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Pioneer of Fordham Graduate Business School Dies at 94


Louis Michael Spadaro, Ph.D., the founding dean of the Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration, died on May 3 at his home in Syracuse, N.Y. He was 94.

Spadaro, a New York City native, joined the Fordham faculty in 1939, and as professor and dean he founded the Graduate School of Business Administration at Lincoln Center.

Louis Spadaro, Ph.D. Photo courtesy of the Spadaro Family

“Dr. Spadaro pioneered the first years of the Graduate School of Business Administration, and his legacy lives on in the achievements of our students, the success of our faculty and the growth of our programs and global reach,” said GBA Dean Howard P. Tuckman, Ph.D.

Spadaro was an alumnus of City College of New York and New York University, where he earned his doctorate in economics and became part of the Austrian School of Economics, a movement that included notable free-market libertarian theorists such as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Hans Sennholz and Murray Rothbard.

According to his daughter, Nina Spadaro, Ed.D., (TMC ’76), Spadaro’s time at Fordham was filled with pride, dedication and fond memories.

“He was, to the end of his life, a born skeptic, and yet had nothing but praise and respect for those with whom he taught and served at Fordham,” she said. “My father admired clear, incisive critical thinking, and encouraged intellectual courage from all those around him—colleague, progeny or student.”

On being named the first dean of the Dean Martino School of Business at Lincoln Center, as it was then known, Spadaro insisted on offering an M.B.A. curriculum that required students to have real-world experience along with their academic studies, his daughter said.

“He thus required that courses only be offered in the evenings to allow students to continue in the laboratory of their work during the day,” she said.

Spadaro’s wife, Nina L. Portale, died in 1975. He is survived by his four children, Joseph, Ph.D., (FCRH ’63), professor of orthopedic research, SUNY Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, N.Y.; Anthony, M.S., (FCRH ’65) principle of a consulting firm in Arlington, Va.; Mary Ann Antonelli, M.D., (UGE ’66), rheumatologist and director of Student Affairs at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawaii; and Nina Spadaro, Ed.D., (TMC ’76), clinical psychologist and adjunct faculty member at West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va. Spadaro is also survived by seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

Calling hours will take place on Tuesday, May 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Burns-Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, N.Y. A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, May 21, at 10 a.m. at the Holy Cross Church, 4112 E. Genesee St., Dewitt, N.Y.


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