Fairfield University announced Friday that it is part of a $60 million settlement (with the payments shared by the universities and various Jesuit organizations) with victims of abuse at the Project Pierre Toussaint, a program in Haiti for disadvantaged young men there. The project was created by a Fairfield alumnus in 1997 and was supported by many alumni. A statement released by the university noted that Fairfield "played no role in the management or governance of Project Pierre Toussaint" and was unaware until news broke in 2008 of the abuse that took place there, including many sexual assaults of young men.
"Everyone in our community has been saddened by these events. Our prayers are with all those whose trust has been betrayed, and we hope that these proceedings and the settlement reached will give some measure of relief to the victims," said the statement. "While these are difficult circumstances, we take comfort in the inspiring work carried out each day by our students, faculty and staff on behalf of others, and our continued commitment to service as a critical dimension of a Jesuit education. Fairfield University continues to provide our students with an un-paralleled education with the desire they use their gifts to pursue social justice and productive citizenship."