Former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Bill Gormley received the Gregor Mendel Medal, the highest honor bestowed by his alma mater, St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, at a dinner in Atlantic City on Thursday evening.
Gormley represented Atlantic County in the State Assembly from 1978 to 1982 and in the State Senate from 1982 until his retirement in 2007. He graduated from St. Augustine in 1964, attended the University of Notre Dame and Villanova Law School, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps before his election to the Atlantic County Board of Freeholders.
“The education and development of the Christian Gentleman are taken very seriously at St. Augustine Preparatory School,” said Head of School Fr. Robert J. Murray, O.S.A., Ph.D. “A Christian Gentleman represents all that is St. Augustine. In the spirit of our patron saint, Senator Gormley embodies the love of God first and foremost, the joy of service to his fellow man, and the unity and spirit of community. We are fortunate to call a gentleman like Bill Gormley one of our own as he has added to the foundation for all the successes our school enjoys today.”
He grew up around politics while his father, Gerard Gormley, served as the Atlantic County Sheriff during the era of the legendary Frank “Hap” Farley. His 25-year tenure in the legislature is second only to Farley’s 31.
A video tribute to Gormley includes appearances from former New Jersey Attorney General John Farmer, Jr., former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman Kevin O’Toole, a former State Senate colleague.