Custom Class: header-breadcrumb

Prep receives $2.5 Million Gift to endow Dean of Mission & Ministry

Fairfield Prep is pleased to announce one of the largest gifts in the school's history.

John "Sean" O'Rourke '59

A $2.5 million dollar gift was bequeathed from the estate of John B. "Sean" O'Rourke, Prep Class of 1959. The gift will be used to endow the recently created Dean of Mission & Ministry position. This marks the first ever endowed position at Fairfield Prep. The endowment will be named in honor of Rev. Raymond Quinn, S.J., one of Sean's favorite educators.

"Knowing that there is a possibility of Fairfield Prep operating one day without a Jesuit on staff, the endowing of the Dean of Mission & Ministry position was a very important element of our strategic plan," said Rick Henderson, Vice President for Advancement. "This tremendous gift from Sean allows a full time position to ensure that the Jesuit Mission lives for perpetuity at the school, without any impact to our annual operating budget. With Mission being at the core of everything we do, having this position be the first ever to be endowed is very special."

   Rev. Raymond Quinn, S.J.

About John B. O'Rourke

John B. O'Rourke, known as Sean, passed away in January 2018 in Cambridge, MA, where he resided for many years. He was born in 1942 in New York City, and grew up in Shippan Point, Stamford. Sean graduated from Fairfield Prep and Fairfield University. At Prep, he participated in the Classical Academy, Greek Club, and Hearthstone yearbook.

After graduate school at Harvard and serving in the Army, where he was stationed in Germany, Sean taught Latin, French and English in high schools and junior colleges in the Boston area. He published dozens of articles, both scholarly and popular. Grace Under Pressure was his first book. It was based on archival research in libraries at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Brandeis, as well as other universities about the life of Evan Shipman. He was also the author of A Brief History of Harvard Eateries and Watering Holes.


John "Sean" O'Rourke (right) in Champs Elysees in Paris alongside friend Ted Mann in 1966. O'Rourke, Mann and photographer Bob Gaudio all served in the U.S. Army with the 293rd Signal Company in Fontainebleau, France, 1965-1967. (Photo courtesy of Gaudio).


About the Dean of Mission & Ministry

The Dean of Mission & Ministry position was established at Prep in July 2017. Dr. Donna Andrade developed and currently serves in this role. The Dean supervises the Director of Campus Ministry and the Director of Christian Service. A memorial plaque honoring Sean will be hung on the wall inside St. Joseph Chapel within Xavier Hall.

Safeguarding Prep's Future

A gift through your will or trust is a simple way to make a lasting statement about who you are and what you value. You can do it today — with a legacy gift. It costs you nothing during your lifetime and will not reduce your savings or your cash flow.

  • It's flexible so you can make changes down the road
  • It's much easier than most people realize. A simple paragraph added to your will is all it takes.
  • It allows you to be far more generous than you ever thought possible.

Please contact the Prep Development Office at 203-254.4237 or email

Learn more:

  • Campus Ministry
  • Homepage news