Phi Delta Phi Belva Lockwood Hall’s officers and newest members.

Niagara University’s student-led pre-law honor society, Phi Delta Phi Belva Lockwood Hall, inducted nine students on Thursday, April 28, 2022. The Hon. Robert Restaino, a member of NU’s Class of 1981 and mayor of the City of Niagara Falls, was honorary inductee. This was the sixth annual induction ceremony for the chapter.

“We are gathered to celebrate the achievements of an exceptional group of pre-law students," said Kevin A. Hinkley, J.D., director of Niagara’s pre-law program, who gave the welcome and closing remarks. “Today’s honorees will become members of one of the most prestigious legal honor societies in the world and, in doing so, will join an extraordinary collection of Niagara pre-law alumni who are achieving distinction at some of the nation’s finest law schools and in the high calling of a life in the law.”

Mayor Restaino, a former Niagara Falls City Court judge, gave the keynote presentation, which emphasized the importance of service in the legal profession.

This year’s inductees included: Stacy Bielec, Andrew Bloom, Alyssa DiaPaul, Marissa Eames, Gabrielle Kehoe, Lauren Mencobello, Keira Shane, Eliza Wild, and Paige Wolf. Current officers include Isabella Aiu, president; Maren Geiger, vice president; Cora Stewart, historian; Gabriella Moran, treasurer; and Margaret Doolin, secretary.

“This year’s inductees, like their predecessors, exemplify the characteristics of academic excellence, dedication to the study of law, and a commitment to ethics, integrity, and honorable conduct in all pursuits,” Hinkley said. “It is wonderful to be able to honor and celebrate their achievements, as well as the promise of future success in law school, in legal careers, and in lives devoted to the highest ideals of scholarship, ethics, and the pursuit of justice.”

Niagara University's chapter of Phi Delta Phi, the International Legal Honor Society, is named in honor of one of the most inspiring lawyers in our nation's history, Belva Lockwood, who was born and grew up in Niagara County. She was a pioneering woman attorney, an independent presidential candidate (running twice, decades before the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified), and the first woman Supreme Court advocate. Founded in 1869, Phi Delta Phi is the oldest legal society in the United States and one of the oldest professional organizations in the Western Hemisphere.