Skip to content

Justinian Order Honors One of its Founders during Annual Luncheon

April 19, 2018

The Justinian Order of St. John Fisher College, an academic and legal society for Fisher graduates professionally involved in legal fields, held its civic luncheon for members of the judiciary, the bar, government, law enforcement, and the business sector on Thursday, April 12, at the Hyatt Regency Rochester.

St. John Fisher College President Emeritus Dr. Donald Bain and Steve Tierney ’79 present the Justinian Medal to organization founder Lawrence J. Oberlies, J.D.

During the luncheon, members honored Lawrence J. Oberlies, J.D., who helped found the Order, with the Justinian Medal, its most prestigious award.

“Before retiring from the College at the end of 2014, Larry was most effective in cultivating close loyal relationships with alumni, particularly those from the pioneer years. And, throughout his enjoyable tour of duty, Larry, working with the Justinian members, enthusiastically engaged and promoted the activities in the Political Science Department and its Student Pre-Law Association and companion Mock Trial Competition teams. It was a privilege to honor him with the 2018 Justinian Medal,” said Steve Tierney ’79, president of the Justinian Order.

Oberlies graduated from The Aquinas Institute, College of The Holy Cross, and Albany Law School, and for 40 years, worked in fiduciary and investment services with Marine Midland Bank/HSBC, ending his tenure with the company in fall 2000 as vice president and senior trust officer. 

With an invitation from then College President, Katherine Keough, and Trustee Martin F. Birmingham, Sr., Oberlies joined the College’s Office of Institutional Advancement – Alumni Affairs, as the special assistant to the president.  His work involved grants activities, assisting in major gift and planned giving endeavors, and processing various technical estate and trust legacies beneficial to the College.

Oberlies was instrumental in founding the Justinian Order.  Over 420 Justinians in 36 states serve in the Judiciary, private practice, government, business, and the not-for-profit sector.

He also initiated the revival of the Planned Giving Committee, composed of alumni proficient in trust, estate, and financial planning.  In addition, he established the 1948 Society, a growing list of alumni and friends of the College who have indicated a generous future gift. 

Finally, Oberlies created the First Friday Faculty Lecture Series, offered to alumni and other friends of the College.  The lectures provide exposure to the exceptional talent in various academic departments with the presentations by their learned professors; and occasionally, by College administrators.

Cali Anne Cleaves '18, Matthew Jeffries '21, and Alison Beck '18 were honored at the Justinian Luncheon.

Cali Anne Cleaves '18, Matthew Jeffries '21, and Alison Beck '18 were honored at the Justinian Luncheon.

During the luncheon, several students were also recognized.

Cali Anne Cleaves was given the Outstanding Legal Studies Student Award, which is bestowed upon a senior who has excelled academically in legal studies.

Ali Beck received the Mock Trial Award, given to a student who demonstrates leadership, professionalism, respect for all, and a strong regard for ethical conduct. 

Matt Jeffries was given the Mock Trial Freshman Award for his leadership, professionalism, enthusiasm, and strong potential for future leadership in Mock Trial and elsewhere.