Golden Gavel Society Inductees
Class of 1962 Golden Gavel Society Inductees from left to right are Thomas Cooper, William Herrington, Jan Swensen, and Charles Wittlin.
Pitt Law has started a new tradition this year. Honoring those alumni who are celebrating their 50th year class reunion, the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs proudly announced the creation of the Golden Gavel Society, a special recognition society, this May.
To kick off the celebration of this newly formed society, the Class of 1962 was invited to attend events associated with the Law School’s Commencement, which was held on May 11, 2012. Graduates met at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association for a luncheon before being invited to attend the formal Commencement ceremony at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium. Making history by becoming the first class to be recognized as members of the Golden Gavel Society, these alumni were inducted as Golden Gavels by the University of Pittsburgh Law Alumni Association’s president, Ron Basso, ‘85.
The Golden Gavel Society luncheon will become an annual event for all 50th year reunion classes. Pitt Law looks forward to inducting the class of 1963 next year, as well as all other classes prior to 1962.
Attending the Golden Gavel Society lunch this year were Thomas Cooper, William Herrington, Jan Swensen, and Charles Wittlin. Over lunch, these classmates shared updates on what they are doing now as well as memories of their time in law school. Mr. Herrington retired from full-time legal practice in 2004 but still finds time to work in administration at Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman, and Goggin. Mr. Swensen noted that the past 50 years have been kind to him, giving him good health, strong friendships, and excellent colleagues, all of which has enabled him to travel, participate in civic and church activities, and create a strong professional legacy. Mr. Cooper remembers his class as “small in number, but large in talent.” He went on to also share memories of “heated arguments between Orrin Hatch, even then a conservative, and Sonny Comay, a staunch liberal, over political issues.” Perhaps Cooper’s fondest memories lie with his former professors. “Associate Dean Ed Sell was an inspirational mentor and Professor Herb Sherman terrorized the entire first year torts class with his Socratic style of teaching.”
The 50th class reunion activities will culminate with the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend on October 12-13, 2012.