Robert N. Peirce Jr. Says he always had an interest in becoming an attorney. So as he neared completion of his undergraduate work at Geneva College in the late 1950's, he decided to take the LSAT.
After scoring "right in the middle," as he characterizes it, he approached two law schools about the prospect of attending.
"I went to Duquesne and to Pitt and told them I wanted to go to law school, but I needed some financial help because I didn't have the money," he says. "Duquesne gave me an interest-free loan for tuition and a $100-a-month stipend to work at the law library. That began a debt to the Law School that I've never forgotten."
Most would agree that Peirce has repaid that debt many times over through his generous support of initiatives such as the Robert N. Peirce Jr. Scholarship Fund, The Peirce Family Foundation, and the Charles Hamilton Flouston Scholars.
For those efforts and more, Peirce was honored with this year's Law Alumni Association Meritorious Service Award. The award recognizes service and contributions to the Association and the Law School.
Peirce, a 1962 graduate of the Law School, received the award during the 59th alumni reunion dinner in April. The occasion gave him an opportunity to articulate why he feels so strongly about supporting his alma mater.
"It was a wonderful evening, and what I hope the award demonstrates to other people is that it's a lot more fun to give money while you're alive than when you're not. And I mean that," he says.
"Giving your children money is important, but not giving them a great deal of money. I've gotten a lot of satisfaction earning money and want my children and grandchildren to have that same satisfaction."
Peirce believes that Duquesne provided the foundation for a legal career that's on the verge of reaching its 50th year.
"I think that Duquesne's approach was more practical. We didn't have some of the esoteric courses I see in other curriculums. Duquesne basically prepared us to do anything and everything," he says."I left with the confidence to handle an antitrust case because of the basic education I had, even though I didn't know anything in particular about antitrust law."