Stag Roots Run Deep
My grandfather, Bernard Davis graduated from Fairfield University in 1967. During his four years at Fairfield he made one big contribution that we all still enjoy to this day. The following is an account of his story, and the story behind why Fairfield students live on the beach.
- Eleanor Davis ‘21
When I began my four years at Fairfield University in the fall of 1963, I considered myself very lucky to have secured a dorm room on campus. At that time, there was a shortage of on-campus housing, which required that freshman live off campus in the homes of surrounding residents. Often a student lived alone with the neighboring family, but had to take his meals on campus. To me, it was a very difficult way to begin your college career. This historical fact would play a large role in what was to transpire in the early spring of 1966.
One afternoon, while engaged in my weekly hearts game, two roommates from down the hall visited our card playing group. This was an unusual occurrence as they were not normally engaged in our wasteful activities, they had wasteful activities of their own.
It seems that, uncharacteristically, they had done their homework and determined through contac ts with local realtors that there were a number of beach homes available for rent during the non-summer months. They also determined that a number of the owners would be willing to rent to students.
The first reason for their visit to our group was to determine if there were a number of like-minded students who would like to live off campus in their senior year. Our group immediately embraced the notion and were ready to sign on.
The second reason for their visit was to find a spokesman or two who would be willing approach the Dean of Men to discuss the idea. It seems our neighbors were frequently on the Dean of Men’s list, which was not a dean’s list that you would want to populate.
As I recall, at that moment, the assembled group looked at me and one of my fellow card players, principally because neither one of us had been in trouble in our nearly 3 full years at Fairfield. We both agreed to be the spokesmen for the group and approach the lion’s den. Several days later, following numerous rehearsals, we sought and were provided an appointment with the Dean.
After much hemming and hawing, we got to the point. We told the Dean that we had a solution to Fairfield’s housing problem, which could provide rooms for displaced freshman on campus. We then launched into the main part of our presentation, that we had ready willing and able Fairfield residents who were willing to rent their homes to students during the off-season. The Dean must have been impressed by the level of research that had transpired. The Dean studied us quite skeptically. However, to this day, I believe the fact that the two of us had not been on his watch list helped to seal the deal. After some thought, the Dean agreed that seniors could move off campus. To us, this was truly an historic moment for the students of Fairfield. I do remember, however, the Dean’s parting words, which were “I may live to regret this.”
By Bernard Davis ‘67
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