On Saturday, April 17th at the 35th Anniversary Gala, Widener University School of Law announced the winners of its 2009 alumni awards, given annually to recognize outstanding leadership, service, and achievement of its graduates.
The Alumnus of the Year Award
was given to CAPT. Robert
P. Taishoff ’89. The award is presented to an alumna or alumnus who,
through service to her or his community or profession, or by honors
received, service rendered or other accomplishments, has brought honor,
recognition and distinction to the Widener University School of Law.
Taishoff graduated from Widener’s Delaware campus. The retired Naval
officer oversees the Taishoff Family Foundation, which committed a $1.2
million gift – the largest in the school’s history – to Widener Law in
2009. Taishoff is a member of the Dean’s National Advisory Council and
annually speaks to Military Law Society
students. He is also a strong supporter of the school’s Veterans Law Clinic
The Outstanding Service Award
was presented to Damian S. Jackson, Esq. ’96. The service award is
given for outstanding alumni service to the law school as a whole, to a
particular concentration within the school, or to the legal profession.
Jackson graduated from Widener’s Delaware campus and he is secretary to
the school’s alumni association, serves on the Dean’s Minority Alumni
Advisory Committee and mentors a first-year law student. Jackson is a
resident of Philadelphia.
The Lifetime Service Award
was given to Judge Charles P. Mirarchi Jr. Mirarchi was a founding
member of the law school’s early parents’ association and helped to
launch a decades-long effort to offer students more than their money’s
worth by supplementing the law school’s resources with the philanthropic
support needed to buy library books, renovate facilities and hire
distinguished faculty. He has been a strident financial supporter,
including his work to establish and fund the Charles P. Mirarchi Sr.
Memorial Scholarship, given annually in honor of his father. He is a
member of the school’s Board of Overseers and taught Pennsylvania
practice as an adjunct professor from 1974 to 1999. He founded and
continues to actively participate in Widener Law’s Pennsylvania Bar
Induction Ceremony, helping to usher hundreds, if not thousands, of
alumni into the ranks of proud legal professionals in the Commonwealth.
The school awarded four Widener Law Legacy Awards
, including two given posthumously. The awards went to:
Charles Peruto Sr., Esq., who worked tirelessly to help the school
secure American Bar Association accreditation and has been a continued
generous supporter. He is the patriarch of a family that now includes
six Widener Law graduates in two generations. Peruto taught as an
adjunct faculty member on the Delaware campus from 1980 to 1994.
V. Sarcione Sr., Esq., who also provided great leadership in the
school’s efforts to gain accreditation and raise funds. He is the father
of one Widener Law graduate and he continues to memorialize a second
son, whose tragic death in 1976 while enrolled at the law school,
galvanized the family’s commitment to Widener and led to the Alexander
V. Sarcione Jr. Memorial Award and Scholarship, given annually.
late Judge G. Fred DiBona, provided leadership, counsel and personal
advocacy on behalf of the law school during its founding, establishment
and accreditation. A founder of the school’s early parents’ association,
he traveled to Hawaii in 1974 to speak in favor of the school gaining
accreditation. He remained active in the life of the law school,
including serving as a judge in competitions – including one that now
bears his name.
The late Thomas S. Lodge, Esq. who also traveled
on the law school’s behalf to an ABA accreditation meeting in Chicago as
a representative of the Delaware bar demonstrating support for the
school. He went on to serve as a Widener University trustee and as
chairman of the law school Board of Overseers. He has been memorialized
through the Thomas Lodge Memorial Scholarship, which is given annually
to students demonstrating commitment to public interest legal services.
Finally, the school has given its Outstanding Recent Alumna Award
to Corinne M. Foley Esq. ’06 of Naples, Fla.. Foley was unable to
attend the gala in Philadelphia. Her award recognizes work by a recent
graduate who shows energy and dedication as a community leader or
provides invaluable service to the Widener University School of Law.
Foley, a Delaware campus graduate, held various leadership positions in
the Student Bar Association
while at the law school and was founder and president of the school’s Military Law Society.