Fordham Law

Fordham Law Receives Leadership Gift from Family of Geraldine Ferraro '60

February 15, 2012

Fordham Law is pleased to announce that it has received a leadership gift from John Zaccaro, Sr., and his children in memory of his late wife, the Honorable Geraldine Ferraro '60. The gift will support the Fordham University School of Law & Undergraduate Residence Hall currently under construction on Fordham's Lincoln Center campus and is set to open in
 Geraldine Ferraro '60
 Geraldine Ferraro '60

Fordham Law will name the ninth floor of the new building, which will house the clinical education suites, for Ferraro—a tribute to the legal career she spent fighting for victims of inequality and abuse following her graduation from Fordham Law in 1960. The Geraldine A. Ferraro Clinical Education Center will provide ample space for clinic students to meet with real clients—most otherwise unable to afford legal representation. The suites will feature state-of-the-art video technology and secure storage for confidential files.

"It is doubly generous that John Zaccaro makes this very welcome gift in the name of Congresswoman Ferraro," said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. "Not only will the gift ensure that we can produce better educated law alumni, but John Zaccaro and the rest of the congresswoman’s family do us a great honor by allowing us to link her name and reputation to Fordham Law, setting a worthy example for future generations of law students."
 John Zaccaro, Sr., and John, Jr.
 John Zaccaro, Sr., and John, Jr.

“My mother’s Fordham experience helped shape her life and her professional career,” said Ferraro’s son, John Zaccaro, Jr. “A role in Fordham’s clinical Education Center gives her, in eternity, a role in representing the underprivileged as well the ability to impact the lives of future leaders. I think that’s what my mother would have loved.”

Making the clinical suite’s new name even more appropriate is the fact that Fordham Law School runs a Prosecution Clinic in the Queens D.A.’s office, where Ferraro established and headed the Special Victims Unit that prosecutes sex crimes, child abuse and crimes against the elderly.

Following her work with the Queens D.A., Ferraro served three-terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1984, presidential candidate Walter Mondale selected her to be his running mate, making her the first female vice presidential candidate on a major-party ticket. She subsequently served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and pursued a long career as an author and businesswoman. She died on March 26, 2011, from multiple myeloma.

"Geraldine Ferraro was one of the most distinguished alumni of Fordham Law and a stalwart supporter of the school throughout her entire life," said Michael M. Martin, Dean of Fordham Law School. "The Fordham Law community is profoundly grateful to her family for honoring her memory with this generous gift to the new law school building. We believe, as Geraldine did, that clinics are an integral part of a complete legal education, and this gift will enhance the clinical experience for generations of Fordham Law students to come."

Read more in the New York Times City Room blog and the New York Law Journal.