An Uncommon Conversation
photography by denmarsh; Photography © CIDDE (top right)
Pitt Law students had the extraordinary experience of talking with two eminent figures of U.S. government, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Governor Dick Thornburgh, ’57, in a special event held April 5 in the Teplitz Moot Courtroom of the School of Law.
Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg moderated the question and answer session titled “A Courtroom Conversation,” designed specifically for Pitt Law students. It was, indeed, an uncommon conversation for the students, as they had the opportunity to ask both Justice Alito and Governor Thornburgh a wide array of questions.
The students’ queries to Justice Alito ranged from asking about “the divide on the Court with regards to the use of legislative history” to the “role of law clerks in the process of drafting opinions.” Students asked Governor Thornburgh questions such as whether “this country’s war on drugs had been successful in achieving its societal goals” and to share his views on the “current controversy concerning the firing of several federal prosecutors.”
Dean Mary Crossley presented both of the featured guests—both baseball fans—with Pittsburgh Pirates baseball caps, which they both quickly donned.
After the student question and answer session, Governor Thornburgh was honored at the dedication of the new Dick Thornburgh Room at the University of Pittsburgh Hillman Library. Justice Alito was among the dedi-cation’s honored guests.
A glass-enclosed reading and research room inside the library’s first-floor entrance, The Dick Thornburgh Room will display artifacts, original documents and photographs from Thornburgh’s more than 25 years in public service, his legal career and his five political campaigns. The event also marked the establishment of The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy.
Immediately following the dedication, a surprise announcement was made marking the creation of the new Dick Thornburgh Prize for Public Service—a cash prize to be awarded annually to a graduating Pitt Law student based on past commitment to and future plans for public service. Graduating Pitt Law student, Richard Fuschino, ’07, was awarded the first Dick Thornburgh Prize for Public Service.