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to introduce their new faculty.


Video of the Academic Convocation event is available for viewing.


Following Convocation, members of the FDU community attended a reception and a ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened the new third floor facilities at the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The third floor was renovated over the summer and includes new laboratories and study spaces.

Pharmacy third floor ribbon cut 2016

After Convocation, the newly-named School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences held a reception and ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the new third floor facilities. Pictured are (L to R): Senior Vice President for University Advancement Richard Reiss, University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Gillian Small, School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Dean Michael Avaltroni, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Patrick J. Zenner and University President Christopher A. Capuano.


“Over the next few years, we will renew current programs to better reflect the skills needed in the 21st century workplace,” said Capuano. “We also will create centers of excellence in areas such as health sciences, hospitality, business, other STEM fields, public and global affairs, and the arts.”

Capuano also debuted the new School of Public and Global Affairs, thanking FDU alumnus and donor James Orefice and his family for their generous gift of $2.5 million dollars to support the school. “This new school, which will operate University-wide, will be home to existing and eventually new graduate programs in public administration and global affairs.”

Orefice donation 2016

FDU President Christopher Capuano announced the creation of the School of Public and Global Affairs and a $2.5 million gift to support the new school from alumnus James Orefice and his family. Pictured above are: Chairman of the Board of Trustees Patrick J. Zenner and James Orefice.


He then laid out additional plans including “a hotel and new facilities for our hospitality school, a new campus union building on the Metropolitan Campus, as well as expanded athletic facilities and a new science building on the Florham Campus.”

“It’s what’s coming next that excites me, and it’s what we can do together that truly will mark a new era at this great university.”

President, provost, faculty 2016

This year's faculty honorees include professors Dennis Scotti and Maureen Kieff (L) and Miriam J. Singer and Lloyd Ultan (R). At center are FDU President Christopher A. Capuano and University Provost Gillian Small.


Distinguished Faculty Awards

This year's honorees were Miriam J. Singer, associate professor of education and director of the Quest Program, Distinguished Faculty Award for Service; Maureen Kieff, clinical assistant professor of quantitative analysis, Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching; Lloyd Ultan, professor of history, and Dennis Scotti, professor of management, Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship. Small presented the awards.

Florham Pillars 2016Pillars of FDU Award

The Pillars of FDU Awards are given to staff members who make extraordinary contributions to FDU and who have been with the University for more than 10 years.

This year's awards for the Florham Campus were presented to Laurie Eick, associate director of enrollment services, and Dante Fedeli, head coach of women’s softball and the men’s and women’s cross country teams.


Metro Pillars 2016 Florham Campus Pillar Award recipients Dante Fedeli (L) and Laurie Eick (R) with Florham Provost and Senior Vice Provost for Government and Community Affairs Peter Woolley. Metropolitan Campus Pillar Award recipients Brian O'Connor (L) and William Kennedy (R) with Metropolitan Provost Robert F. Vodde.


This year's Metropolitan Campus Pillars recipients were William Kennedy, director of web operations, and Brian O’Connor, associate director of management information systems.