Two of the three Catholic University law school graduates currently serving in the United States Senate joined fellow alumni for a two-hour Capitol Hill reception in the Russell Senate Office Building on Sept. 17th.
Republican Jeff Chiesa, 1990, (top) is the junior United States Senator for New Jersey and the state’s former Attorney General. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Chiesa’s appointment to the Senate in June to fill the seat vacated by the death of former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
Chiesa, who met his wife while attending the Columbus School of Law, spent close to an hour at the gathering and had kind words for his law alma mater.
“It’s so good to come from Catholic [law school],” he said. “The people that come to Catholic University law hold themselves to a different standard.”
More than 100 alumni registered to attend the reception, mixing with old friends, making or renewing personal and professional connections, and taking advantage of the opportunity to meet law school Dean Daniel Attridge and the distinguished alumni lawmakers.
Next up was Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA), Class of 1988, who also spoke fondly of his student days.
“It was a great law school then and is even better today. I’m blessed to be a part of the CUA law community,” Casey said.
Elected to federal office in 2006, Casey (on left) spent a portion of his remarks tracing the history of the Russell Senate Office Building itself. It is the original office building for senators and the scene of many historic events, such as the Watergate hearings of the 1970s and the Iran-Contra hearings the following decade.
Casey closed his remarks by urging his fellow alumni to continue to honor the law school’s historical commitment to pro bono service.
“Without your skill, training, or ability, [the powerless] won’t have their voice heard,” he said.
Between the senators’ addresses, Dean Attridge spent a few minutes providing a broad overview of the state of the law school to the assembled graduates, covering enrollment, finances, and recent curricular revisions. He asked the guests for their continued support, especially with identifying job opportunities or connections for today’s graduating students.