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Duquesne Law School Establishes New Minority Scholarships

Two new minority scholarships have been established at Duquesne University’s School of Law in honor of civil rights legend Charles Hamilton Houston, the law professor and mentor of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to sit on the nation's highest court.Law Dean Ken Gormley, joined by former Law Dean Ronald Davenport, Houston's son Charles Jr., a Duquesne alumnus, and John Marshall, son of Justice Marshall, announced the creation of the scholarships at a fundraising dinner that was held in conjunction with the school’s Feb. 23 event, Living Legends: An Afternoon with John Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston Jr.

“Making that announcement with the sons of Thurgood Marshall and Charles Houston standing by my side as well as Dean Davenport made it a very special evening,” said Gormley.

Houston Jr. is a 1968 graduate of Duquesne’s McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts.

Funding for one of the $10,000-per-year Charles Hamilton Houston scholarships was provided through a gift from Robert N. Peirce, a 1962 Duquesne law school graduate, and the second scholarship is funded through a law school discretionary fund. The scholarships will be awarded this fall to eligible minority students with outstanding credentials and will be paid for the duration of their studies at Duquesne’s law school as long, as they maintain academic requirements.

“The scholarships are intended to be in addition to a full-tuition scholarship and will help pay for room, board, books, etc.,” explained Gormley.

The Houston scholarships are designed to help the law school in its efforts to recruit highly qualified minority applicants in an increasingly competitive national market.

“We are in a very competitive market for law students,” said Eric Springer, special advisor to the interim dean for minority recruitment and retention in the law school. “Financial help is a major driving force; we all have to face the issue of the economy. The Houston scholarships are important to our overall mission because they will help minority students who have that major financial hurdle. The scholarships will take that burden off their minds so that they can focus on school.”

More than 400 people attended Living Legends to hear Marshall and Houston talk together for the first time about the contributions and impact that their fathers made in the civil rights movement. The dinner that followed raised nearly $15,000 for minority scholarships, a portion of which will be donated to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which supports historically black colleges and universities.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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