University of Pittsburgh

2013 Golden Gavel Society Luncheon

Publish Date/Time: 
May 29, 2013
Twenty nine alumni gathered together on May 10, 2013, to share their favorite law school stories and celebrate their 50th year class reunion during the second annual Golden Gavel Society luncheon.  The Golden Gavel Society recognizes those alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago from Pitt Law.  Of those stories shared, many included snapshots of time spent with faculty members, studying with students who had various life experiences before entering Law School, and waiting for the Cathedral of Learning elevators to get up the 14th floor where Law School classrooms were located. 
 
Some Golden Gavels shared very unique stories, as well.
 
“I remember watching the Pirates beating the Yankees in the 1960 World Series,” said Paul Laughlin, '61.  “We watched the games from the 14th floor [of the Cathedral of Learning] and could see everything except the batter. Of course, that wasn’t important!”
 
Laughlin’s classmate, Morrison Lewis, '61, recalls an inspiring story about the Dean during his tenure, Thomas McIntyre Cooley II. “[I remember] a classmate of mine didn’t know how he would pay his tuition the next semester,” he said.  “Around that time, the Dean played in a poker game and won big.  He won $1,000 that night, and then wrote a check to cover my classmate’s tuition the very next day.”
 
Marvin Fein, '63, reflected on how beneficial it was that class sizes were small, enabling students to get to know each other and the faculty.  It contributed to his “lifelong love of the law.”
 
Once inducted into the Golden Gavel Society, alumni are recognized as a lifetime member, invited to attend each year’s annual luncheon, and presented with the Golden Gavel Society sash.
 
The alumni who were honored this year spanned classes ranging from 1949 to 1963, and were joined by family members, faculty, and staff. Inducted into the society by this year’s commencement speaker, Judge Susan Richard Nelson,'78, the alumni were also recognized by the University of Pittsburgh Law Alumni Association’s president, Bruce Fox,'84, during Pitt Law’s commencement ceremony.
 
This year’s newly inducted Golden Gavel Society members include:
Robert Aronson, '49

Maurice Braunstein, '53

Joseph Fisher, '50

Henry Flood, '53

John Lee Miller, '50

Lawrence Kaplan, '53

Richard DiSalle, '51

Robert Lubic, '53

Gregg Kerr, '52

John Luke, '53

Walter Blenko, '53

Paul Obert, '53

Ira Houck, '55

Alfred Pelaez, '60

Donald Stocks, '58

Joseph Schmitt, '60

Stanley Greenfield, '59

Richard Smith, '60

Philip Beard, '60

David Washington, '60

A. Richard Marcus, '60

Paul Laughlin, '61

Lawrence McCabe, '60

Morrison Lewis, Jr., '61

Robert McCabe, '60

Cyril Wecht, '62

Jack Olender, '60

Marvin Fein, '63

After the induction ceremony and taking some time to reflect upon the entire weekend, Laughlin remarked, “Our faculty was great and our friendships, eternal.” 
 
The Golden Gavel Society luncheon is an annual event for all 50+ year reunion classes.  Pitt Law looks forward to inducting the class of 1964 next year, as well as others from classes prior to 1964.  Reunion activities will culminate with the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend on September 27-28, 2013.  
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