Education: Into the Mainstream

In 1841, New York City's Fordham University set up shop as a small Roman Catholic college called St. John's, on Rose Hill in The Bronx. A few years later, New York State gave the school twelve muskets for protection against threatened attacks by anti-Catholic Know-Nothings. The antique weaponry was a good symbol of the old Ford-ham—primarily a school for the children of Irish and Italian immigrants, as much concerned with preserving their faith against the forces of secularism as with promoting academic excellence.

All that has changed. Now the nation's fourth largest Roman Catholic...

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