Surrounded by a large crowd of colleagues, friends and family members, former Fordham Law Dean Michael M. Martin was honored on April 15 with the unveiling of his official portrait.
Dean Martin’s family—his wife Ellen, his son Andrew and his daughter-in-law Bethany with their children Clare and Jeffrey—helped unveil the new portrait before an audience of over 100 gathered inside the Gorman Moot Court Room.
The portrait, a creation of artist Peter Thompson, depicts Dean Martin standing in front of Fordham Law’s building on West 62nd Street in Manhattan. It will be hung outside of the Dean’s Suite on the 8th Floor of the Law School.
“I look around the room and virtually every face brings back wonderful memories,” Dean Martin told the crowd. “I am proud and deeply humbled that my portrait is going to be with those of my predecessors,” he added, referring to John D. Feerick and William Treanor, both present at the celebration.
Michael M. Martin, a Rhodes Scholar, joined the Fordham Law faculty in 1972. Over the years, he has taught Torts, Civil Procedure, and Evidence, and was named Teacher of the Year in 2005. He served as Associate Dean of the school from 1995 to 2001 and as the Dean of the school from 2010 to 2015. For 13 years, he served as faculty moderator for the Fordham Law Review.
Current Dean Matthew Diller led the celebration and introduced the speakers: President Joseph M. McShane, S.J., Prof. Benjamin Zipursky, Prof. Ian Weinstein, Sally Bellet ’76, and Prof. Sheila R. Foster (via video).
“Mike is the person we can thank for being in this beautiful Law School building today,” said Dean Diller. “Mike has influenced thousands of students and was able to hand 3,016 graduates their diploma during his time as Dean.” Diller praised Martin for his wisdom and his commitment to fairness. “He never steered me wrong,” he said.
President McShane described Dean Martin as “a man that we all love and to whom we owe a big deal.” He referred to the former dean as a “humble lawyer, the perfect university man. He led the Law School with great devotion and with great diplomatic skill.”
“You never wanted to leave the spirit of the old law school, that had been nurtured at the Woolworth Building. You didn’t want that to be lost,” President McShane told Dean Martin. “You were the perfect man to prepare the Law School family for its new home. Under your leadership, the spirit was brought to life here.”
All of the speakers praised Dean Martin for his humbleness, his commitment to Fordham Law, his mentorship and excellent leadership.
“Every dean becomes known for words or phrases that they keep returning to in speeches or in conversation,” said Dean Martin in his closing remarks. “The words I kept coming back to were ‘community’ and ‘family.’ Because I believe that Fordham Law is unique to being a real community and a true family.”