Rev. Robert Grimes, S.J. ’70
Dean, Fordham College at Lincoln Center From his office on the corner of 60th Street and Columbus Avenue, Rev. Robert Grimes, S.J. ’70 is at the very epicenter of New York City every day. A successor of the College of St. Francis Xavier, Fordham College at Lincoln Center boasts more than a quarter of the Jesuit university’s undergraduates. Fr. Grimes oversees a program that has grown tremendously since he took the helm as Dean in 1997. “The incoming Class of 2019 is the largest in the College at Lincoln Center’s history,” he said. “It is also the most competitive.” When the Lincoln Center campus opened in 1968, it was entirely a commuter school. The addition of McMahon Hall in 1993 (named for Rev. George McMahon, S.J. ’40) allowed for some undergraduate and graduate housing, but it was the September 2014 addition of a new law school building at 150 West 62nd Street—above which sits housing for 430 freshmen—that transformed the campus and helped increase applications. The liberal arts program Fr. Grimes leads is impressive. Compared to the national average of 50 percent, 80 percent of Lincoln Center undergrads who applied to medical school last year were accepted. With Time Warner, CBS, and ABC world headquarters located nearby, communications remains a popular major. But it is the number of highquality performing arts programs that sets Fordham Lincoln Center apart. An affiliation with the Alvin Ailey School and cooperation between Fordham, Juilliard, and Jazz at Lincoln Center offer undergrads unparalleled opportunities for training by experts in the arts. Currently, one-third of the first company of Ailey dancers are Fordham alumni, and four Fordham jazz ensembles are not only coached by professionals at Lincoln Center, but get to perform there, too. An occasional faculty exchange program between Juilliard and Fordham strengthens the liberal arts at both schools. With a doctorate in music and expertise in musical life in 19th century New York City, it is fitting that Fr. Grimes directs the work of Fordham Lincoln Center. As he noted with pride, ”A special evening every year is the Tony Awards. Fordham Lincoln Center had four nominations among its alumni this year, Patricia Clarkson among them.” Indeed, for 18 years strong, this loyal Son of Xavier has kept the great tradition of Jesuit collegiate education in Manhattan—begun by Rev. John Larkin, S.J., himself in 1847—alive and well. The Xavier legacy is in good hands.
Michael Gargiulo '77, co-anchor of NBC New York's Today in New York, leads Xavier Magazine's coverage of "Xavier and the City."