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DU Law School Celebrates 100 Years of Its Female Grads’ Contributions

The Duquesne University School of Law, in conjunction with its Centennial celebration, will pay tribute to its female alumni when it hosts A Celebration of 100 Years of Duquesne Women in the Law on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 4 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom.

“The practice of law and legal education has changed dramatically in the last few decades. Today, women make up at least half of each entering and graduating class going out into the profession,” said Law Dean Ken Gormley. “Many of our female alumni have been extremely prominent not only in the practice of law at major law firms but also being appointed to the judiciary and other key posts. We thought it was very important to recognize these accomplishments as part of our Centennial celebration.”

The event will feature remarks by:

  • Keynote speaker Linda L. Kelly, attorney general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a 1975 Duquesne law school graduate
  • Gretchen R. Haggerty, executive vice president and chief financial officer of United States Steel Corporation and a 1980 Duquesne law school graduate
  • Elizabeth Bailey, a 1947 Duquesne law school graduate and its oldest living female alumnus who also is the oldest law practitioner in Pennsylvania.

In addition, the Honorable Donetta W. Ambrose, a 1970 graduate of the law school, will be presented with the Carol Los Mansmann Award for Distinguished Public Service. Named in honor of the former Third Circuit Judge and Duquesne alumna and faculty member, Mansmann passed away from breast cancer in 2002.

The Mansmann award is a very selective and prestigious honor given by the Federal Bar Association of Pennsylvania in consultation with the law school and the Mansmann family. Past awardees include former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, current Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia (in September).

“As this is our Centennial, it is entirely appropriate to award a second Mansmann award this year to Judge Donetta Ambrose,” said Gormley. “Both Carol and Donetta were moving up in public service at the same time and really breaking barriers in this region. Both have become known as two of the leading forces in the judicial branch in Western Pennsylania.

“Judge Mansmann left her permanent mark, but in the same way, so has Judge Ambrose,” Gormley added. “She became the first female president judge of the U.S. District Court in Western Pennsylvania, she has been a long serving member of that court and has brought a great deal of pride to Duquesne’s law school because of her professionalism. Judge Ambrose has gone on to receive a host of national assignments in the federal judiciary that have really raised the law school’s profile because she is so highly regarded across the nation.”

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.