Two dozen of the Delaware campus’ newest alumni took their oaths and were inducted into the Pennsylvania Bar Association recently at a ceremony for Widener Law graduates.
“This is what the finish line looks like,” Law Dean Linda L. Ammons
told the group, gathered in the Philadelphia City Hall courtroom. “I feel exuberant and overjoyed to see you here today.”
Four alumni judges presided over the Dec. 4 event, officially named the Widener University School of Law Hon. Charles P. Mirarchi Jr. Pennsylvania Bar Induction Ceremony.
Judge Paul P. Panepinto ’76 of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Civil Trial Division, gave the keynote, while other remarks came from Judge George W. Overton, '86, of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Civil Trial Division, Supervising Judge Margaret T. Murphy, '77, of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations Division and Judge Joel S. Johnson, '91, of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Family Division. Alumnus William P. Fedullo, ’76, chancellor-elect of the Philadelphia Bar Association, moved for the graduates’ admission.
The event had a distinct Widener flair.
"Widener graduates are everywhere,” Overton, who also teaches on the Delaware campus as an adjunct professor, said. “We haven’t put anyone on the U.S. Supreme Court yet, but I’ll leave that to one of you to do some day.”
Murphy said the ceremony celebrated all the alumni in the room and Widener Law itself. “It provided us with the means to become a member of the bar,” she said. “Our law school’s reputation is evidenced by the quality of its graduates. Everything we do reflects back and we have to think about that for each other.”
Panepinto said it was a joyful time, and a time to celebrate.
“We have a lot to be proud of, but we need to stand together,” he said. “We need to be contributors not just to society, but to our school.”
The induction ceremony was officially named in Mirarchi’s honor in 2010. He was a founding member of the law school’s early parents’ association, a strident financial supporter of Widener Law and had served as both a member of the school’s Board of Overseers and on its adjunct faculty. Mirarchi founded the school’s annual bar induction ceremony for new Pennsylvania lawyers in Philadelphia. He died in May 2010.