By Matthew Kelly
Being the Dean of Student Affairs is no simple task to accomplish, but someone has to play the part. For the past decade Chris Rodgers has filled this role, overseeing the on- and off-campus life of Fordham’s 5,000 undergraduates at Rose Hill. Rodgers described his mission as caring for students outside of the classroom by creating a healthy campus community, and how does he do this?
The Jesuit tradition that teaches the importance of the community over the individual was instilled into Mr. Rodgers as a residence assistant at the Catholic University of America.
Here he found a calling to help others and soon moved away from the practice of law towards the field of education, arriving at Fordham with a desire to serve. After twenty years at the university, Rodgers settled into the position of Dean of Student Affairs, where his job plays a crucial part in a Fordham student’s on-campus experience.
As the Dean he has many departments to oversee including residential life, leadership and community development, and substance abuse prevention among other duties. This also
includes administering to clubs such as Circle K and Campus Ministry, who carry out
service work not just within Fordham’s campus but within the Bronx community as well. These groups afford students the opportunity to participate in programs that engage them
within the Bronx with locals and the problems they face, allowing them to volunteer their
time at various community investment projects that seek to better the community.
Dean Rodgers advocates for Fordham’s students to not be simply content to grow in their
academic studies, but also to grow as individuals outside the classroom. These groups that allow students to work outside of campus exemplify this lesson for Rodgers, who takes pride in the work they do for the community. By caring for students through the Jesuit tradition, Rodgers seeks to instill this lesson of community over self in all students at Fordham. With this message he believes that we will make improvements to not just the Fordham or Bronx communities, but to the world as a whole.