In Memoriam: Honoring Members of the Fordham Community Who’ve Passed Away


Alex Trebek, a longtime Fordham donor and recipient of the Fordham Founders Award, died in 2020 following his battle with pancreatic cancer. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Amidst a year of hardship, the Fordham community lost many valued lives in 2020. The Ram recognizes, remembers and honors the lives of Fordham community members that passed away this year. 

Alex Trebek, a Fordham parent and donor, passed away Sunday, Nov. 8, after a battle with cancer. Trebek’s son Matthew Trebek graduated from Fordham College Rose Hill in 2013. The Trebeks donated $1 million and created the Alex Trebek Endowed Scholarship Fund to help students who live in North Harlem. In 2019, they gave another $1 million and expanded eligible students to include East Harlem. Trebek and his wife Jean were awarded the Fordham Founder’s Award on Jan. 7, 2020

“Alex’s life, of course, was rich in positivity and the gifts of family, friends, and meaningful work. He showed us how to live with purpose and how to face death with faith and courage,” said Rev. Joseph M. McShane S.J. president of the university, in an email sent to the university community on Nov. 8. 

Francis Puppola, a watch engineer at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, passed away suddenly at his workstation on Oct. 28. Puppola worked at Fordham for 16 years after leaving AT&T and serving in the Air Force. In an email sent to the university community on Oct. 31, McShane said Puppola helped younger engineers and staff in facilities operations. 

“Frank was one of the unsung heroes of Fordham: working behind the scenes to ensure that the University ran safely and well. We should, and will, honor his name,” read the email. 

Dan Gallagher, a hall of fame baseball coach for Fordham Athletics, passed away on Oct. 14. Gallagher became the head coach for Fordham Baseball in 1984 and led the team for 21 seasons. According to an article from Fordham Sports, Gallagher helped the baseball team win 11 championships from the MAAC, Patriot League, Atlantic 10 and ECAC, and reached the NCAA Championship five times.

“For all the on the field success, award winners, MLB draft picks, and Hall of Famers that came through Rose Hill, several players credit Gallagher for teaching them important life lessons, which created bonds and friendships that last a lifetime,” read the article

Raymond A Schroth S.J., FCRH ’55, passed away in Murray-Weigel Hall on July 1. Schroth was a Fordham alumnus, professor, journalist and author. He wrote eight books, including the book “Fordham: A History and Memoir.” Schroth was a professor and eventually a dean at Fordham before becoming an editor at “America: The Jesuit Review. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1957 and was ordained as a priest in 1967. 

“Father Schroth’s loss is a great one for his loved ones, Fordham, journalism, and for his many friends and colleagues,” read an email sent by McShane on July 2. “He was wise, compassionate, and rigorous, and held his colleagues and students to his own very high standards.”  

Joseph Cammarosanno, Ph.D., FCRH ’47 and GSAS ’56, passed away on May 19. Cammarosanno was a professor emeritus of economics, the first president of Fordham’s Faculty Senate, and executive vice president of Fordham throughout his time at the university. In total, Cammarosanno spent 80 years at Fordham. He also worked as an economist in the U.S. Bureau of the Budget and at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

“Joe was the beating heart of Fordham,” said McShane in an email sent on June 1. “He was supremely competent, tough-minded, and unfailingly kind and generous. He cared for the Fordham community deeply, and was intensely loyal to the institution and its faculty, students, and staff.”  

Andy Fasulo, a supervisor with the Department of Public Safety, passed away on May 14. Fasulo was a retired New York Police Department Sergeant and spent nine years at Fordham. He mainly worked at the Lincoln Center campus. 

In a service-oriented department, Andy stood out as someone who was always willing to go the extra mile for members of the Fordham community,” said McShane in an email sent on May 15. “He was a member of our family, as well, and we will miss him dearly.” 

Joseph A. O’Hare S.J., the 31st president of the university, passed away on March 29 in Murray-Weigel Hall. O’Hare served as president from 1984 to 2003 but previously completed his doctorate of Fordham. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1948 and was ordained as a priest in 1961. He joined the editorial board for America Magazine in 1972 and served as editor-in-chief from 1975 to 1984. 

“A visionary leader, a peerless raconteur, a born diplomat and a compassionate pastor, he led the University with great heart during a period that had more than its share of challenges,” said McShane in an email sent to the university on March 30.  

Richard Hake, FCRH ’91, passed away on April 28 from natural causes. Hake was a member of the advisory board for Fordham’s master’s degree program in public media and worked at WNYC for 30 years as a host, producer and reporter. According to an article in Fordham News, he received multiple awards from the Associated Press Broadcasters Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the New York Press Club. 

“In his bones and in his heart, Richard cared about serving the public good … He cared about getting it right, and he loved what he did,” WNYC reporter Jim O’Grady, FCRH ’82, said in the article. 

Joel Reidenberg, a professor of law at Fordham, passed away on April 21 after a battle with leukemia. Reidenberg was the Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair in Law and the founder of the Center on Law and Information Policy (CLIP). He was at Fordham for 30 years. 

“He was a towering figure in his field, a dear friend, and man of principle, grit, and a devilish sense of humor,” said McShane in an email on April 22. “He ennobled everyone who knew him.”