General Alumni Association bestows awards

October 21, 2005

The Penn State Dickinson School of Law General Alumni Association honored a former professor of law and four law school alumni during its 2005 Alumni Weekend festivities held Oct. 7-9 in Carlisle.

The association bestowed honorary alumni honors to Peter C. Alexander, an active member of the Penn State Dickinson faculty for 11 years before leaving in 2003 to become dean at the Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale, Ill. Alexander teaches in the areas of bankruptcy law, evidence and trial practice. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association, a 2002 inductee into the American College of Bankruptcy and a member of the Advisory Board of the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review.

Harvey A. Feldman, class of 1969, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his tireless commitment to the law school as a professor of law since 1970. Regarded as one of the school's most challenging and effective teachers, he focuses on the fields of appellate practice, property and real estate transactions. Feldman served as associate dean for academic affairs from 1977 through 2003, one of the longest tenures in the nation, and was instrumental in merging the school's academic reporting function into the University's systems. Feldman also is noted for his leadership of the law school's annual entry in the University of Virginia's Law School Invitational Softball Tournament. He and his teammates won that tournament in 2001 and finished second in 2000 and 2002.

D. Brooks Smith, class of 1976, U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals judge, and Merri Jo Gillette, class of 1982, regional director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Midwest Regional Office, both received the association's Career Achievement Award in honor of their distinguished professional accomplishments. Smith was nominated for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 31, 2002. He previously served as chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, as a judge of the Blair County Court of Common Pleas and as Blair County district attorney. Smith is a member of the American Law Institute, the Federal Judges Association and the American Judicature Society. He has served on the Board of Trustees of St. Francis University, as well as on the boards of the Salvation Army, Blair County Legal Services Corp. and Family and Children's Service of Blair County.

As regional director of SEC's Midwest Regional Office, Gillette oversees enforcement and examination programs in a nine-state area. Before being named regional director, Gillette was the associate district administrator for enforcement in the SEC's Philadelphia District Office. She joined the SEC in 1986 as a staff attorney in the Philadelphia district and served as branch chief from 1989 to 1990, chief trial counsel from 1990 to 1994, assistant director from 1994 to 1998 and district trial counsel from 1998 to 2003. Gillette's enforcement group in Philadelphia participated in the commission's initiative to clamp down on undisclosed revenue sharing arrangements in connection with the distribution and sales of mutual funds.

The association also recognized class of 1978 graduate Walter T. Grabowski as the recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award. Grabowski, who graduated from Penn State in 1975, has provided outstanding leadership and service to The Dickinson School of Law for many years and is a member of the John Reed Society of donors. A former law school trustee, Grabowski has served on the Alumni Association board of directors for approximately 15 years, has co-chaired the Alumni Weekend Committee for five years, participated in the school's mentoring program and co-chaired the Northeast Alumni Chapter dinner. He is a partner with Holland, Brady and Grabowski, P.C. of Wilkes-Barre and concentrates his practice in commercial and business litigation, employment and real estate.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2015