Georgetown Law to Honor Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and the late Dean Paul R. Dean
April 8, 2019
Georgetown Law is dedicating the "green spaces" on campus to two individuals who have played integral roles in the Law Center's history and in establishing its presence in Washington, D.C.: Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (H'18) and the late Dean Paul R. Dean (L'46, LL.M.'52, H'69).
On April 23, 2019, Georgetown Law will dedicate the “Tower Green” surrounding its iconic clock tower to Norton. The 4:30 p.m. ceremony will honor this trailblazing civil rights activist and champion for women’s equality, a longtime member of the Georgetown Law faculty who has represented the District of Columbia in the House of Representatives since 1991. Representative Norton attended Washington, D.C.’s Dunbar High School while the school was still segregated; she went on to attend Antioch College, Yale University (Master’s Degree in American Studies) and Yale Law School.
In her long career, she has used her strong voice in the District of Columbia at both the local and national levels, most notably in a national conversation surrounding equality in the workplace. In 1970, she represented 60 female employees of Newsweek in front of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, successfully overturning a policy of allowing only men to be reporters. Seven years later, serving as the first woman to chair the Commission, she released the first official declaration that sexual harassment was a form of sexual discrimination that violated federal civil rights law. In recent years, she has advocated for a national commission to combat sexual harassment.
In her 15th term as congresswoman for the District of Columbia, Representative Norton has never lost sight of her ultimate goal: to make D.C. the 51st state. For nearly 700,000 constituents, she continues to be a determined advocate, working for neighborhood improvement, home ownership, and economic development.
During 36 years of service on the Georgetown Law faculty, she taught generations of students about dispute resolution, lawmaking and statutory interpretation. Professor Emerita Norton has inspired countless lawyers to follow her example in public service, advancing causes through effective advocacy. As her colleagues said when awarding Norton an honorary degree from Georgetown Law at Commencement 2018, she fully embodies the school’s motto: “Law is but the means, justice is the end.”
In the next academic year, Georgetown Law will also be dedicating its “Library Quad” to the late Paul R. Dean, who served on the faculty for more than 40 years. During his deanship from 1954 to 1969, he planned the construction of McDonough Hall and also established the E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program – providing quality representation to adults and adolescents accused of crimes while also giving law school graduates practical experience in trial advocacy, litigation and clinical teaching.
At the time of his death in 2008, Dean was remembered as the leader who built the foundation for the modern Law Center, building structures as well as innovations. As the law school celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2020, Georgetown Law is proud to honor the Law Center’s history and place in the District of Columbia, beginning with two individuals whose vision continues to inspire us.