Hennessy Hall Dedicated
Madison, NJ (May 7, 2007) — The great house of the Vanderbilt-Twombly estate and the central building of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham campus has been known simply as “The Mansion.”
Today, FDU President J. Michael Adams and the Board of Trustees hosted a celebration dedicating The Mansion as Hennessy Hall, acknowledging the generosity and 16 years of service of Edward L. Hennessy, Jr.
“It is fitting and a well-deserved honor that this jewel of the community henceforth be known for a man whose efforts have shined so brightly; a man whose efforts have opened so many doors for students and have helped this institution gain such prominent distinction,” said President Adams during the dedication ceremony.
Hennessy, a 1955 graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson, is a corporate leader and philanthropist who shaped businesses and organizations in New Jersey with his professional and financial contributions. He is the retired chairman and CEO of AlliedSignal Inc., former director of the New York Exchange Company and New York Federal Reserve.
His vision, compassion and leadership have been recognized nationally and globally. President Reagan called upon his expertise in 1982 when he named Hennessy to the “Private Sector Survey” to identify and suggest remedies for waste and abuse in the area of health and human services, including Medicare and Social Security. He is also the recipient of numerous decorations including the Legion of Honor, France; Milal-l-Quad-l-Azam, Pakistan; Knight of Gregory, Knight of Malta, and Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, the Vatican.
Hennessy and his wife, Ruth, have long supported education, healthcare and the arts. He is trustee and founding president of the Tri-County Scholarship Fund, established in 1981 to provide financial aid to students attending elementary and high schools operated by the Diocese of Paterson. He was also vice chairman of the Corporate Fund at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
A dedicated member of the FDU community, Hennessy is a University trustee emeritus and served as chairman from 1983-1994. He has been a generous benefactor of Fairleigh Dickinson University for 40 years. In 2005, he and his wife, Ruth, made a $2.1 million commitment to FDU.
In remarks, President Adams said, “Ed, we are inspired by your commitment and your philanthropy. We are grateful for your past support and your recent commitment.”
About Edward L. Hennessy, Jr.:
Edward L. Hennessy, Jr., is a corporate leader and philanthropist who has shaped businesses and organizations in New Jersey with his professional and financial contributions. He retired as chairman and CEO of Allied-Signal, Inc. in 1991, after 13 years with the company. Under his leadership, the organization moved from the oil and gas sector to be a key contender in aerospace, automotive and engineered materials. He successfully led his company through major transformations, including the acquisition of the Bendix Corporation in 1983 and a merger with the Signal Companies in 1985.
Prior to assuming his position at Allied-Signal, Hennessy served as executive vice president of United Technologies, and held executive positions at several other major U.S. corporations, including Heublein, Inc., ITT and Textron.
Hennessy earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rutherford campus in 1955. In addition to his degree from FDU, Hennessy has studied at the New York University Law School and Northeastern University. He also holds honorary degrees from St. Peters College, University of South Carolina, Stevens Institute of Technology, Rider College, and Northeastern University.
A Trustee emeritus at FDU, Hennessy joined the University’s Board of Trustees in 1978 and served for 16 years, including 11 years as chairman. In 1984, the University honored him with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. In 1989, he was awarded the Pinnacle, the highest honor the University bestows on its alumni, and he was the honoree at FDU’s first Charter Day Dinner in 1990. Hennessy has chaired two capital campaigns for the University and provided the impetus to revitalize and enhance the quality of the school’s academic programs.
In addition to his major commitment to FDU, Hennessy has served a number of other organizations. He was a trustee of The Catholic University of America, Stevens Institute of Technology, Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, the Foundation for Independent Higher Education and Thirteen/WNET New York, a PBS flagship station.
Hennessy was also director of Lockheed Martin, Traveler’s Insurance Company, Automatic Data Processing, New York Stock Exchange, Union Texas Petroleum Corporation, the United Way of Tri-State, the Coast Guard Academy Foundation, Inc., DNA Plant Technology Corporation, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the United States Export and Import Bank, and was financial advisor to the Vatican.
Hennessy and his wife, Ruth, have long supported education, healthcare and the arts. He is trustee and founding president of the Tri-County Scholarship Fund, established in 1981 to provide financial aid to students attending elementary and high schools operated by the Diocese of Paterson. The Fund has raised $19 million and granted 25,000 scholarships over the past 26 years. He was also vice chairman of the Corporate Fund at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Deeply concerned with the welfare of our aging population, Hennessy established Allied-Signal’s “Program on Aging” in 1984 to prolong and enrich the quality of life for older Americans. Since its inception, the program has awarded millions of dollars in grants to initiate medical research for diseases affecting the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis and osteoporosis.
Hennessy chaired the 1987 United Way tri-state campaign, which raised over $170 million for the cause. He was 1991 national chairman of the U.S. Savings Bonds Volunteer Committee and Vice Chairman of the March of Dimes.
Hennessy and his family started The Edward L. and Ruth S. Hennessy Foundation to support the arts, higher education and the economically disadvantaged in Florida and New Jersey. The foundation has made a substantial impact on the communities where the family has resided, supporting the American Cancer Society, United Way, American Heart Association, Morris Museum, and Morristown Memorial Hospital, among others.
Hennessy has been a generous benefactor to Fairleigh Dickinson University for 40 years. In 2005, he and his wife made a $2.1 million commitment to FDU, which will be divided between building the University’s endowment and support of the University libraries.
His vision, compassion and leadership have been recognized globally. He is the recipient of numerous decorations including the Legion of Honor, France; Milal-l-Quad-l-Azam, Pakistan; Knight of Gregory, Knight of Malta, and Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, the Vatican.
He has been married to Ruth Schilling Hennessy for 56 years and they have two children and two grandchildren.