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St. John’s Law Alumni Association Events Spotlight and Celebrate Culture and Creativity

Friday, June 20, 2014

New York City’s iconic Apollo Theater set the stage for “An Evening in Harlem,” hosted earlier this month by the Law School Alumni Association’s Alumni of Color Chapter. Jonelle Procope ’77, President and CEO of the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc., welcomed the 50 attendees to the famed artistic venue and community cornerstone, where she has been charting a course to revitalization for over a decade. The group toured the building that has showcased emerging and established artists—including Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, and Michael Jackson—for some 80 years. 

The evening continued with a reception at the critically acclaimed eatery, Red Rooster Harlem. After opening remarks from Chapter President Alain Massena ’00, Vice Dean Emeritus Andrew J. Simons ’65 introduced Daniel Paterson, who addressed the group in memory of his father, Hon. Basil A. Paterson ’48C, ’51L, ’79HON, who distinguished himself as a political leader, civil rights champion, and labor lawyer during more than 60 years of service to the people of New York State. Hon. Charles B. Rangel ’60, Representative from New York's 13th Congressional District, also spoke of Mr. Paterson as a colleague and friend, and made all present “Honorary Citizens of Harlem.”

Before the event concluded, the Alumni of Color Chapter honored Congressman Rangel for his service to the community. St. John’s Law Professors Elaine M. Chiu and Janai S. Nelson then joined Dean Andy Simons in presenting Professor Leonard M. Baynes with a token of appreciation for his longtime leadership of The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development at the Law School. Professor Baynes is leaving St. John’s to become Dean of the University of Houston Law Center.

Culture and creativity were also in the spotlight at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan for a recent gathering of 30 alumni who attended St. John’s Law on Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn. Hosted by Dean Michael A. Simons and sponsored by William Tucker ’62, the “Schermerhorn Spring Fling Luncheon” featured an “Attorneys as Authors” panel discussion by four esteemed alumni–authors:  Joseph M. Mattone, Sr. '55, '94HON; Hon. Henry Miller `59; William Tucker `62; and Frank Amoroso `74. The panel was moderated by Professor Margaret Valentine Turano ’77, who also spoke about the success of the Law School’s Writing Center, which she founded in 2000 and still guides as Faculty Director. The engaging panel was organized by John Downing `62, and the luncheon guests enjoyed wine donated by Salvatore Diliberto `70 and the Diliberto Winery.

“These events were terrific,” said Dean Andy Simons. “St. John’s Law is very much a part of New York City’s rich cultural landscape, which our alumni have helped to shape as public servants, lawyers, business people, educators, and authors. It was wonderful for us to come together at the Apollo Theater, the Red Rooster Harlem, and the Metropolitan Club to celebrate our diverse culture and creativity.”