Fordham Law

Fordham University Celebrates Devoted Law School Staff

March 14, 2012

Seven Law School faculty and staff members were among the 28 dedicated University employees feted on March 4 for their longstanding service to Fordham at the University’s 2012 convocation.
Susan Santangelo and Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham

Five Law School faculty members received the Bene Merenti medal recognizing longtime service in the classroom: Dean Michael M. Martin, Professor Frank Chiang, and Professor Donald Sharpe received a medal for 40 years; Associate Dean Ian Weinstein and Professor Tracy Higgins for 20 years. Assistant Dean Kenneth Pokrowski received the Archbishop Hughes medal for completing 20 years of service in helping advance the mission of Fordham in the Registrar and Academic Records and Research departments.
A special award for outstanding contributions to the University, the Sursum Corda, went to three University employees, one of whom, Susan Santangelo, director of faculty administration at Fordham Law, has been working at the Law School since 1960.

In giving tribute to the employees’ service, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, invoked two favorite texts: a biblical passage from 1 Peter 2, and another text describing the reconstruction of the foundations of York Minster cathedral in England.

St. Peter, he said, exhorted his audience to, “Like living stones, be yourselves built into a spiritual house.”

In the York Minster text, the author reflected on how the foundations of the old cathedral, unseen for centuries, had sturdily supported the work of God.

Those texts, Father McShane said, captured the employees’ contributions almost exactly.

“Many of the men and women that we celebrate today labor quietly day by day to support the University and its students as we labor together in the vocation that we all share,” he said. “Their contributions are largely hidden from view.“

“But like the foundations of a cathedral, they are absolutely essential to our mission.

“You are not merely the foundation,” he continued. “You are in a very true sense the University itself. You are living stones. You endow our buildings, our classrooms, our walkways, with your love, devotion, wisdom and passion.”

The event was sponsored by the Office of the President. For a full listing of the honorees, see the University’s news blog.