This summer, we called Columbia University “
The Most Beautiful College Campus In New York City,” sparking a firestorm as to whether the Ivy League school or Fordham had the more scenic digs.
So, we decided to take a ride up to the Bronx to see if we could come to a conclusion as to which school’s campus reigned supreme. As we did at Columbia, we attended an information session and a campus tour.
And while it may seem a cop out to say they’re too different to compare, it’s the truth. Columbia has a classical Greek-inspired beauty, while Fordham is perhaps the embodiment of the traditional collegiate Gothic aesthetic.
Founded in 1841, Fordham is a Jesuit university and was the first Catholic college in the Northeast. Since then, the school has grown into an academic institution with 15,000 students and a separate campus near Lincoln Center in Manhattan.
The campus harnesses the best qualities of Northeast collegiate culture and Jesuit tradition, with green quads and Gothic buildings sharing space with one of the most gorgeous churches anywhere in the city.
Fordham is located in the Fordham neighbourhood of the Bronx. These shops were set up on a plaza right outside the Metro-North station, across the street from the school.
The entrance across from the Metro-North station immediately opens up into Fordham's spacious campus.
The information session took place in Keating Hall, a beautiful building at the center of Fordham's campus. The security guard who directed us there called it 'castle-looking,' an apt description.
The left side of the building is adorned with the Papal Insignia, showing Fordham's Jesuit connections...
And the right side shows the Great Seal of the United States, demonstrating Fordham's identity as an American university.
Keating's facade also has the seals of other Jesuit schools in the US, such as Boston College and now-closed Woodstock College seen here.
The plaza outside of Keating is also a great spot for students to hang out or throw a ball around. Nice catch!
This auditorium was also prominently featured in the opening of Oliver Stone's 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps'
After the information session, our tour guide took us outside to explore more of Fordham's scenic campus. We started off by a statue of a ram, Fordham's mascot.
We passed by some of Fordham's athletics fields. On the right, you can see the Conservatory Dome in the nearby New York Botanical Garden.
Our first stop was Hughes Hall, which just completed its first year as home to Fordham's Gabelli School of Business. Gabelli students have a different core curriculum and orientation period, and apply directly to the school.
Inside, the student center houses Fordham's campus ministry, as well as a fitness center and dining facilities.
On our tour, we passed by a cemetery. According to Fordham legend, there aren't actually any bodies buried under the grave markers, although this has been disputed.
Fordham Preparatory School -- a private all-male high school -- is also part of the university's campus.
One of the most striking buildings on campus is Fordham's church. Built in 1845, the church is now a New York City landmark and still conducts services for the Fordham community.
Queen's Court, a freshman dorm, is seen on the right. The dorms originally provided housing for religious leaders on campus, which is why they are so near the church.
This is the kitchen in Queen's Court. While all the dorm kitchens are communal, our told guide told us there was an issue with ice cream thievery on her freshman hall.
Queen's Court also houses Bishop's Lounge, a beautiful place to do work. The study lounge is silent 24-hours a day.
We also checked out Rose Hill's main library -- Walsh -- a modernist reinterpretation of Fordham's dominant Gothic architecture.
The tour ended outside Duane Library, the campus' originally library, which now hosts Fordham's admissions office.
Our tour guide wrapped up by saying how much she loved her experiences at Fordham, and even though the cost may be steep, it's a worthwhile investment.
After the tour, we continued to explore campus, discovering this cool architectural integration on the back of Duane Library.
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