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Prof. Constantine N. Katsoris Honored by Fordham University School of Law

March 12, 2023

NEW YORK – Greek-American Professor Constantine N. Katsoris was honored by Fordham University School of Law with the the Milton Fisher ’42 Second Harvest Award at the 74th Annual Fordham Law Alumni Association (FLAA) Luncheon on March 3 at Cipriani’s on 42nd Street in Manhattan.

The award is presented to an alumnus who has celebrated their 50th reunion and has “embodied the Law School’s highest ideals of excellence and has made exceptional contributions to society in the humanities, legal profession, business world, their community, and charitable affairs.”

Prof. Katsoris, the Ignatius M. Wilkinson Professor of Law at Fordham, is a graduate of Fordham College at Rose Hill (now known as the Gabelli School of Business) in 1953 and Fordham’s School of Law in 1957, where he was first in his class and received the Chapin Prize for attaining the highest weighted average. He also received an LLM in Corporate Finance from New York University (NYU) School of Law in 1963.

The Milton Fisher ’42 Second Harvest Award was presented to Professor Constantine N. Katsoris at the 74th Annual Fordham Law Alumni Association (FLAA) Luncheon on March 3. (Photo: Courtesy of Prof. Katsoris)

Prof. Katsoris is the longest-serving faculty member at Fordham Law, having joined the faculty in 1964, and has also served as a director of the FLAA since 1972.

In his speech accepting the award, Prof. Katsoris said: “I am honored to receive the Milton Fisher Second Harvest Award at today’s annual luncheon. When I first registered at Fordham in the fall of 1949 as a college freshman, I didn’t think I would have the privilege to be associated with Fordham for the next 74 years as a faculty member, parent and grandparent of Fordham students and proud alumni.”

He continued: “Indeed, I have had the honor to teach for 55 years at the Law School, to about 15,000 students. In the classroom I have taught alumni, their children, and in some cases their grandchildren.”

“Fordham has been my life and I hope I have embodied the Jesuit principle of ‘cura personalis’ and showed concern and care for the personal development of the whole student,” Prof. Katsoris said. “It has been my honor to serve with six of our Law School deans, and I hope I have been a source of support and institutional knowledge to them.” “I thank my family and each of you for this award and urge you to remember to live according to the school’s reputation in the service of others. Thank you and God bless you all,” he concluded.

Prof. Katsoris told The National Herald via email that the Fordham Law Review is publishing the autobiography of his legal career, titled A Ram from Sparta, in its next issue.

His father, Nicholas, born in Sparta came to the U.S. as a teenager at the turn of the last century and built a career at his uncle’s food importing firm of Lekas & Drivas.

Greek-American Professor Constantine N. Katsoris was honored by Fordham University School of Law at the 74th Annual Fordham Law Alumni Association (FLAA) Luncheon on March 3. (Photo: FLAA)

“After a few years of learning that business, he returned to Greece and married my mother, Nafsika, and they embarked to America to start the Katsoris clan here in the United States,” Prof. Katsoris writes in his autobiography.

They first lived in Brooklyn, near Ebbets Field, then moved to Washington Heights. Eventually, the Katsoris family moved to Long Beach, Long Island, but after two years of high school there, when Constantine Katsoris was 14 – he was skipped ahead two grades – he rode the LIRR every day to Xavier High School in Manhattan.

He studied accounting and then law at the old Fordham campus at 302 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.

After, his father left Lekas & Drivas and “retired,” he started his own company N. Katsoris, Inc. and hoped Prof. Katsoris would go into the family business. He chose instead to study law, but before he graduated his father passed away.

The young Katsoris could have chosen the family business, which was an innovative firm, being among the first to package Greek food products in jars, and as he told TNH in a previous interview: “I studied business at Fordham, and earned a Master’s in tax law at NYU but I learned the most about business working with my father for 10 years.”

The decision was made, however, to sell the business to Argyrios Fantis, who was a family friend.

William Hughes Mulligan, Dean of Fordham Law, who was his professor and mentor, was the one who encouraged Katsoris to complete his degree.

Before joining the Fordham Law faculty, Prof. Katsoris practiced law at Cahill, Gordon, Reindel & Ohl and volunteered for the Legal Aid Society. He also has provided extensive public and pro bono service in civil and criminal matters over the course of his career.

Prof. Katsoris was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award 1999, was inducted into Xavier High School Hall of Fame in 2008, and has received numerous awards including the Fordham Law Alumni Association’s Alumni Medal of Achievement (1995), Fordham University’s Bene Merenti Medals (1985 and 2004), the Dean’s Medal of Achievement (1999), the Students’ Medal of Achievement (1992), the Public Interest Resource Center’s Award (1993), the Urban Law Journal’s Louis J. Lefkowitz Award (2003), the George J. Mitchell Lifetime Public Service Award (2014), the Gov. Malcolm Wilson Distinguished Alumnus Award (2015), and the Fordham Law Review Leonard F. Manning Achievement Award (2017). He also served on the Board of Advisors of the Feerick Center for Social Justice.

He also served as a member and as Chairman of the School Board at the St. Spyridon Parochial School, and is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Of his family, Prof. Katsoris writes: “In my ‘spare time,’ I married the lovely Ann Kanganis, and we had three children (Nancy, Nicholas, and Louis)— each of whom later graduated from both the Fordham School of Business and Fordham Law School. Nicholas and Louis were also graduates of Fordham Preparatory School. I am also happy to say that Ann and I have seven wonderful grandchildren: Annie (and her husband Matt, who were married by Father Joseph M. McShane at the Fordham University Church in 2019), Christopher, Constantine, Kelly, Julia, and Cole.”

As noted in the FLAA program, Prof. Katsoris is “a nationally recognized scholar of tax law, securities law, and trusts and estates,” and his “research and teaching has had an outsized influence in his field and burnished Fordham Law’s reputation in these areas.” Also noted in the program, “for over 30 years, Prof. Katsoris led the Law School’s annual Supreme Court Bar induction ceremonies, which have in total admitted more than 1,000 of the Law School’s alumni and faculty to practice before the nation’s highest court.”

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