Widener Law celebrated the successes of its graduates and one of its most prominent leaders recently with back-to-back events in the Harrisburg capitol building Wednesday, Nov. 13.
First, 24 recent Harrisburg-campus graduates who passed the Pennsylvania Bar Exam gathered in the Supreme Court courtroom to take their oath and officially become members of the bar.
“You are the emblems of hard work, perseverance, diligence and patience,” Law Dean Linda L. Ammons
said at the outset of the 4 p.m. ceremony. “We celebrate with you.”
Supreme Court Justice Thomas G. Saylor presided over the swearing-in, joined by alumnus and Judge Paul P. Panepinto ’76, of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Civil Trial Division.
Panepinto urged the new attorneys to seek ways to assist those in need.
“The law is a wonderful profession and when you decide to add the desire to help others, the rewards will exceed your expectations,” he said.
Shortly after the bar induction, the school kicked off its third-annual “Evening at the Capitol,” held in the capitol’s main rotunda. The event celebrates the presence and leadership of Widener Law alumni in the commonwealth.
This year’s program shined a spotlight on Professor Emeritus John L. Gedid
, founding vice dean of the Harrisburg campus who retired this summer. He had served as director of the campus’ signature program, the Law & Government Institute
Speakers at that event included state Sen. Robert Teplitz, a former Widener Law adjunct professor who presented Gedid with a citation; alumnus state Sen. Richard Alloway ‘02, who presented a citation; and alumnus and First Executive Deputy General Counsel Jarad Handelman ‘98, who presented Gedid with a proclamation from Gov. Tom Corbett. Ammons also presented Gedid with a plaque.
In remarks that veered from sentimental to humorous, Alloway told Gedid the experience of learning in his classroom had a profound effect on his life. “I absolutely credit my career from that point on to you and the school,” he said.
Ammons told Gedid it was a joy to serve with him.
“Words are just inadequate to express what you’ve meant to Widener,” she said, adding the school will create an endowed John L. Gedid Fellowship in his honor.
Gedid called support from his wife Carol the secret to his success and said Widener has a unique breed of students and alumni.
“It has been 25 years of unalloyed pleasure to work with you,” he told the crowd of roughly 150. “We have built a law school to be proud of.”