Inaugural Dick Thornburgh Prize for Public Service Awarded to Graduating Law Student

Issue Date: 
September 24, 2007


   Dick Thornburgh 

In April, Pitt dedicated the Dick Thornburgh Room in the Hillman Library and created the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy to honor the former governor of Pennsylvania for his years of public service. As an additional tribute, the Dick Thornburgh Prize for Public Service also was established to recognize Thornburgh (LAW ’57), who donated his archives to the University in 1998.

Thornburgh was governor of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1986, attorney general of the United States from 1988 to 1991, and under secretary general of the United Nations from 1992 to 1993.

Graduating Pitt law student Richard J. Fuschino Jr. was named recipient of the inaugural prize, awarded to an outstanding graduating law student whose goal is to pursue a career in public service. Fuschino began working in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Aug. 10.

Campaign cochair and former Thornburgh aide Gail Balph and an independent group of Dick and Ginny Thornburgh’s friends and former colleagues—including Sam Zacharias (CAS ’64), a Pitt alumni trustee and principal of Gateway Financial Group—initiated the Dick Thornburgh Legacy Project, a two-year campaign with Pitt’s Office of Institutional Advancement, to raise $2 million to supplement the University’s efforts to establish the forum. The campaign for the Dick Thornburgh Legacy Project and Forum for Law & Public Policy is nearing fruition.

During fundraising efforts, the idea to recognize Thornburgh’s public service in a special way took shape. This year, $4,000 was allocated to establish the Thornburgh Prize. Of the money raised to date, $100,000 has been earmarked to fund the award annually.

Since the award was a surprise to Thornburgh on the occasion of the April dedication, a committee of people from Pitt’s School of Law chose the Thornburgh Prize winner this year. In future years, a committee including the dean of the law school in consultation with Thornburgh will select the recipient.