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Feerick Center for Social Justice

Feerick  Center Award & Benefits 2020


Feerick Center for Social Justice 
2020 Awards & Benefit Reception 
Monday, October 26, 2020
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM


To safeguard the health of our honorees, guests, and hosts, we will be holding a virtual program.

Robert A. Ferris (Feerick Center Awards and Benefit)

Robert A. Ferris '66

George J. Mitchell Lifetime Public Service Award 


Robert A. Ferris ’66 - Biography

Robert A. Ferris ’66 is a distinguished leader in private equity business with extensive civic engagement. He is President of Celtic Capital LLC, an investment management firm. Previously, he served as managing director of Caxton-Iseman Capital, Inc. and general partner and founder of Sequoia Association, both equity firms, and also as vice president and secretary of Arcata Corporation. Early in his career, he practiced law at Carter, Ledyard & Milburn. In addition to his service on the boards of numerous public and private companies, he has also served on numerous philanthropic boards, including as a member of the board of trustees of Fordham University; the board of overseers of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University; the board of directors of Arco Iris, a Bolivian hospital for orphans and abandoned children; and the board of advisors of Street Life Ministries, a nonprofit organization that serves homeless people in the mid-Peninsula area of Northern California. He received his A.B. and M.A. from Boston College and his J.D. from Fordham Law School.

Evelyn Jarvis Ferris

Evelyn Jarvis Ferris (Feerick Center Awards and Benefit)

Evelyn Jarvis Ferris

George J. Mitchell Lifetime Public Service Award 


Evelyn Jarvis Ferris - Biography

Evelyn Jarvis Ferris has had extensive leadership roles in the private sector as well as with civic organizations. She served as vice president of government relations for Shaklee Corporation. Prior to this position, she worked as legislative issues manager for Crown Zellerbach Corporation and manager for federal government relations for the National Forest Products Association. She was president of the State Government Affairs Council, a national organization of business leaders, and president of the San Francisco Public Affairs Counsel. Her philanthropic activities have focused on the needs of at-risk children and literacy. She has served as a court appointed special advocate working with and representing abused children in the foster care and court systems; as a tutor and board member of the St. Elizabeth Seton School; and as a tutor for Project Read, a national literacy program that helps adults learn to read. She was a founding member of the Feerick Center for Social Justice’s advisory board. She graduated with a B.S. from the University of Maryland and an M.S. from George Washington University.

Hon. Deborah A. Batts

Hon. Deborah A. Batts

(awarded posthumously)

Life of Commitment Award


Honorable Deborah A. Batts - Biography -

Honorable Deborah A. Batts was a trailblazer in academia and on the bench. She was the first African-American faculty member at Fordham Law School and the first openly LGBTQ federal judge. During a 25-year career as a jurist, Judge Batts presided over the Central Park Five civil case and many prominent cases involving political corruption and terrorism. She presided over the Reentry through Intensive Supervision and Employment Court (RISE Court), which seeks to encourage employment and successful reentry of at-risk defendants on supervised release, and she was a board member of the Haven Relief Fund Society. Even after her appointment to the federal bench, she continued to be an admired and beloved member of the Law School community, including teaching trial advocacy as an adjunct faculty member. Prior to academia, she was a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and then an assistant United States attorney in the Criminal Division of the Southern District of New York. Other public service included her tenure as special associate counsel to the New York City Department of Investigation and as commissioner to the New York State Law Revision Commission. She was an active member of numerous bar associations. Judge Batts received her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College in 1969, during which she served as president of the student government, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1972.

Sylvia Fung Chin ’77

Sylvia Fung Chin (Awards and Benefits)

Sylvia Fung Chin ’77

Spirit of Service Award


Sylvia Fung Chin ’77 - Biography

Sylvia Fung Chin ’77 is partner/of counsel in White & Case’s New York office. She has considerable experience in corporate and commercial financing with an emphasis on asset-based financing transactions. She teaches as an adjunct associate professor at Fordham Law School and frequently lectures on corporate finance topics. She has distinguished herself through her extensive pro bono practice, bar service, and philanthropic activities. Her recent pro bono activities focus on family and immigration law cases. She has also advised Women’s World Banking, a global nonprofit advocating women’s leadership in financial inclusion, with governance and contractual matters for more than 40 years. Among other bar involvements, she serves in leadership positions with the AmeriCan Bar Association, the New York Bar Foundation, and the Asian American Law Fund of New York. She has received many awards for her pioneering work, including the Jean Allard Glass Cutter Award of the ABA Business Law Section. She serves as trustee of the Fordham Law Alumni Association. She earned a B.A. from New York University and a J.D. from Fordham Law School. 

Mary Ellen L. Kris ’76

Mary Ellen L Kris (Awards and Benefit)

Mary Ellen L. Kris ’76 

James F. Gill Spirit of Hope Award


Mary Ellen L. Kris ’76 - Biography

Mary Ellen L. Kris ’76 leads the Ministry with the Poor, a denominational initiative of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries focused on transforming how the church and its members understand and respond to poverty and injustice. In 2014, she was consecrated a United Methodist deaconess. Previously, her legal career included clerking for Judge Robert J. Ward of the Southern District of New York and serving 10 years in the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, in both the criminal and civil divisions, and as the chief of the Environmental Protection Unit. She then practiced environmental law and civil, criminal, and administrative litigation at Jones Day. She also served in leadership roles with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. She is a member of the Feerick Center’s advisory board and has twice joined center-led trips to serve through Proyecto Dilley. She received her B.A. and J.D. from Fordham University.

Charles K. O’Neill ’72

 Charles K O'Neill (Awards and Benefits)

Charles K. O’Neill ’72

Spirit of Service Award

Charles K. O’Neill ’72 - Biography

Charles K. O’Neill ’72 is of counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. Prior to Chadbourne & Parke LLP’s combination with Norton Rose Fulbright, he served as Chadbourne’s managing partner from 1998 to 2010 and chaired Chadbourne’s pro bono committee from 2012 to 2017. He now devotes his practice to pro bono matters. He is chair of the board of CAMBA Legal Services and is a member of the board of directors of New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. He received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969 and a J.D. from Fordham Law School in 1972.


Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

Fragomen Logo (Awards and Benefits)

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP is the largest and leading immigration services provider in the United States, with a global presence and international reputation. The law firm has received consistently high rankings and recognitions, particularly in the field of immigration law, including from Chambers Global, Chambers USA, U.S. News & World Report, Best Lawyers, and Who’s Who Legal. The law firm, and many of its attorneys have been honored for their commitment to pro bono work, including by the National Immigrant Justice Center. The law firm’s extensive pro bono practice is led by Pro Bono Counsel Barbara Camacho.

Scott J. FitzGerald ’92

Scott J. FitzGerald (Awards and Benefits)

Scott J. FitzGerald ’92

Organizational Honorees

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

Scott J. FitzGerald ’92 - Biography

Scott J. FitzGerald ’92 is the managing partner of the Boston office of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP, and a managing director of Fragomen Immigration Services India Pvt., Ltd. He has practiced exclusively in the field of corporate immigration and nationality law for more than 25 years. He is a board member of the American Immigration Council, the British American Business Council of New England, the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs, and a founding member of the Massachusetts Business Immigration Coalition. He has generously supported the Feerick Center’s work in connection with Proyecto Dilley and other immigration-related advocacy efforts. He is a graduate of the John Hopkins University and Fordham LawSchool.

Michael F. Turansick ’82

Michael F. Turansick (Awards and Benefit)

Michael F. Turansick ’82

Organizational Honorees

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

Michael F. Turansick ’82 - Biography

Michael F. Turansick ’82 is senior counsel at Fragomen, Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy LLP.  He has been practicing in the field of immigration and nationality law for over 30 years and has managed a diverse practice comprised of individual, start-up, mid-size, and large multinational companies encompassing a broad range of industry sectors. He is a member of numerous professional organizations and is a frequent author and speaker on immigration topics. He has been recognized by several industry publications, including The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers, Best Lawyers, and Leading Lawyers, for excellence in the field of immigration law. Like his partner, Scott J. FitzGerald, he has been a generous supporter of the Feerick Center’s immigration-related pro bono and advocacy efforts. He received his B.A. from Fordham University and his J.D. from Fordham Law School.


2020 Virtual Awards & Benefit Reception Committee

Benefit Committee Co-Chairs

Sally J. Bellet ’76
Jane E. Booth
John R. Costantino ’70 and Barbara Costantino
Denis F. Cronin ’72 
Christopher V. Della Pietra ’92
Raymond J. Dowd '91
William P. Frank ’66
Laura J. Garr ’09
ShariLeigh Gordon ’92
Hon. Barbara S. Jones (ret.)
Dennis J. Kenny ’61
Robert A. McTamaney ’70
Daniel P. O’Toole ’92 and Claire O’Toole
Jack E. Pace III ’98
Karla G. Sanchez ’95
Irene A. Sullivan ’75

Benefit Honorary Co-Chairs

Charlie M. Carberry ’76
Joseph E. Geoghan ’64
Edward W. Greason ’58
Thomas J. Hall ’80
John J. Hanley ’00
Rhonda C. Holmes ’97
Patricia M. Hynes ’66
Chrisopher E. Jansen
Thomas A. Moore ’72
Finbarr J. O’Neill ’76
Madeline C. Stoller ’76
Eugene P. Souther ’59
Linda H. Young ’78

Benefit Committee Members

Roland R. Acevedo ’96 and Maria Imperial 
Maureen S. Bateman ’68
Lucy A. Brusco ’87
Bradley J. Butwin ’85
Alfred Cavallaro ’86
Michael S. Cryan ’95
Kevin J. Curnin ’95
Thomas E. DeJulio ’77
Nancy E. Delaney ’88
Deneen L. Donnley ’92 
Thomas J. Drago ’82 
Joseph De Simone ’94
Stacey O’Haire Fahey ’88
Sandy R. Farber and Cynthia Chalker and Ben Farber
Palmina M. Fava-Pastilha ’97
Stephen J. Fearon ’63
Margaret M. Giordano Friedberg ’88
Christian H. Gannon ’89
Rafal Gawlowski ’00
Rita M. Glavin ’96
Dina S. Grant ’85
Edward W. Greason, Jr. ’91
Vilia B. Hayes ’80
Rose A. Gill Hearn ’88
Kevin T. Hoffman ’81
Edward M. Joyce ’86
E. Barry Lyon ’76 
Constantine N. Katsoris ’57
Sharon L. McCarthy ’89 and Antonio X. Molestina ’89
Stuart J. McGregor ’76
Megan K. McNamara ’13
Michael J. McNamara ’83
J. Gregory Milmoe ’75 and Laura Milmoe
Neal J. Miranda ’80
Maura K. Monaghan ’96
Mary Beth Quaranta Morrissey ’82
Patricia A. Murphy ’81 
John J. Normile ’88
Scott C. Occhiogrosso '99
Bernard F. O’Hare ’80 and Kathleen O’Hare’80 
Carlos G. Ortiz
Bret I. Parker ’93
Jeremiah J. Quinlan ’75
Stacey J. Rappaport ’96
James J. Roth ’83
Robert J. Reilly ’75
Timothy G. Reynolds ’80
William J. Ruane ’80 
C. David Sammons ’87
Jeanne Samuels ’87
James P. Sauter ’87
John E. Schmeltzer III ’74
Robert C. Sheehan
Paul A. Soden ’68
John W. Spollen ’73
Michael K. Stanton Jr. ’86
Michael J.D. Sweeney ’96
James E. Tolan ’62
Constance M. Vaughan
Steven P. Vincent ’83 and Nancy Tormey Vincent ’82
Susan Marren Whelan ’84 and William J. Whelan III ’83
Gavin N. White ’01
Henry F. White Jr. ’76
Edward M. Wolfe ’91 and Elisabeth K. Wolfe ’97

The annual benefit reception provides crucial funding for the Feerick Center, and we celebrate these incredible honorees for their service and commitment to social justice. If you are interested in joining the benefit reception committee and for additional information, please call 212-636-7747 or email


Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice released a report, Public Schools, Public Oversight: Principles and Policy Recommendations During COVID-19 and Beyond, which focuses on NYC high school admissions to highly-selective screened programs.