John Donne put it this way, “No man is an island.” FDU founder Peter Sammartino described a similar theme for the university he was building when he said we must be “of and for the world.” The reality of today’s global village almost demands the type of multicultural emphasis FDU values. That emphasis is apparent in its two international campuses (Wroxton, England, and Tel Aviv, Israel) and the integration of global perspectives into many facets of the curricula. But you also can get a glimpse of the University’s mini global village by catching a basketball game — or just about any other FDU intercollegiate competition — because athletes from all over the world are providing the winning edge.

Both FDU’s Division I and Division III programs have adopted global recruiting practices and integrated international players into their lineups. Student-athletes hail from countries as near as Canada to as far away as Israel. Their cultural differences seem to melt away in the spirit of the competition. “The sports borders were torn down long ago,” says Head Men’s Basketball Coach Tom Green.

The University, like many in the United States, has seen continued expansion in the number of international students, and today nearly half a million international students are enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities. In 1998–99, the number of international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities totaled 491,000 — up 2 percent from the year before and a record enrollment according to an annual report released in December by the nonprofit Institute of International Education.

Education is one of the United States’ greatest products; and FDU’s innovative programs and the prestige associated with an American degree are very appealing. Also, FDU’s proximity to New York City makes it a very attractive destination.

FDU has approximately 700 students from more than 60 countries studying on its campuses. The school ranks 18th in the nation among master’s institutions with international students. While both New Jersey campuses have international students, the majority of those from abroad make their home at Teaneck-Hackensack.

“There’s definitely a philosophy on the Teaneck-Hackensack Campus that we are an international campus,” Athletics Director Steve Hurlbut says. “For a number of years, we have had a fair number of international student-athletes.”

With so many students from different countries, international student-athletes are less prone to suffer from feelings of isolation. And, when extra support is needed, FDU’s Office of International Student Services provides assistance ranging from cultural and social activities to workshops on employment.

“An international student is going to feel comfortable here,” Green says.

For the World

Education and athletics are similar in the respect that both are enhanced when people of different backgrounds come together. As the people of the world become more aware of the importance of a global and multicultural outlook, such partnerships will become increasingly critical.

Reflecting the University’s general global emphasis, all of the Teaneck-Hackensack and Florham-Madison coaches who have recruited internationally plan to expand their international networks of coaches and strengthen their global connections. It seems fitting for an institution whose founder wanted to build a university “of and for the world.”

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