After two years of virtual gatherings, GSS community members met in-person last night at the Lincoln Center campus to celebrate our 2022 Alumni Block Party.
Block Party festivities kicked off at 3:30 p.m. ET with campus tours, followed by a musical performance at 5 p.m. ET in Pope Auditorium, featuring Miguel Sutedjo, FCRH ’23, and Will Hayes, FCRH ’24.
The GSS reunion took place from 6 – 7:30 p.m. ET in Bateman Hall inside Fordham Law School.
The evening kicked off with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and reconnecting. This year’s Block Party was particularly special—not only did it mark the first in-person alumni event in two years, but also because GSS introduced two new elements: honoring specific class years, and presenting alumni awards.
This year, GSS honored the graduating classes of 1972 and 1997, who were celebrating their 50th and 25th anniversaries, respectively. These classes were highlighted with themed decorations, specialized name tags spotlighting their class years, and a video produced by GSS administration that revisited pop culture, Fordham facts, and GSS events from these two years.
Additionally, GSS announced the implementation of two alumni awards — the GSS Alumni Award and the GSS Alumni Service award. Descriptions of the two awards and bios of their recipients can be seen below:
The GSS Alumni Award honors an individual who embodies professional social work values and meaningfully impacts the individuals and communities they serve. Recipients are committed advocates for those most vulnerable among us and catalysts for systemic and organizational change. Finally, awardees have earned a reputation for their promotion of human rights, social justice, and anti-racism – personifying what it means to be a social worker in today’s society.
Recipient: Cassandra Agredo, GSS ‘06
Executive Director at Xavier Mission, a “FOR-IMPACT” organization providing basic services as well as opportunities for empowerment and self-sufficiency to New Yorkers in need. In 2021, Agredo was named to City and State NY’s Nonprofit 40 Under 40 list for her work with Xavier Mission, whose financial assistance program provides over $175,000 each year in assistance, and food programs supply nearly 130,000 meals to thousands of individuals and families a year.
The GSS Alumni Service Award honors an individual who is dedicated in their support of the Graduate School of Social Service and its mission. Through their actions and unwavering professionalism, recipients of this award serve as a stellar and consistent role model for all GSS students. Awardees play a vital role in the education of GSS students helping to prepare the next generation of knowledgeable, skilled and compassionate social work professionals and leaders.
Recipient: Mary Brennan, GSS ‘83
Brennan is currently a Social Worker at 1st Cerebral Palsy of NJ, whose mission is to assist all students with special needs to lead more active and productive lives. She has been a continuous and generous supporter of GSS and its programs. In October 2020, she led the way for one of GSS’s best Giving Days in school history, by setting a donation match and inspiring others to support our students, as she so graciously has for over 20 years.
Finally, the party was visited by President Joseph M. McShane, S.J., who spoke to the room of Fordham family members. McShane said that social workers are doing “The Lord’s work” by advocating and serving populations in need — specifically, groups of marginalized individuals who have been unfairly outcast in society.
McShane closed the night by thanking all of our alumni for “coming back home” and continuing to be a vital part of the Fordham community. We couldn’t have said it any better.
Thank you to everyone who came out last night, and all who continue to support the school in so many different ways! Below, please enjoy some photos from The 2022 GSS Block Party!