Fordham Law


Fordham Law Mourns Professor Donald Magnetti

February 04, 2008

The Fordham Law School community mourns the loss of beloved teacher, colleague and friend, Donald L. Magnetti, who was taken from us on Saturday after a two-year battle with illness. He was 67.

Donald served on our faculty for more than 25 years. He was warm, kind and generous of spirit. In quiet and always discreet ways, he performed countless acts of kindness for all of us. Donald was a giant in the classroom, who packed in students eager for the experience of studying with him. Named Teacher of the Year in 2003, he was truly the teacher of the year every year. Former students said he was "extremely funny," had "a way of making everybody slow down and keep things in perspective," and that "When I pictured what learning law in New York City might be like, I imagined him."

Donald graduated from Fordham College in 1963 and earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins in 1969. A Catholic priest, he held a degree from the Woodstock Theological Center. Donald returned to Fordham to earn his law degree in 1979. After two years of practice at the law firm of Coudert Brothers, he joined our faculty in 1981. In addition to being a brilliant teacher of torts, Donald was a legendary authority on trusts and estates and an expert in Islamic Law as well.

He is survived by his sister, Sister Joan Magnetti, RSCJ. The funeral mass will be held at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, Connecticut, on Saturday, February 9th at 11 a.m.

Fordham Law will also hold an appropriate memorial for Professor Magnetti. We will send information as arrangements become finalized. We invite you to send your memories and stories about Donald to us by e-mail. We will collect these for the memorial and for his friends and family.

We are deeply saddened by Donald's passing. We will miss him beyond words.

William Michael Treanor
Dean, Fordham Law