Graduation was amazing. I was so honored to receive the Eugene J. Keefe Memorial Award for outstanding contributions and service to the Fordham community along with Mike Zimmerman. Here's the video of us accepting the award (I was unexpectedly crazy nervous). The extended draft of my remarks (had to cut for time) is below.
I'm so grateful to LSRJ and everyone who supported us. And incredibly proud to be a Fordham Law grad!
I am very honored to be recognized with the Keefe Award and we share it with everyone here who has worked to make Fordham a better place.
Catholic-affiliated institutions like ours have been in the news quite a bit this year, and they have often been portrayed in ways that don’t reflect the Fordham Law experience. At Fordham , we value diverse perspectives and respect principled disagreement. We work for equality and believe the law protects it. We are a community that welcomes people of all faiths or no faith, all races, heritages, nationalities, genders, and sexual orientations. Where we could be more welcoming of difference, we have worked to educated each other and improve.
The invocation today may have been the first time you’ve heard a prayer in your time at Fordham, but it is important to realize that even if we are Jewish, Muslim, or atheist – we are all Catholic school kids now. As such, we have a shared responsibility to make Catholic institutions a force for good and to see that fact is understood in the world.
Earlier this year I heard the undergraduate student body president of Fordham college at Lincoln Center tell his peers that “As students of a Jesuit institution, we are called to be bothered by injustice.” I will add that as Fordham lawyers, graduates of a law school “In the Service of Others,” we are called to remedy the injustice we see.
I know that we will continue to bring the Fordham Law spirit of service to firms and organizations throughout the world. I hope that as we tackle big problems, we refuse to tolerate the seemingly little injustices as well; that we are mindful of how our power and privilege, which will only increase with the degrees we receive today, can insulate us from their effects.When the farmshare shut down, we could have gotten our organic vegetables elsewhere. It didn't make sense that we had to, but more importantly those vegetables were missed by members of our community at St. Paul’s soup kitchen next door, who don't have the same options we do.What may have been a relatively minor practical obstacle to accessing contraceptives for a law student can be something else entirely for an 18-year-old who has just moved to the Bronx. Furthermore, that hurdle, though manageable, has larger implications for the equal participation of women in society and the workforce. We are called to be bothered and to act - so we did.
I feel extremely fortunate for the education I’ve received from my excellent professors and my peers at Fordham and I look forward to all of our continued contributions to the Fordham community and to our field.