Former Trustee Paul Kirk honored by St. Thomas More Law Society
April 15, 2010
On Wednesday April 14, Stonehill trustee emeritus and honorary degree recipient Paul Kirk was honored by the College's St. Thomas More Law Society for his dedication to public service and the law for over four decades.
The reception, which over 100 people attended, was held at the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston.
Kirk served as interim U.S. Senator for Massachusetts this past fall, filling the seat vacated by the death of former Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
Two of Kirks former interns from his U.S. Senate office, Stonehill political science majors T.J. Bright '11 and Brenna Kelly '11, presented the award.
In his remarks, Kirk had high praise for Bright and Kelly (pictured below), calling them "great ambassadors for Stonehill" and noting the future will be in good hands with leaders like them.
"I encourage students to become public citizens and to participate in causes that are larger than their own personal interests," said Kirk.
He reminded the audience that "law is the foundation of governance and a public reflection of our values," and that "the rule of law is key to stable and just societies."
Kirk also noted the fact he is the first non-alumnus of the College to be honored by the St. Thomas More Law Society, but quipped, "I am an honorary alumnus though." Kirk received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Stonehill and delivered the keynote address at Commencement in 2002.
Notable guests at the event included Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit Sandra Lynch, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz, and Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley '80.
"Given Senator Kirk's close association with the College, our pre-law students are familiar with him. He is generous with his time and they know his appreciation for the law, its nuances and challenges. They wanted to recognize him and they made an excellent choice," said Peter Ubertaccio, faculty advisor to the St. Thomas More Law Society.
Kirk served three consecutive terms on Stonehill's Board of Trustees from 1986-2006. In April of 2008, he became a trustee emeritus. In 2002, he most recently, Kirk served as chair of Stonehill's Martin Institute Task Force in 2005-2006, which brought together faculty, students and alumni to revise the Institute's mission and focus.
Established in 1990, the Martin Institute prepares students for leadership as active citizens in service and challenges them to explore the vital issues of public policy and social justice.
Kirk's father, the Honorable Paul Grattan Kirk, a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, was a member of the Stonehill Board of Advisors from 1968-1970.
A Corporate Partner from 1977-1989 at Sullivan & Worcester LLP in Boston, Kirk currently serves as the chairman and chief executive officer of Kirk & Associates, Inc., a business advisory and consulting firm located in Boston
Kirk was a longtime senior aide to Kennedy and served as chairman of the national Democratic Party in the late 1980s.
He is a longtime friend of the Kennedy family and was chosen as the master of ceremonies at Kennedy's memorial service at the John F. Kennedy Library. Kirk worked as a special assistant to Senator Kennedy from 1969 to 1977 and is currently the chairman of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
The St. Thomas More Law Society at Stonehill is named for Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), an English lawyer, author, and statesman. In 1935, 400 years after his death, More was canonized in the Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI and later declared the patron saint of lawyers and statesmen. Political Science major Stephen Morrill '10 serves as this year's president of the Society.
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