Former Baltimore Mayor to Head Howard University Law School. (Noteworthy News)

Black Issues in Higher Education, November 7, 2002 | Go to article overview

Former Baltimore Mayor to Head Howard University Law School. (Noteworthy News)


WASHINGTON

Kurt L. Schmoke, a Harvard-trained lawyer who served three terms as mayor of Baltimore, has been named dean of e Howard University School of Law.

Howard President H. Patrick Swygert announced the appointment of Schmoke, who was the first African American elected mayor of Baltimore, at a news conference last month. Schmoke, 52, will take over as head of the nation's best-known historically Black law school Jan. 1.

"It sounds like a wonderful opportunity," Schmoke says. "It's very exciting. For me the biggest attraction was to become involved in work that helps to nurture the next generation of leaders."

Larry S. Gibson, Schmoke's longtime political adviser and a University of Maryland law professor, said the former mayor is "the fight person for this position."

"I think it's a real coup for Howard, and I think Kurt will enjoy it and make a significant contribution," says Gibson, an alumnus of the university.

Schmoke said that he will continue to live in Baltimore, where his wife is an eye doctor, and commute to Washington. And Gibson noted that Howard's most famous law school graduate, the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, also commuted from Baltimore to Washington while he attended law school.

Orlando Taylor, dean of Howard's graduate school and head of the search committee that chose Schmoke, noted that the university will soon be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision--a civil rights victory in which Marshall and the law school were prominent.

Schmoke was chosen from "a large and highly competitive pool of applicants," Taylor says. He said Schmoke's experience in public office was only one of his qualifications, pointing to his law practice and record as a board member at Yale University, Tuskegee University and other institutions of higher learning. …

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