Inspiration 1011: Father McShane’s Fordham Bucket List

“The Man, the Myth, the Legend,” is how many in the Fordham family would describe Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., the president of our illustrious institution. McShane has become sort of an elusive figure to our Rose Hill Campus, with sightings becoming something of a rarity and occasionally a bit surreal. So when the Campus Activities Board announced that McShane would be giving a lecture of his “Fordham Bucket List,” on March 11th,  students flocked to Keating 1st Auditorium for the rare chance to hear McShane and how he thinks we should be spending our years at Fordham.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

McShane’s “Bucket List” is permeated with recurring themes of gratitude, faith and love. He reminds us to appreciate the beauty of the city we live in, while cherishing our last few weeks at Fordham (well, for those soon-to-be graduates like myself).  A recap of his lecture will pale in comparison but I believe it’s something that should be shared with the Fordham community. So in case you missed it, check out what McShane thinks we should all do before we *sniff sniff* graduate.

1. Thank your Parents

“Your parents live for you. All they want is to hear ‘Thank you’, and occasionally ‘I love you,’” said McShane. He urged everyone to think of a way of thanking our parents for everything they have done throughout our lives. He suggested thanking them through gesture (like doing extra chores) but in the end, sometimes just saying “Thank you” is simply enough.

2. Take your Best Friend to Dinner and Pick Up the Tab 

Courtesy of Taylor McDonnell

Courtesy of Taylor McDonnell

McShane encouraged us to “develop a habit of gratitude.” And by taking your best friend out to dinner  can both celebrate your love and friendship.*

3. Walk into the Office of the Faculty Member who Changed Your Life

McShane believes that every student should meet with the professor or faculty member who has had a major impact on your life at Fordham and again, simply thank them. This truly shows generosity of spirit and as McShane so eloquently puts it, “Generosity and gratitude should mark your life.”

4. Go to a New York Yankee Game

“This is the Bronx,” said McShane. Experiencing Yankee Stadium and America’s favorite past time is important for someone who may not have been born in the Bronx, but was certainly raised here. It’s all part of what it means to “be someone who lived in the Bronx.”

5. Eat in an Ethnic Restaurant where You have Never Eaten (“And no, Chinese Food doesn’t count”)

“You’re in the culinary capital of the world,” said McShane. He encouraged us to experience all of the tastes and palates that New York City has to offer. (*Hey, why not kill two birds with one stone and take your best friend to an ethnic restaurant and pick up the tab.)

6. Hit all Five Boroughs (“Yes, even Staten Island”)

Like visiting Yankee Stadium is important for someone living in the Bronx, McShane said that visiting each borough is all part of living in New York. “Riding through the subway,” McShane said, “is like riding through the world.”

7. Ride the Staten Island Ferry (“Both ways”)

Though McShane suggested that taking the ferry at dusk fosters a good romantic environment, he also admits that he is not the best man to proffer romantic advice. He humorously added, “I’m dressed this way for a reason,” as he motioned to his clerical garb. He encouraged everyone to learn the history of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and to feel the significance of their history. In regards to the Her Lady Liberty, McShane said, “See her. She’s yours. And you belong to her as well.”

8.Walk on the Promenade on Roosevelt Island at Sunset with the One you Love Most

Though, again, McShane admitted he’s no master of romance, he suggested bringing someone you sincerely care about to Roosevelt Island and simply enjoy the sunset.

9. Take a Walk through the Financial District and Times Square on a Sunday before 11 AM

“See where New York’s greatness comes from.” McShane hopes every student will take advantage of the “capital of the world.” By visiting Times Square on a Sunday morning he promised that you will get a different feel of the city like you’ve never experienced it before.

10. Volunteer

Along with gratitude and generosity, McShane hopes that each student “makes service a hallmark of [their] lives.” By participating in a volunteer project, students really embrace the Fordham idea of becoming “men and women for others.”

11. Go to a Fordham Basketball Game and make the Rafters in Rose Hill Gym Shake

As basketball season has already come to an end, this sadly will have to wait until next year. As for us graduating seniors, we will just have to experience this one as Fordham alum.

12. Prepare Yourself for Your Future

a.) “Make a retreat”, where you can “get to know God a little better.”

b.) “Develop a habit of giving” and have a generous heart. (And McShane hopes that your heart and your pockets will be generous to Fordham after you graduate.)

c.) “Prepare for the job interview.”

d.) See the Atlantic Ocean.

e.) Visit and pray at Ground Zero, “one of the most sacred places in America.”

McShane closes his lecture with saying, “Love is what it is all about, but love can only grow when it is given away.” He encouraged everyone to celebrate their friendships and appreciate those who touch your life, something I think is very important as my days at Fordham come to an inevitable (and depressing) end.

%d bloggers like this: