Former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, LAW ’60, was honored at a ceremony on Monday, Jan. 29, at Fordham’s School of Law with a commemorative rose, sales of which will help fund research into multiple myeloma, a type of cancer Ferraro was diagnosed with in 1998.
In welcoming the former legislator and vice presidential candidate back to the Law School, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, called Ferraro a pioneer and trailblazer, and said “She made it possible for women to dream beyond the glass ceiling.” Father McShane assured Ferraro and the audience of legislators, Fordham Law faculty and multiple myeloma survivors that the University would plant the rose on both the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses.
“If it weren’t for the education I received here as a student and the relationship that has developed as an alum,” Ferraro said, “I doubt seriously that I could have accomplished the things…which made me worthy of this distinction.”
The Oregon firm Jackson & Perkins, which develops so-called “cause roses,” will donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from sales of the Geraldine Ferraro Rose to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the world’s leading private funder of multiple myeloma research. MMRF was founded by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, who is now the non-profit’s CEO. Giusti and Ferraro were diagnosed with the disease and underwent treatment at the same time, and have worked together to raise funds for research and treatment for victims of multiple myeloma.
“The fact that she would pick this place, of all the places in her career, [to dedicate the rose]says so much about her and about her relationship to Fordham,” said William M. Treanor, J.D., dean of Fordham Law School.
Ferraro praised Giusti and her work with MMRF, which has raised $70 million in the last 10 years, 93 percent of which has gone to research and education. The former congresswoman also called Jackson & Perkins a model of corporate responsibility.