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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.; general partner and founder of Sequoia Association; and 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, Mr. Ferris served on numerous philanthropic boards, including 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 Northern California. He received his A.B. from Boston College and his J.D. from Fordham Law School.

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 been an esteemed leader in the private sector and in civic organizations. She served as vice president of government relations for Shaklee Corporation; 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 and president of the San Francisco Public Affairs Counsel. Her philanthropic activities have focused on at-risk children and literacy. She served as a court appointed special advocate working with 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 adult literacy program. 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 her 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, which encourages successful reentry of at-risk defendants on supervised release, and was a board member of the Haven Relief Fund Society. Throughout her time on the bench, she continued to be an admired and beloved member of the Law School community and taught 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 serving as special associate counsel to the New York City Department of Investigation and commissioner to the New York State Law Revision Commission. 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

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 and has distinguished herself through her extensive pro bono practice, bar service, and philanthropic activities. She has considerable experience in corporate and commercial financing with an emphasis on asset-based financing transactions. Ms. Chin is an adjunct associate professor at Fordham Law School and is a prolific lecturer. Her recent pro bono activities focus on microfinance, nonprofit governance, and family and immigration law. She has also advised Women’s World Banking, a global nonprofit advocating women’s leadership in financial inclusion, for more than 40 years. 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 (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 is a United Methodist Deaconess and for more than a decade has been serving with Global Ministries, the United Methodist agency that connects the global church in mission and ministry. She provided leadership and direction to Ministry With the Poor, a denominational priority focused on transforming how the church and its members understand and respond to poverty and injustice. 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 litigation at Jones Day-NY and served in leadership positions with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and then 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 and a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary.

 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 merger 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 NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. He received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Fordham Law School.


Fragomen Logo (Awards and Benefits)

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP 

Champion of Justice Award

Fragomen, a leading global immigration firm and member of the Am Law 100 and Am Law Global 100, is dedicated exclusively to providing corporate and individual immigration services worldwide. The firm has more than 50 offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific, and offers immigration support in more than 170 countries. Fragomen has a long history of providing impactful pro bono representation for clients who are seeking asylum, in removal proceedings, encountering issues related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and seeking assistance with applications for various immigration benefits. Fragomen has been consistently recognized for its longstanding commitment to pro bono work, including by the National Immigrant Justice Center, City Bar Justice Center, Casa Cornelia and The American Lawyer. The firm’s pro bono practice is led by Pro Bono Counsel Barbara Camacho.

Scott J. FitzGerald (Awards and Benefits)

Scott J. FitzGerald ’92

Champion of Justice Award

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 and the British American Business Council of New England, and a founding member of the Massachusetts Business Immigration Coalition and the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs. Scott has generously supported the Feerick Center’s work in connection with Proyecto Dilley and other immigration-related advocacy efforts. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Fordham Law School.

Michael F. Turansick (Awards and Benefit)

Michael F. Turansick ’82

Champion of Justice Award

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
William P. Frank ’66
Laura J. Garr ’09
ShariLeigh Gordon ’92
Hon. Barbara S. Jones (ret.)
Dennis J. Kenny ’61
Lisa S. Lim ’90 
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
Christopher E. Jansen
Thomas E. La Sala '78
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 
Raymond J. Dowd '91
Thomas J. Drago ’82 
Joseph De Simone ’94
Stacey O’Haire Fahey ’88
Sandy R. Farber and Cynthia Chalker 
Ben Farber and Lily Jilk
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 ’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

Snapshot of Key Programs

  •  Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island CLARO Programs—operating acclaimed consumer debt legal clinics; launching the Remote CLARO Pilot Project in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Civics Education Initiative—working with partners to bring civics education to underserved New York City middle school students.
  • LEEAP Ed. Project—advocating for racial justice in New York City’s complicated high school admissions.
  • NYS Attorney Emeritus Program—promoting civil pro bono service by senior attorneys.
  • Feerick Center Immigrant Justice Project—leading teams of volunteers to Dilley, Texas to assist asylum-seeking women detained with their children through Proyecto Dilley (formerly the Dilley Pro Bono Project); focusing on remote pro bono opportunities and educational programming in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Feerick Center Veteran Rights Project—conducting know-your-rights presentations for veterans on consumer issues and VA benefits. 

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.