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Donald Trump, Jesuit education and changes at Fordham University

If more students were to graduate on time,

If more students were to graduate on time, universities could better serve their students with degree programs that foster academic engagement. Credit: iStock

While the Rev. Raymond A. Schroth might well dislike and disapprove of President Donald Trump, one would think a sense of public relations, if nothing else, would have inhibited him from claiming that Trump failed to take full advantage of Fordham University for the couple of years he was a student there [“The education of a future president,” Opinion, Feb. 10].

He curiously thinks that Trump should have felt at home when the late Rev. Leo P. McLaughlin became Fordham’s president in 1965.

McLaughlin is given credit for raising admission standards and faculty salaries, allowing lay domination of the board of trustees, and welcoming more non-Catholic faculty.

Some wonder whether the McLaughlin presidency might be seen as the beginning of a process that has advanced very far in which the large “C” in Fordham’s Catholic character is disappearing. The same ought to apply to the university’s vaunted Jesuit character, in view of the almost minuscule presence of Jesuits as faculty and administrators, as well as the very small number of faculty and decreasing percentage of students who are Catholic.

John P. McCarthy, Jackson Heights

Editor’s note: The writer is a professor of history emeritus of Fordham University.


Having received four years in high school of a Jesuit education, I agree with the Rev. Raymond Schroth’s opinion that President Donald Trump would have benefited greatly from Jesuit-guided coursework.

What surprises me is that he was able to last a year and a half. He does not seem capable of accepting the structure and discipline of a Jesuit education.

Also, I don’t feel that Schroth grasped the real significance of the Catholic vote in the last election. He vastly underestimates to what level Catholics have been brainwashed about abortion. It’s portrayed as women being forced into clinics to have abortions. I’m not pro-abortion, I’m pro-choice.

He’s correct that Catholics care about many other issues. But when it comes to voting, for many, the abortion issue rules. This could not have been made any clearer than by the letter that Bishop William Murphy had read at every Mass in the Diocese of Rockville Centre on the Sunday before the election. He basically said that no Catholic should vote for a candidate who is pro-choice.

Joseph Farrell, North Babylon