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On April 30, law school officials, local dignitaries, family, friends, and students gathered to celebrate Richard Ottinger at the dedication of Richard Ottinger Hall.
Pace Law School Dean Michelle S. Simon, Pace University President Stephen J. Friedman, and Professor Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. were among those who praised Ottinger for his vision and dedication to Pace Law School at a ceremony held under blue skies on the lawn of Pace Law School. Construction of the 27,000-square-foot building, formerly known as “the classroom building,” began during Ottinger’s tenure as Dean of Pace Law School.
Dean Simon summarized Ottinger’s career. A founding member of the Peace Corps, a founding board member of the Friends of the Earth, and a former member of the board of directors of the Environmental Defense Fund, Richard Ottinger served in the United States Congress for 16 years before coming to Pace Law School where he founded the Pace Energy Project, now known as The Pace Energy and Climate Center. Professor Ottinger served as Dean from 1994 until 1999, and now serves as Dean Emeritus.
“Dick inspired students to think about the contributions they could make as citizens of their country and citizens of the world,” said President Friedman, who added that the dedication of the building represents “a special bond between Dick Ottinger and 30 years of Pace Law students.”
Professor Kennedy hailed Ottinger for his long record of environmentalism, especially during his years in Congress. He called him the “primary author of the Clean Air Act” as well as the one who impressed upon his father, Robert F. Kennedy, the importance of protecting the Hudson River.
Contributions towards the dedication have helped fund the law school’s new legal residency program, the Pace Community Law Project, which provides high-quality, affordable legal services to local residents while it helps train recent law school graduates for careers in public interest law.
“The rule of law is the shining light that distinguishes civilized society,” said Ottinger in his closing remarks. “Pace is devoted to realizing its wondrous powers to do good.”
To see a video of the dedication ceremony, click here.