Brooklyn Law School recently honored former Law School trustee and past National Grid Chairman Robert B. Catell by naming an Associate Deanship after him as a tribute to his remarkable life’s work and his contributions to the Law School.
Professor Beryl Jones-Woodin will now be known as the Robert B. Catell Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Jones-Woodin, who has been the Associate Dean for Student Affairs since 2003, specializes in copyright law, art law, and professional responsibility. She will be the first faculty member to bear the new title.
At a recent luncheon in Catell’s honor, Dean Joan G. Wexler noted that the title was a particularly fitting choice for Jones-Woodin, since she and Catell shared a devotion to the Law School community and a commitment to the success, both personal and professional, of the student body. “In tribute to Bob and in honor of Beryl,” said Dean Wexler, “she will be known as the Robert B. Catell Associate Dean of Student Affairs, and whoever follows her will have that designation as well.”
While Catell did not attend BLS, he has long been a treasured member of the Brooklyn Law School community. In 1984, he joined the Board of Trustees; two years later, he became a member of the Finance Committee. He served on the Board of Trustees for 17 years, at the same time growing Brooklyn Union Gas into Keyspan and then National Grid.
“Bob has been a steadfast and wise advisor to the Law School through sweeping transformations during his tenure,” remarked Dean Wexler at a gala this past fall aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at Pier 86 in honor of his retirement. “With his active support, we have added scores of new and innovative courses to the curriculum, attracted world-class scholars to the faculty, and greatly expanded and improved our campus.” More than 400 celebrants were in attendance at the Intrepid event, where Catell received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Dean Wexler and the Chairman of the Board, Stuart Subotnick ’68. The evening raised $500,000 to benefit the Law School.
In addition to being a force of positive change for the Law School, Catell has been instrumental in revitalizing the downtown Brooklyn community. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Downtown Brooklyn Council, which helped bring Metrotech, the Marriott and other businesses to downtown Brooklyn. When the Executive Committee expanded to become the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Catell remained as its leader. “Brooklyn Law School stayed in downtown Brooklyn during the good times and the bad. So did Bob and his companies,” said Dean Wexler. “He, more than anyone else I know, has helped make this neighborhood the vibrant community that it is today. He works hard to draw people in and he constantly shows caring and concern for others.”
“It is an honor to be the Robert B. Catell Associate Dean for Student Affairs,” said Jones-Woodin. “Catell is an outstanding man whose contributions to Brooklyn Law School have made it a remarkable institution. As a result of his support, BLS has been at the forefront of legal education, and we have been able to educate innumerable leaders in law, government, and business.”