Legal legend to be recognized with Penn State Honorary Alumni Award

Professor Emeritus Louis F. Del Duca, a man who has impacted the lives of many Penn State Dickinson School of Law alumni throughout his 57 years of teaching, will be recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association with the Honorary Alumni Award and inducted as an honorary alumnus during Traditional Reunion Weekend at University Park in June 2014.

The Penn State Alumni Association has given the Honorary Alumni Award since 1973 to recognize individuals who, though not graduates of Penn State, greatly enhance the welfare, reputation and prestige of the University through their commitment and service. Since the award was established, fewer than 100 individuals have been awarded honorary alumni status.

“The Dickinson School of Law community joins the Penn State Alumni Association in congratulating Professor Del Duca on this latest achievement in his remarkably illustrious career,” said Interim Dean James W. Houck. "His visionary leadership in the field of international legal education and his influence and impact on his colleagues and students over the course of a half-century career prove that he is a worthy candidate for this prestigious award."

A talented musician from an early age, Del Duca studied flute and was ultimately awarded joint scholarships to Temple University and the Curtis Institute of Music. He studied at both institutions before entering the United States Navy in 1945. Following his military service, he was forced to choose between a career in music or in law, and ultimately chose the latter.

Known as a pioneer in the legal world, he has collaborated with international legal experts from across the globe to expand international educational opportunities in the American legal system. In 2000, he was honored with Penn State’s W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award for his leadership in international education at the Law School.

In the late 1960s, when many educational institutions began introducing more international components into their curriculum, the dean of the Law School at the time called upon Del Duca to lead the way for The Dickinson School of Law. Del Duca willingly accepted the challenge and, in 1968, established a program for foreign-trained lawyers. He also founded the Law School’s summer programs in Europe.

The longest-serving faculty member in law school history, Del Duca leaves behind several generations of students who studied Secured Transactions, Sales, and Comparative Commercial Law under his tutelage. Alumni and students consistently remember him with affection and the highest praise for his command of the law and passion for teaching. 

Del Duca’s devotion to Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law and its students goes beyond his commitment to teaching, scholarship and service. In 2000 along with his wife Frances ’65, Del Duca endowed the Louis F. Del Duca Scholarship to support current and future generations of Dickinson School of Law J.D. and LL.M. students.

Now retired from teaching, Del Duca has been enjoying the extra time with Frances and the rest of his family. No stranger to the Law School, he maintains an office there continuing his research and writing work. While he’s not presently looking for employment, he’s keeping his options open and plans to add “Honorary Nittany Lion” to his curriculum vitae. 

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Last Updated February 18, 2014