Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Fordham University developed out of Saint John's College, founded by Bishop Hughes upon the old Rose Hill Farm at Fordham, then in Westchester County, and formally opened on St. John the Baptist's Day, 24 June, 1841. This same year the theological seminary of the New York diocese was moved from Lafargeville, Jefferson Co., to Fordham. In April, 1846, an act of incorporation passed by the New York Legislature granted it the power to "confer such literary honours, degrees or diplomas as are usually granted by any university, college or seminary of learning in the United States ". In June, 1846, the Fathers of the Society of Jesus purchased the property from the diocese. The first Jesuit president was the Rev. Augustus Thebaud who, with other members of the early Jesuit faculty, came from St. Mary's College , Marion County, Kentucky. St. Mary's was practically transferred to Fordham, and, as it had been incorporated in 1820 with all the powers of a university, the history of the present college must be considered to begin with its foundation in that year. Under such presidents as Fathers Thébaud, Larkin, Tellier, Doucet, and Tissot, S.J., the college rapidly gained in attendance. In the early fifties there were 200 students. There was a falling off at the time of the Civil War, but in the year 1869-70 there were 257. After a phase of less attendance in the late seventies, there were 327 in 1889 and 1890. The number rose to 500 in the early part of the present decade. Many Fordham students of the early times reached distinction. Among them were: John La Farge the painter ; Ignatius Donnely, the author; John R.G. Hassard ; the MacMahon brothers, James, Arthur, and Martin, two of whom died nobly in the Civil War, while the third, though badly injured, survived for distinction on the bench in New York City; Thomas B. Connery for many years editor-in-chief of the "Herald"; Gen. James O'Beirne; Judges Morgan O'Brien, Amend, Hendricks, of the Supreme Court; and many well-known lawyers, Anthony Hirst of Philadelphia, Philip van Dyke, and William B. Moran of Detroit, the latter on the Supreme Bench of Michigan at his death; John A. Mooney of New York, a well-known writer; Ignatius and Thomas McManus, of Mexico, and Michael F. Dooley, of xxyyyk.htm">Providence, bankers. Many of Fordham's brightest students have entered the clergy and reached positions of great influence. Among them are Cardinal Farley, Bishop Hoban, Bishop Rosecrans of Columbus, Monsignori Van Dyke (Detroit), O'Connor (Charleston), Lynch (Utica), Mooney (New York), and many distinguished Jesuits. On 21 June, 1904, with the consent of the regents of the University of the State of New York, the board of trustees of St. John's College, during the presidency of Father (now Bishop ) John Collins, authorized the opening of a school of law and a school of medicine. The law department rapidly increased until, in 1911, there were 230 on its rolls. The university now (1912) numbers 548 students under 124 professors, distributed as follows: law, 224 students, 12 professors; medicine, 164 students, 96 professors; academical department, 160 students, 16 professors. The Fordham University Press, whose historical publications have a wide diffusion, completes the university organization.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 3:2-12
2 You have surely heard the way in which God ... Read More

Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
2 Look, he is the God of my salvation: I shall have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:39-48
39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter