Announcements

Join us as we get RUGBY STRONG on STAGIVING DAY
Stags for Stags
Thursday, June 4

Responding to the needs of our students.
These are extraordinary times. With many facing challenges on so many fronts. Our first hope is that you and those you love are well and safe. If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to support Fairfield University Rugby and our continued building of the program, we’d love to see a few scrum’s worth of support on STAGiving Day, June 4. Your donation will support essential pillars of the program, including:

  • Player retention & recruiting, current scholarship commitments and potentially greater student-athlete financial need going forward
  • Director of Rugby role and coaching
  • Virtual coaching & training in anticipation of a return to campus
  • Service outreach via COBRA, supporting at-risk Bridgeport youth Our Jesuit tradition makes us men and women for others.

Now more than ever, let us join together as only our Fairfield Rugby community can.
Two ways you can donate online:
Visit Our Online Store or Fairfield.edu/giverugby
Gifts of $1,000 or more to Fairfield Rugby through the University or the FOFR will be recognized for membership in The President’s Circle.
Thank you for your consideration during these challenging times.


We're Launching The Campaign For Fairfield Rugby
These are exciting times for Fairfield Rugby. Together with the senior leadership of Fairfield University, the Friends of Fairfield Rugby are embarking on an historic capital campaign to ensure the future of the program. The Campaign For Fairfield Rugby will address three key pillars on which to build our cherished club for the next 55 years: The Pitch, The Program, and Scholarships. We’re off to a great start with significant donor contributions but we need everyone to “bind on” to make this campaign a success as we launch rugby at Fairfield to a whole new elite level.

The Pitch
Dedicated on April 26, 1969, Lt. Hans Grauert Memorial Field has been home to Fairfield Rugby for more than 55 years. The field was constructed through the generosity of Mrs. Leila Grauert P'68, Chris Grauert '68, and the Grauert family, and was the first collegiate rugby field in the United States initially built, named, and dedicated to the sport. In an historic partnership with Fairfield University, the campaign will fund one-third of the cost for a complete renovation of Lt. Hans Grauert Memorial Field, making it a best-in-class turf rugby field, suitable for play at the highest international level. Exciting enhancements will include new goal posts, an electronic scoreboard, and terrace seating on the hillside for fans. The field’s transformation will significantly reduce maintenance costs which will positively impact programming. Your generosity will enhance the utilization and appearance of the field, improve fan and player satisfaction, reduce player injury, and significantly increase program visibility and player recruitment.Visit https://www.shop.friendsoffairfieldrugby.org/Grauert-Field-Upgrade-Donations-Pitch.htm to make your donation.

The Program
A first-class program will be supported by a commensurate operating budget ensuring elite player recruitment, development, training, and coaching. During each of the next five years, we can strengthen the rugby program by adding $100,000 annually in donor support to enhance the operating budget. Your generosity will:
  • Fund player development programs, clinics, and specialized training sessions at the Walsh Athletic Center
  • Create permanency for the Director of Rugby program manager and team coaching positions
  • Ensure players have new apparel and equipment
  • Elevate player recruitment efforts
  • Expand outreach into the community, including support for the City of Bridgeport Rugby Alliance (COBRA) program, teaching rugby to more than 2,800 youth in a safe and supportive environment.
Scholarships
The availability of scholarship is essential to the rugby program, enabling some of the most deserving players to pursue a first-rate education while ensuring Fairfield is competitive in player recruitment. The permanently endowed Ciacci-Pascale rugby scholarship and new FOFR current use grants have already made an impact on the program by supporting over 20 players, and providing financial aid for many of these scholarship recipients for two or more years. Your generosity will increase the number of endowed scholarships offered and FOFR current use grants, creating a profound impact on the program and lives of our male and female student-athletes. Visit https://www.shop.friendsoffairfieldrugby.org/Scholarships-Scholarships.htm to make your donation.

You can donate directly to the FOFR, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, and your gift will always count towards University giving levels such as the President’s Circle. Or, if your employer offers gift matching or you simply prefer it, you can donate directly to the University and designate your gift for rugby - as you must do for any rugby donation you make directly to the University.
No matter what or where you give, we need broad-based participation of our rugby family as we elevate the club to heights never before imagined.  I hope you’ll join us.

Sincerely,
H. Bart Franey ‘67
President

Congratulations to the recently named student-athletes to the Liberty All-Conference Rugby Team!
Joe DeCaro '20 First Team
Nick Lapponese '23 Second Team
Andrew Pearl '20 Honorable Mention


Mark Downes and John Minogue talk with Chris Turner about their recent trip to Europe.
Red Ruggers European Tour
In other recent news, the Fairfield University men's rugby team toured Europe during Christmas break. Under the leadership of club president Ryan Handelman '20, the Fairfield University men's rugby team recently returned from a six day rugby tour of Barcelona, Spain and Montpellier, France. Expertly managed by Active Sports Travel, the team was also accompanied by Director of Rugby Tom "Oakie" O'Connor '75 and his wife Mary Lou '83 as well as Assistant Coach Marc Downes and Lori & Bo Minogue (parents of John Minogue '22). As a result of the team's success (1-1) on the pitch, the 24 club members came away with many positive outcomes including improved skills and new social experiences incumbent with their international rugby experience. In addition, the ruggers had many other unique opportunities including a service project running a youth rugby clinic, several cultural activities and tours, enjoying Spanish and French cuisine, and countless team bonding opportunities all contributing to "a trip of a lifetime."