Feerick Center - Fifth AnniversaryThe Feerick Center for Social Justice of the Law School celebrated its Fifth Anniversary with a Benefit Celebration at the reception area of the headquarters of Mutual of America on Park Avenue. The event took place on September 26--five years to the day of its launch back in 2006.
Over 240 alumni and friends attended the glittering reception which raised almost $400,000 for the Feerick Center.
The event honored 3 individuals who have connections to the Center and who have had their own impact in the social justice arena. The first-ever George Mitchell Lifetime Public Service Award was presented to Senator George J. Mitchell, a former visiting professor at the Law School, who was recognized for his work in the Northern Ireland Peace Process, and as Special Presidential Envoy for Middle East Peace. He was hailed as "the ideal of the lawyer as peacemaker."
Robert C. Sheehan, who had been the managing partner of the international law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom was recognized with the "Spirit of Service Award" as he has given up his position and now has immersed himself in the task of energizing law firms and the organized bar to meet the needs of underserved individuals and communities. He is on the Board of Advisors of the Feerick Center
David Jones, the President and CEO of the Community Service Society of New York received the Life of Commitment Award. David has built one of the preeminent volunteer organizations in the nation in his 25 years of leadership. He has inspired Fordham Law students and staff in his appearance at the Centers lunchtime speaker series.
The Center also acknowledged the foresight of former dean William M. Treanor, who encouraged the creation of the Center as a lasting legacy of the Law School's Centennial Celebration.
Among the many guests participating in the celebration were Professor John D. Feerick, former dean of the Law School and currently the Founder and Director of the Center; University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J.; Fordham University Provost Dr. Stephen Freedman; Dean Michael M. Martin of the Law School; former New York State Chief Judge Judith Kaye; Fordham President Emeritus Rev. Joseph A. O'Hare, S.J.; Mutual of America President Thomas Moran; Judge Denny Chin of the US Court of Appeals; and Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the United States District Court in New York.
In the 5 years since its founding the Feerick Center has found a central place in the Fordham community, recognized by the students of Fordham Law School with their highest honor, the Eugene Keefe Award; spearheaded the creation of the Fordham University Consortium on Social Justice, and was also recognized by the New York State Courts with their "Access to Justice Award" for its work with low income New Yorkers burdened by consumer debt; and the Center's concept for " Attorney Emeritus status" to excite and direct the energies of senior attorneys to volunteer their legal skills, was recognized by the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University with their "Bright Idea of 2010 Award".
The following are the remarks delivered by Senator George J. Mitchell at the celebration: