Fordham University honored Alex and Jean Trebek with this year’s Fordham Founder’s Award on Jan. 7.
Roger A. Milici, Jr., vice president for development and university relations, said individuals who receive the award embody and reflect the community’s values.
“Awardees are designated Founders of Fordham for their personal achievements for their contributions to the life of the university, and for their support of Founders Scholars,” he said. “Fordham Founders exemplify the renewal of the university’s identity and mission through successive generations of women and men for others.”
The Trebek’s son, Matthew Trebek, FCRH ’13, graduated from Fordham and owns a restaurant called Oso in Hamilton Heights.
In 2015, Alex and Jean Trebek donated $1 million and created the Alex Trebek Endowed Scholarship Fund to help students who live in North Harlem. In 2019, they gave another $1 million and expanded eligible students to include East Harlem.
In a video Fordham posted of the Trebeks receiving the award, Alex Trebek talked about the power of prayer, citing the Jesuits as one of the groups that taught it to him. He thanked Fordham Trustee Fellow Armando Nuñez, GSB ’82, Trustee Brian MacLean, FCRH ’75 and Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university.
“We are so delighted to be here tonight to accept this beautiful award,” Alex Trebek said. “It’s humbling and it’s gratifying to know that because of the program I have hosted for 36 years, I have managed to touch the lives of so many people who are suffering, who need encouragement and if through our work … if we are able to affect society in a positive way, then our lives will not be for naught.”