Beloved Faculty Member Rosemary Cooney Endows Scholarship with Current Gift and Future Bequest

Photo of Rosemary Santana Cooney and Patrick Cooney
Rosemary Santana Cooney and Patrick Cooney at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration

Rosemary Santana Cooney retired from Fordham University two years ago after a 42-year career as a beloved faculty member and dean. Now she and her husband Patrick Cooney—who earned an MBA from Fordham—have established an endowed scholarship fund that will receive additional funding from a bequest.

In May of this year Rosemary and Patrick created the Santana Cooney Endowed Scholarship Fund, establishing their legacy at Fordham. Their leadership gift will provide financial aid and foster diversity of the student body.

Rosemary joined Fordham University as an assistant professor of sociology in 1974, first enriching the University’s academic life and then adding to the ongoing success of the Rose Hill campus. In her discipline, Rosemary focused on issues of inequality and social justice. She has written about labor, family life, immigration, and civil rights in China, Puerto Rico, and the continental United States. She has published numerous scholarly articles, many of which she co-wrote with her students.

Named “Teacher of the Year” in 1987 by the Graduate Student Association of Fordham University, Rosemary was honored again in 1994 with the Bene Merenti Medal.

Advancing to the role of associate dean, Rosemary brought a steady hand to such administrative intricacies as registering several thousand students in hundreds of courses, implementing a new core, and mastering an increasingly complex budget.

Photo of Rosemary Santana Cooney, Patrick Cooney, and Jacqueline Comesañas
Rosemary Santana Cooney and Patrick Cooney celebrate the establishment of their endowed scholarship fund with Jacqueline Comesañas, senior director of gift planning.

Both children of military families, Rosemary Santana and Patrick Cooney attended high school together in Florida—where they met junior year in trigonometry class. The couple married in 1967 while attending Florida State University, where they both received bachelor’s degrees in sociology. They then attended the University of Texas at Austin, both earning master’s and doctorate degrees in sociology. Patrick worked in business after earning his MBA at Fordham in 1979.

In the midst of their respective careers, Rosemary and Patrick published Discovering the Mid-Atlantic: Historical Tours (Rutgers University Press, 1991), a guide book geared toward amateur historians and parents hoping to spark their children’s interest in the past. Rosemary, an avid photographer, contributed all of the photographs.



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