Fordham Law

Fordham Law Mourns Passing of Father Charles Whelan

February 03, 2010

Fordham Law School is saddened by the death of former law professor Fr. Charles Whelan.  
Father Whelan taught at Fordham Law from 1962 – 2006. He enjoyed a national reputation as a Constitutional scholar, and his expertise in First Amendment issues, most especially matters of church-state relations, was as deep as it was broad. That knowledge was displayed in four books— including the landmark Legal and Constitutional Problems of Public Support for Nonpublic Schools, written with Paul A. Freund, in conjunction with the President’s Commission on School Finance and published in 1971—and numerous journal articles.

"All of us who have had the pleasure to work with Father Whelan will treasure his kindness and dedication to others that have enriched our lives and inspired us," said Dean William Michael Treanor. "Modest and concerned only with others, he is truly a giant in the history of the Law School."

Father Whelan’s contributions to Fordham Law did not end with his 44 years in the classroom. He participated on many committees at the School, including 10 years of service as the Chair of the Faculty Committee on Reappointments, Tenure, and Promotions. He was a one-term member of the Fordham University Senate and was named to the University Planning Committee for the 2000s. He was moderator of the Fordham Urban Law Journal and served as the interim moderator of the Fordham Law Review for one year. In each role, his service reflected the highest standards.
Father Whelan made remarkable contributions to the law through his work as an attorney, and his interest in religious issues led him to serve as Associate Editor of America, a national Catholic weekly magazine published by the Jesuits. Beginning in 1962, he reviewed and edited articles and also wrote more than 200 editorials for the magazine.
Father Whelan's wake will be on Thursday, February 4, from 2:00 - 4:00pm and from 7:00 - 9:00pm in the James B. McNally Amphitheater.  The funeral mass will be held in St. Paul's Church, 60th and Columbus, on Friday at 10:00am.