The Fordham Law School community celebrated the careers of Professors Carl Felsenfeld and Donald Sharpe during a special evening reception held on May 25. Both Sharpe and Felsenfeld, whose respective banking and tax law courses served as institutional mainstays for four decades, retired from full-time teaching at the end of the spring semester after nearly 85 years of combined service to Fordham Law.
Felsenfeld, a former vice president at Citicorp, joined the full-time Fordham Law faculty in 1987, after teaching as an adjunct for almost ten years. Felsenfeld helped pioneer banking law in American legal education, wrote numerous books and articles about banking business, served as U.S. delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, and was instrumental in the launching of Fordham’s LL.M. program.
Yet, in spite of his intellectual prowess and formidable reputation, Felsenfeld performed his duties with kindness and gentleness and without pretension, Fordham Law Dean Matthew Diller told the faculty, administrators, and family gathered for the event.
“If you saw him biking from his Upper West Side apartment to Fordham, which he did regularly up until a few years ago, you’d never guess he is such an intellectual force,” Diller said.
Sharpe, a tax expert who joined the full-time Fordham Law faculty in 1972, combined his profound subject matter expertise with trademark dry humor to educate and entertain Fordham students learning about estate and gift taxes, among other courses. In addition, he helped launch Fordham Law’s first loan forgiveness program, one that has allowed generations of Fordham students entering public service following graduation to do so with a greatly reduced debt burden.
“Don has helped solidify Fordham Law’s motto, ‘In the service of others,’” Diller said.