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College News

St. John Fisher College’s 9th Justinian Medal Presented to Leo J. Kesselring, Esq. ’55


At an early evening reception on November 16, St. John Fisher College awarded its ninth annual Justinian Medal to Leo J. Kesselring, Esq. ’55.

The Justinian Medal is given by the College and the Justinian Order, which is comprised of 420 judges and attorneys, all graduates of Fisher, to an individual in recognition of his or her outstanding service and civic leadership in numerous professional, business, and charitable endeavors in the community and at the College.

Kesselring joins past Justinian Medal recipients U.S. District Court Judge (senior status) David G. Larimer ’66; New York State Supreme Court Justice Francis A. Affronti ’63; Thomas N. Trevett ’64, Partner in the law firm of Trevett, Lenweaver & Salzer, PC; the Honorable Edmund A. Calvaruso ’66, Monroe County Surrogate’s Court Judge; R. Wayne LeChase, Chairman, LeChase Construction Services, LLC; the Honorable Joseph D. McGuire ’66, Supreme Court Justice in the Fifth District; Frank B. Iacovangelo, Esq. ’62; and Richard Calabrese, Esq. ’57.

“There are those among us of whom it can be said are men and women for a particular time or subject and then there are those of whom it can be said are men or women seemingly for all time. Our Justinian award winner this evening is among those installed in the second category,” said Thomas N. Trevett, Esq. ’64, who introduced Kesselring.

Kesselring graduated from Aquinas Institute in 1951, and received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. John Fisher College in 1955. He went on to graduate from St. John’s University with a first-professional degree in law in 1958.

He started his private practice in 1958 and continued the practice until 2005. He also taught real estate law at Rochester Institute of Technology from 1960-1965, and at Bryant & Stratton from 1985-1987. In addition, he was chairman of the Monroe County Cultural Commission from 1984-1986, and served as Commissioner of New York State Civil Service from 1996-2006. Currently, he is president of the Budlong Development Corporation, which specializes in rehabilitating abandoned homes and preparing them for sale.

Kesselring served as chairman of the Monroe County Conservative Party from 1965-1979, and vice-chairman of the New York State Conservative Party from 1969-1982. In addition, he is a past member of the St. John Fisher College board of trustees, and past president of the St. John Fisher College Alumni Association. He was also a special assistant to United States Senator James Buckley from 1970-1976.

He is involved in various community organizations, including the Rochester Catholic Diocese, and he is active with several hospitals and nursing homes with home ministry and patient visits.

Kesselring lives in Rochester with his wife, Cynthia. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

The Justinian Order of St. John Fisher College, formed in the spring of 2002, is an academic and legal society intended to create collegiality among Fisher graduates professionally involved in the law. The members have the opportunity to gather socially, bond professionally, and pass on the legacy of Fisher’s legal scholarship to younger Fisher alumni and students.


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