FDU at 75: Academic Convocation celebrates past, present and future

By Kenna Caprio

September 7, 2017 — Convocation 2017 celebrated 75 years of excellence at Fairleigh Dickinson University, at the annual coming together of faculty and staff.

"I'm going to give the punch line away right now and say that our success these past 75 years is because FDU is like a family to so many," said Judith Kaufman, professor of psychology at the Metropolitan Campus, early on in her keynote address (pictured below with University President Christopher Capuano). She emphasized the priority the University puts on "connections and caring," for its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the campuses, the community, and the world. "The infusion of social justice and commitment in everything that we do makes us unique, especially at this time in our world. The future is in our hands and I'm very optimistic. With our leadership, the committed faculty and staff and our wonderful students, FDU will ... thrive far beyond our 75!"

The event also formally acknowledged the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year, welcomed new faculty members and honored accomplished faculty and staff.

Distinguished Faculty Awards

This year's honorees were Gary Darden, associate professor of history and chair of the Department of Social Sciences and History, Distinguished Faculty Award for Service; Patricia Melloy, associate professor of cell biology, Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching; and Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of PublicMind, Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship. University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Gillian Small presided over the event and presented the faculty awards.

Pillars 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 Elizabeth "Betty" Barrett, administrative assistant in Residence Life, and Lauren Elgin, lab manager in Computing Services, by Brian Mauro, interim Florham Campus executive.


This year's Metropolitan Campus Pillars recipients were Wendy Hager, assistant to the Director of Student Life, and Stefanie Miller, director of employee benefits and training. Robert Vodde, Metropolitan Campus executive, presented the awards.