Feerick Center Honors Five at Awards Reception

October 01, 2012

At its 2012 Awards and Benefit Reception, the Feerick Center for Social Justice honored five individuals for their commitment to building a more just society. The September 24 event, held at the headquarters of Mutual of America, drew approximately 190 alumni and friends to celebrate the achievements of the honorees and to raise funds for the Center.

Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., President Emeritus of Fordham University, received the George J. Mitchell Lifetime Public Service Award. Father O’Hare is the longest-serving president (1984–2003) in the history of Fordham University and has served as a founding member of the Board of Advisors of the Feerick Center since its creation in 2006.

In introducing Father O’Hare, Fordham Law Dean Michael M. Martin said, “Throughout his career, he has been an active voice and agent for social justice across the public arena. … [He] has advised, shaped, and inspired the work of the Center to provide access to justice for New York’s most vulnerable citizens.”

 l–r: Dean Michael M. Martin, Timothy J. Brosnan '83, Norma Ramos, Fr. Joseph A. O'Hare, S.J., Claire F. O'Brien '83, Dennis J. Kenny '61, and Professor John D. Feerick
Fordham Law alumnus Dennis J. Kenny ‘61 received the Spirit of Service Award for his dedicated involvement with several Feerick Center programs. A retired Vice President and General Counsel of Transamerica Leasing, Inc., Kenny helped create a mediation center in Ghana and supports a social justice lecture series at the Law School, among other initiatives.

“As the Center has developed its programs, we have had no greater friend and example than Dennis,” said Dora Galacatos ‘96, Senior Counsel for the Center. “Dennis has given and gives selflessly of his considerable skills, energy, and talents to making the world a better place.”

Fellow Fordham Law alumni Timothy J. Brosnan ’84 and Claire F. O’Brien ’83 received the Spirit of Hope Award. Brosnan is Executive Vice President for Business of Major League Baseball, and O’Brien is Of Counsel at Davidson, Dawson & Clark LLP. As husband and wife, they were the first individuals to respond to the Center’s appeal to create a permanent endowment.

Assistant Dean Robert J. Reilly ’75 praised the couple’s work: “The mission of the Feerick Center, if it could be described in one word, is ‘hope.’ Hope that, by energizing and engaging the talents of law students and lawyers of all ages and various backgrounds, we can begin to answer the unmet legal needs of the vulnerable in American society. Tim Brosnan and Claire O’Brien provide hope to a wide range of local and national charitable organizations.”

Norma Ramos, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women–International (CATW), received the Center’s Life of Commitment Award. A Fordham College graduate, Ramos has served as a public interest attorney and social justice activist. Before joining CATW, she worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.

The Chair of the Feerick Center’s Advisory Board, Fern Schair, cited Ramos’s "tireless efforts and many successes in changing the laws concerning prostitution both in New York and around the globe. Because of Norma Ramos and her colleagues, society better understand conditions which make so many young girls and women vulnerable to the terrors of sex trafficking."