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Widener Alumnus on New Jersey Supreme Court

January 23, 2014
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Fernandez-Vina in 1973

By Maria Klecko ’15

A former Widener football player nicknamed “Fuzzy” was recently sworn in as an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina — known in his days at Widener as Fuzzy Fernandez — earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1974. While at the university, he displayed his leadership skills on the football field. He was a starting offensive guard and co-captain of the team that included Billy “White Shoes” Johnson.

A native of Cuba, he attended high school in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, and graduated from Rutgers School of Law-Camden in 1978.  He was a partner at Kelley, Wardell, & Craig, a law firm in Haddonfield, New Jersey, in 2004 when he was nominated to the Superior Court.

vinaFernandez-Vina decided two important cases last year while a Superior Court judge, according to a story in the Courier-Post newspaper. In March, he permitted Camden County to take over Camden police department, and in April he sided with Camden when the city attempted to place a curfew on businesses.

The article also explains that his lifelong nickname, which Governor Chris Christie joked about during the swearing-in ceremony, was inspired during midget football league play when he was compared to Fuzzy Thurston, a star for the Green Bay Packers.

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