Academic journal article Emory Law Journal

The Randolph W. Thrower Symposium: A Lasting Legacy of Margaret and Randolph Thrower

Academic journal article Emory Law Journal

The Randolph W. Thrower Symposium: A Lasting Legacy of Margaret and Randolph Thrower

Article excerpt

Randolph W. Thrower-our father and grandfather-was remarkable in many ways: an exceptional attorney; a civic and political leader; a courageous public servant; a zealous advocate for the rights of women, minorities, and the poor; and mentor to generations of young lawyers. But although the Thrower Symposium bears Randolph's name, the genesis of the symposium came not from Randolph, but rather from his wife, Margaret Munroe Thrower. Margaret and Randolph were married for seventy years, and she was a partner in every phase of his life. She attended bar meetings, hosted firm functions, and even sometimes attended court when he was trying a case or presenting oral argument. The symposium is a legacy not only of Randolph's remarkable legal career, but also of Margaret's role in his life and accomplishments.

In 1980, Thomas D. Morgan, then Dean of the Emory University School of Law, approached Margaret with a request that she make a donation to the law school in honor of Randolph. Dean Morgan suggested a contribution for the purchase of additional books for the library. Margaret's reaction was, "I think we can do better than that!" She conferred with the five Thrower children and Dean Morgan, and slowly a concept emerged under her leadership. She was interested in honoring Randolph, but she envisioned a gift that would have an impact on the educational experience of students at the law school. And so, with a gift from Margaret and modest additional contributions from each of the five children, the law school established an annual lectureship series that was originally titled the Thrower Lecture.

Randolph was completely surprised-and very pleased-and from the outset he played a key role in the design and planning for the annual event. He personally helped select and then invite many of the speakers. The inaugural Thrower Lecture was given on April 14, 1982 by Judge Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, who also spent two days on campus in multiple sessions with students and faculty. His lecture was a scholarly paper, which Judge Friendly read verbatim, giving a nod to the fact of a live audience only by skipping the footnotes. …

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