Inspiring students with stories from his exceptional career and his deep philanthropy, Thomas R. Kline, L’78, visited the Duquesne Kline campus on Monday, September 18, for his annual “Lunch with Tom Kline” event. The law school’s namesake spoke with more than 150 students, taking time to answer their questions and meet with them after his presentation.
Kline, who on September 7, 2022, committed a historic $50 million gift to the law school—the largest gift in the history of Duquesne University—enjoyed talking with students and sharing advice from his storied legal career. The law school has witnessed a notable impact due to his gift only one year after the monumental commitment.
“We have already begun to strategically support our students, faculty, and academic programs. In just the first year, we have been able to offer need-based admissions scholarships for those who might not otherwise be able to afford a legal education, and the number of scholarships will grow over time,” said April Barton, Dean of Duquesne Kline School of Law.
Kline’s gift also has supported the school’s nationally recognized Bar preparation program, has doubled the number of resource fund scholarships, has bestowed new faculty awards for excellence and innovation in teaching and meritorious service, and supported faculty scholarship. The school is also focusing on the strategic creation of clinical and experiential offerings that align with the school’s Spiritan mission.
After the luncheon, Kline took a tour of the construction site for Hanley Hall’s new façade. He made an additional significant gift to Duquesne Kline this past spring, including a new limestone, granite, and glass façade at the building’s Locust Street entrance; a refreshed two-story open grand entrance hall; and an exhibit and conference room overlooking the entranceway.
There are also plans to re-imagine and renovate the main student lounge area to enhance the gathering area for law students as part of a broader initiative.
While on campus that day, Kline attended the late afternoon annual Distinguished Speaker Series hosted by the Thomas R. Kline Center for Judicial Education. The Supreme Court and the Protection of American Democracy was presented by Pamela S. Karlan, the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law at Stanford Law School. This event was attended by 300 jurists and attorneys.
Kline, a founding partner at Kline & Specter, P.C., has firm offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA, and three other states. A champion of legal education, Kline is acknowledged to be one of America’s most respected and influential lawyers and his groundbreaking cases have helped shape the law and resulted in corporate, institutional and governmental change and justice for his clients.
A graduate and recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award at Albright College, Kline earned his M.A. from Lehigh University and his J.D. from Duquesne Kline’s School of Law in 1978, where he received the Distinguished Student Award and later earned the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008. He is also an inductee into the Century Club of distinguished alumni at Duquesne.