Alumni of Distinction


Fordham Law’s Alumni of Distinction exhibit celebrates graduates of the Law School who have broken barriers in the legal profession, opened doors for underrepresented groups, blazed trails for future generations, and made an indelible mark on our country and around the world.

Eunice Carter Fordham Alumni of Distinction

Eunice Carter '32

Fearless Juggernaut

Geraldine Ferraro Fordham Alumni of Distinction

Geraldine Ferraro '60

Political Trailblazer

Felipe Torres Fordham Alumni of Distinction Honoree 2023

Felipe N. Torres '26

Pathbreaking Public Servant

Ruth Whitehead Whaley Fordham Alumni of Distinction

Ruth Whitehead Whaley '24

Woman of Firsts

Franklin H. Williams Fordham Alumni of Distinction

Franklin H. Williams '45

Civil Rights Leader


Felipe N. Torres, a pathbreaking Afro-Latino leader and legal trailblazer, was the first Puerto Rican judge appointed to the New York State Family Court and the first Puerto Rican assemblyman elected from the Bronx. He was a founding member of the Harlem Lawyers Association (now known as the Metropolitan Black Bar Association) and the Puerto Rican Bar Association. Read more about Felipe.

Eunice Carter was raised in a society with constrained expectations about race and gender, Eunice Carter triumphed far beyond the stifling conventions of her day. Indeed, by the 1940s her professional and political successes had made her one of the most famous black women in the United States. Read more about Eunice.

Geraldine Ferraro '60 was a political dynamo, a fierce advocate for women’s rights, an accomplished prosecutor, an ambassador, and author whose meteoric rise from daughter of immigrants to vice presidential candidate demonstrated that the road to the White House is not limited to male travelers. Read more about Geraldine.

Ruth Whitehead Whaley's life is a compelling story of firsts. The first black woman to enroll at Fordham Law, Whaley graduated at the top of her class in 1924. In 1925, she became the first black woman to practice law in New York state, and in 1933, she was the first black woman to practice law in her home state of North Carolina. Read more about Ruth.

Franklin H. Williams '48 was a civil rights lawyer, world ambassador, national diplomat, and philanthropist whose commitment to combating racial injustice effected great change in American society—and around the globe. Read more about Franklin.