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Theodore B. Olson to Receive Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize

Theodore B. Olson

Photo by David Shankbone

Theodore B. Olson has been selected to receive the 2010 Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize.

Olson will accept the prize at a dinner in New York on Oct. 27. He is the 35th recipient of this national honor, bestowed by Fordham Law School’s Stein Center for Law and Ethics, which recognizes one person each year whose work, according to the prize’s charter, “exemplifies outstanding standards of professional conduct, promotes the advancement of justice, and brings credit to the profession by emphasizing in the public mind the contributions of lawyers to our society and to our democratic system of government.”

Olson served as the 42nd solicitor general of the United States from 2001 to 2004. He was nominated by, and served in the administration of, President George W. Bush. Currently, he is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C. office and is a member of the firm’s executive committee.

“Ted Olson is a champion for the basic American principles outlined in our Constitution,” said Michael M. Martin, interim dean of Fordham Law. “He has demonstrated this throughout his career in his representation of various clients, including our country.”

Before his service as solicitor general, Olson served as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1981 to 1984. Except for those two intervals, he has been with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. since 1965.

Olson has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

Last July, President Barack Obama appointed Olson to serve as a member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a public-private partnership charged with providing nonpartisan, practical assessments and recommendations to improve agency procedures and operations.

Named after Louis Stein (LAW ’26), the prize recognizes the positive contributions of the legal profession to American society.

Documentary Producer Discusses Gentrification with Fordham Students

Ed Morales co-produced Whose Barrio?

Photo by Gina Vergel


When the real estate market was booming, the dreaded “G” word caused anxiety in East Harlem, a journalist who documented the tension told Fordham students on Sept. 29.

Ed Morales, who has covered New York City for more than 20 years, discussed gentrification and whether it has displaced the Puerto Ricans who once populated East Harlem.

“We all know about gentrification,” said Morales, whose parents met and married in East Harlem, also called Spanish Harlem and El Barrio. “It’s been a problem for as far back as I can remember.”

Morales was a guest speaker at a class on “Hispanics in the USA” at Fordham College at Lincoln Center. Clara Rodriguez, Ph.D., professor of sociology, said she invited Morales because a documentary he co-produced, Whose Barrio?, fit with the topic students were researching in her class.

“[The documentary] focused on the economic shifts that occurred in these neighborhoods and their cultural impact, as opposed to the way in which it is more generally perceived—as racial or ethnic shifts,” Rodriguez said.

Morales showed excerpts from Whose Barrio?, which explores gentrification in East Harlem, where the median household income is slightly more than $22,000.

“Downtown is moving uptown,” Morales said in the film. “Big changes are coming—what some people call development and others call gentrification.”

Shown at the HBO New York International Latino Film Festival in 2009, Whose Barrio? was co-produced with fellow journalist Laura Rivera. The film follows two East Harlem residents—Jose Rivera, a middle-aged man of Puerto Rican descent who was born and raised in El Barrio, and James Garcia, a 20-something seventh-generation Mexican American who bought a condo in one of the area’s new buildings.

While Garcia advocates for an upswing in the neighborhood’s “quality of life,” Rivera said wealthier newcomers were forcing him out. “You can’t live here and expect to buy a home unless you’re making outrageous amounts of money,” Rivera said in the film.

At one point, Garcia railed against longtime residents, who he said are afraid of change and perhaps comfortable living amidst crime. Morales said this isn’t so.

“Community leaders have always asked for more policing,” Morales said. “Unfortunately, it seems to come only after the neighborhood is gentrified.”

Before the neighborhood became “hot” for gentrification, Morales said his own friends of Puerto Rican descent who were coming out of academia and other professions moved to El Barrio in an attempt to keep “a cultural presence.”

“They were rather idealistic,” he said. “Their goal was to save and buy in the area, which I thought was great. But then the skyrocketing real estate market happened and they could never save enough.”

—Gina Vergel

The Reformation Brings New Approach to Sacred Music

Jane Dawson, Ph.D.

Photo by Joseph McLaughlin

As the Protestant Reformation swept across Europe, those who rebelled against Catholicism cast their new forms of worship in opposition to the Catholic Mass—including its music.

How sacred music developed as part of the Reformation was explored in a presentation on Sept. 22 by Jane Dawson, Ph.D., the John Laing Professor of Reformation History at Edinburgh University’s School of Divinity.

By the late Middle Ages, Dawson said, the performance of sacred music was relegated mainly to professionals who could understand its polyphonic structure. Protestants, however, feared the power of music to influence and distract, so they stipulated that church music must serve the words—because the words were the word of God.

“They also stipulated that words should be audible and that the language must be comprehensible,” Dawson said. “The final maxim was that singing should ‘profit’ the church.” That meant church music was to be performed by the entire congregation.

This “triumph of the word,” as the Protestant Reformation has been traditionally regarded, marked a decisive shift from a visual and sensual culture to a logocentric and literary one. It was Protestantism that replaced polyphony with the voicings that are still used today—soprano, alto, tenor and bass.

In Scotland, which underwent its Reformation beginning in 1560, a metrical Psalter containing Old Testament psalms that had been transposed from their polyphonic versions helped grow a popular culture.

“More than 1 million copies of the Protestant psalm book were available in 1640 in England and Scotland,” Dawson said.

For the first time, Scots were singing together in church. This practice was vital in enabling the non-literate majority of Scots to cope with a religion of the word.

“In this non-literate society, you are able to create a popular culture through singing which, essentially, is learning by listening,” she said.

The psalms were also used as protest songs in the battle between Catholicism and Protestantism. For example, Scottish Protestants sang from the psalms—“Judge and revenge my cause, Oh Lord, from them that evil be”—at the downfall of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots in 1567.

Singing in church led to the singing of religious songs in the house, which then gave rise to songs sung in private prayers, Dawson said.

“Singing helped Protestants to cope with what Peter Marshall has called the ‘displacement of Purgatory,’” she said. “It was a way to deal with the guilt and awareness of sin.”

Her presentation, “Singing the Reformation,” was held on the Lincoln Center campus and was part of the St. Robert Southwell, S.J., Lecture Series.

Joseph McLaughlin

This Month in Fordham History
WFUV Begins Broadcasting with ‘Messages of Truth and Tolerance

Pope Pius XII sent a blessing to WFUV.

On Oct. 26, 1947, Fordham dedicated its new radio station, WFUV, in a ceremony that featured luminaries of the broadcasting world and an apostolic blessing from Pope Pius XII.

The first collegiate FM station in New York, WFUV had been broadcasting since July. Reflecting FCC guidelines, it tilted toward academic lessons and educational programming. Its religious content included Sunday Mass and a “Know Your Saints” feature.

The dedication, held in Keating Hall, drew 300 people including humorist Arthur Godfrey, who was master of ceremonies, and Francis Cardinal Spellman, archbishop of New York.

In his dedication, Cardinal Spellman said WFUV would project “messages of truth and tolerance, which I think are good watchwords for a church as well as a people.”

Fordham President Robert I. Gannon, S.J., read a cablegram from Pius XII expressing “the confident hope that this new enterprise may be a strong force for enlightened goodwill among all the people of the United States of America.”


—Chris Gosier



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