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Inaugural Charles Hamilton Houston Award Presented

Simone Delerme, a first-year law student at Duquesne University, is the inaugural recipient of the Charles Hamilton Houston Award. It was established in honor of civil rights legend Houston, the law professor and mentor of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

“I’m very honored to receive this award,” said Delerme. “Charles Hamilton Houston was an incredible legal mind and a great role model for any student. His contributions to society have allowed me, and many minorities, the privilege of a first-class education.”

Delerme was selected to receive the award in recognition of her demonstrated academic excellence and promise of outstanding achievement in her legal studies and in the practice of law.

“The School of Law was not only impressed by Simone’s academic achievements, but also her enthusiasm for studying and for her belief that law is a central force of positive change in society,” said Law Dean Ken Gormley.  “Simone also has a deep commitment to Duquesne and its mission, inspired by her grandfather’s great accomplishments as a physician who attended this institution at night in the 1980s in order to make his own contributions to others. This makes Simone the ideal first recipient of this award.”

Through the award, Delerme received a stipend of $10,000 to be used toward books, living expenses and other costs that arise during her enrollment as a law school student at Duquesne. She will continue to receive this stipend each year in law school as long as she maintains the academic requirements for the award.

“Law school is a fantastic opportunity, but it also places a large financial burden on a student,” said Delerme. “In my undergraduate studies, I worked part-time to avoid large loans, and many times this took the focus away from school. With assistance of this award, I will be able to focus on my studies and excel in the field of law.”

The Houston Award is designed to help the School of Law in its efforts to recruit highly qualified minority applicants in an increasingly competitive national market. Funding for the stipend was provided through a gift from Robert N. Pierce, a 1962 alumnus of the School of Law, as well as contributions from other donors who believe in supporting exceptional students.

Delerme, who holds a B.S. in business administration from Ohio State University, is a native of Mechanicsburg.

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.