Famous Fordham Students Ranked By Jesuitness

Date Originally Published: Mar. 11, 2017

It’s no secret that a number of ex-Rams (both graduated alumni and those enrolled temporarily) have since cracked their way onto the Hollywood A-List. Less commonly known, though, is the one list more exclusive: the AMDG-List.

Though founded in 1540, the Society of Jesus (better known by its fans as "the Jesuit order") has been receiving a rebirth of recognition in today's pop culture—reaching a recent peak with the internet-shattering "Jesu-LIT!" SnapStory this past fall.

In the theme of the Jesuit order, we've ordered Fordham’s star pupils by their ranking of "Jesuitness," the ultimate test of mind, body, and spirit.

1. Denzel Washington

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Can we just say, ForDAMN? It’s like Denzel was literally training to be at the top of this list. Though competition was close for the coveted top spot, Denzel’s quintessentially Jesuit interdisciplinary  education made him a top prospect from the get-go. Denzel spent his years at Fordham both as an athletic Ram, playing on the basketball team at Rose Hill, and as an artsy Ram, studying acting at Lincoln Center.

Get yourself a Jesuit who can do both.


Once our extensive Googling led us to find that Denzel is also a national spokesperson/board member for the Boys' and Girls' Club, has donated $2 million to Fordham's theatre department and scholarships, funded $2.5 million to the building of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, and reads the Bible every day, the Jesuit jury was out. If we’re really gonna get into the whole Jesuit spiel and mention the concept of magis (“more,” or excellence in all pursuits), Denzel received an honorary doctorate degree from Fordham for "impressively succeeded in exploring the edge of his multifaceted talent." Need we say magis?

There's really no evidence that "Remember the Titans" wasn't shot on Coffey Field.

We're happy to give you another honorary title add to your list, Denzel: first place in the ranking of Jesuitness. Just don't forget to Remember the Rams, please.

2. Taylor Schilling

Falling just short of Denzel in Jesuitness and Golden Globe nominations, we have the lovely Taylor Schilling. We’ll let it slide that the orange jumpsuit she wears in Orange Is The New Black totally clashes with maroon, because, deep down, Tay is the Jesu-it girl.

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OITNB Season 6 wardrobe revamp?

Not only did Taylor attend FCLC for four years to study acting, she then went on to attend NYU Tisch School for two years before dropping out early to focus on her career. Talk about breaking that NYU reject school stigma! Most of all, though, Taylor’s taken her own success and made it meaningful with some serious Cura Personalis by teaming up with the Women’s Prison Association and the Representation Project. There’s no question whether Taylor cares for the whole person. The Jesuits might practice moderation, but we’ll make an exception for you, Taylor—we’re binge-watching your Cura Personalis self all day every day.

3. Lana Del Rey

If you need anyone to look to as a true Fordham alum, look no further than the Ram that literally released a song titled FORDHAM. ROAD. Lana spent her first year at Fordham in Queen’s Court (+1 Jesuit point), and even mentioned the statue of Mary in its courtyard in a verse from “Fordham Road.”

Just saying: "High By The Beach" to "High On Eddie's" could've been an easy swap...but we'll take what we can get.    

First off, Lana majored in philosophy. Very Jesuit. Her B.A. in metaphysics must account for her introspective lyrics—a classic example of Jesuit reflection. Also, according to Wiki, she once went to an Indian reservation in “the west” to paint houses. Who said GO! Trips couldn't be DIY? Lana, you've gone forth and set the world (and our edgy Spotify playlists) on fire. Now, go forth and go third.

4. David Copperfield

Magician David Copperfield is super good at disappearing into thin air…so good, in fact, that after attending Fordham for just three weeks he vanished from campus!

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Did someone tell him that soft smiling was a Jesuit value as some sort of freshman prank?

Dedication to the Jesuit education? Maybe not. But we will give David some props for his work as a “man for others"—he has his very own charity foundation called Project Magic. Plus, it does take some serious unity of mind, body, and spirit to levitate above the ground.

Hey, three weeks is longer than one day (the attendance streak of our fifth place celeb)...

5. Amanda Seyfried

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Mamma Mia!  You’re so not Jesuit! Amanda was enrolled at Fordham for a day before she accepted her offer to go act like a high-schooler in Mean Girls. News flash: Jesuit education is about progressing in maturity, not retrogressing. In other words, take on the core and grow up.

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You spelt "White Castle" wrong.

Was Mean Girls arguably the greatest artistic work of the 21st-century? Yes, obviously. But are you Jesuit, Amanda? Not in the slightest. Fifth.

6. Donald Trump

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You might think the only time one might use “Fordham” and “President” together in a sentence would be when referring to Father McShane…this might be because of the handy job our administration and student body has done at keeping the whole "our-U.S.-President-Donald-J.-Trump-went-to-Fordham-for-two-years" thing on the hush. I’m not going to get into it...really. When they go low, we go high. And when they transfer to UPenn and start throwing subtle shade our way, we say bye.

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How we envision Fordham handling Trump's rumored offer to build a stadium on campus in his name.                            

I will give Mr. Prez the benefit of the doubt, though—it’s easy to hear “Go forth and set the world on fire” and think it means to “Go forth and catalyze global warming.” They’re like, what, a few synonyms apart? It's an easy mix-up.

Donald, we have four letters that might help your Jesuitness a bit more than "MAGA." Those are, of course, "AMDG," baby. Last and least Jesuit.

CultureEmma Carey