As T.J. Maloney sees it, his time at Fordham Law was anything but a clinical exercise. Indeed it was the best of all worlds, “combining a very strong education with a heightened sense of community, a spirit that has extended long after my graduation and is felt even stronger today.” That sense of connection and the desire to give back to the Law School has led Maloney and his wife Nancy, to make a $5 million gift to endow the T.J. and Nancy Maloney Library at Fordham’s School of Law.
“Law school was such a competitive environment in those days,” said Maloney, who graduated in 1979. “You would hear stories of students ripping cases out of library books to prevent other people from studying them. That was never the case at Fordham. I had a great experience with my classmates. The people you went to school with were great kids and there was a feeling that we we’re all in this together. Besides that, we received an excellent education as we formed lifelong relationships on an intellectual, emotional and spiritual level.”
Prior to law school, Maloney worked, through his family businesses, in a range fields as varied as engineering, manufacturing and sales. He has been a laborer, salesman and, briefly, a longshoreman. He saw law school as a way of further broadening his experience before returning to the family business. As it turned out, his father fell ill while Maloney was still in school and so the business was sold. After graduating from Fordham, he practiced merger, acquisition and securities law throughout the 1980s and in 1993 was offered a managing director position at Lincolnshire Management. Lincolnshire, a private equity firm started in 1986, has grown into an investment powerhouse with offices in five cities and $2 billion in investment capital. In 1998 he was made president of Lincolnshire and today is widely held responsible for its robust success.
He credits much of his personal and business achievements to his Fordham Law School experience, “There was a very strong work ethic at Fordham,” he said, “The mentality was that if you put in the time and applied yourself, you would be rewarded, and that experience has served me well.”
On choosing to endow the new library specifically, Maloney said, “The library lies at the very core of a law school. It is the source and symbol of the knowledge we gain there.” Maloney noted that he is a lifelong reader with a great affinity for books. “I play golf, and have other pastimes,” he said, “but if you asked me I’d say reading is my main recreation. And Nan is a big reader, herself. It was an easy choice for us.”
The Maloneys have lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, since 1983. Maloney met Nancy, a noted watercolorist, while he was an undergraduate student at Boston College and she was studying at Manhattanville in Westchester. Maloney quips, “This was a relationship made possible by motor vehicles.” He was born in Boston and raised in Pelham. Nancy is originally from North Muskegon on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan where her dad, John Nedeau, is considered one of the lake’s greatest sailors having recently completed his 62nd Chicago – Mackinac Island race. Maloney and his wife have three children: Jack, 22; Betsy, 20; and Thomas Jr., 18.
“We are, of course, grateful for T.J. and Nancy’s gift, and for the library it will endow,” said William Treanor, the Law School’s dean, “but we are almost as grateful for the faith their gift speaks to, faith in the power of a Fordham education to transform lives. Especially in this troubled economic climate, when it is hardest to give, such faith on the part of our most accomplished alumni is a testament to the Law School’s ability to open doors for its graduates, and to make a difference in people’s lives.”
A member of the Dean’s Planning Council at Fordham Law, Maloney serves on the board of trustees and the finance committee of the Tilton School, and is a member of the board of directors of the English-Speaking Union of The United States, among other philanthropic activities. He has lectured extensively and has served as a guest lecturer to the Columbia University M.B.A. Program.
“I formed so many lifelong relationships at Fordham,” Maloney said. “It is a cherished institution, a fair place, a solid community. Now that I’m in a position to help the Law School, I’m pleased to be able to do it.”