Delaware Campus Martin Luther King Jr. Day Commemoration Honors Former Professor
Web Editor - Published: January 27, 2012


“Have a high quality life of service. It will bring you rewards beyond your wildest imagination,” former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, Esq. urged the students assembled at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Commemoration event held in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom at noon on Tuesday, January 24.

Why We Can’t Wait – A Celebration of Service honored former Widener Law Professor and current Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge Nathaniel C. Nichols for his commitment to service. The event opened with a welcome from Professor Serena Williams, who helped organize the event. Public Interest Resource Center Director Sydney Howe-Barksdale then spoke briefly about the Sixth Annual Martin Luther King Semester of Service program.

Roderick Thompson, President of the Black Law Students Association, then introduced Harvey, the featured speaker, who delivered inspirational remarks encouraging the law students in the audience to seek a “place where you are needed,” while encouraging them to find a particular area of the law they could be passionate about.

“The challenge for you – if I may be so bold to put it to you – is how do you find that intersection between your interests and your abilities,” declared Harvey. He also admonished them not to worship money, indicating that it was possible to have financial security without compromising their principles or their ability to serve.

Following Mr. Harvey’s remarks, student Nadege Tandoh and Legal Assistant Vanessa Gosa – who spent more than twenty years working with Judge Nichols while he served as the Director of the Pennsylvania Civil Clinic and Director of Clinical Programs at Widener Law – presented Judge Nichols with the M.L. King Service Award.

“We wish you the best, and we want you to know that the flame you leave with us will be etched in our hearts,” said Gosa as she concluded her remarks and invited Judge Nichols to the podium.

Nichols briefly discussed the need for community service, and he spoke about a few of the many service projects he himself had become involved with as an example of some of the opportunities out there. He concluded by saying, “Please make that commitment to serve.

The event concluded with remarks from Law Dean Linda L. Ammons, who noted, “We have an obligation as a profession to give back,” and added, “Being a member of this profession is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference.” She concluded, “To the honorable Nathaniel C. Nichols, welcome home. We are pleased, for twenty some odd years, to have had you here with us.”