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The Philadelphia area chapter of the Boston College Law School Alumni Association will present the Robert F. Drinan S.J. Award to former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford on Nov. 29 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia. The Robert F. Drinan S.J. Award is named for the former congressman and former Boston College Law School dean who has championed social justice and civil liberties throughout his lifetime. The award to Wofford, who now serves as chief executive officer of the Corporation for National Service, was announced by chapter president Denis P. Cohen. Cohen explained that the Drinan Award is given to a person who has demonstrated leadership in one or more of the following: courageously advocating on behalf of social justice and civil liberties issues; rendering distinguished service toward improving the standards and administration of justice, and devoting time, energy and talents to improving the quality of legal education. “Certainly, Senator Wofford meets all of these criteria,” Cohen said. “He is a true champion of justice — an outstanding lawyer, a noted government leader, a scholar and an educator.” Wofford, a graduate of the University of Chicago, Yale Law School, and Howard University Law School, is a former law school professor who helped launch the Peace Corps in 1961 under the Kennedy administration. A long-time proponent of volunteer service, he formed and chaired a panel to study the idea of national service, producing the landmark 1979 report “Youth and the Needs of the Nation.” In 1987, as Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry, he established and led Governor Robert Casey’s Office of Citizen Service which promoted school-based service-learning and youth corps. The office also managed the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps. As a United States senator from Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1994, he played a key role in both screening and in creating a trailblazing legislation which created the Corporation for National Service. The corporation’s three major service initiatives are AmeriCorps (the domestic Peace Corps), Learn and Serve America (a school-based service program) and the National Senior Service Corps (for Americans aged 55 and older who want to share their time and talent to help solve local problems). Wofford was also instrumental in creating the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future, which was held in Philadelphia in 1997. Wofford’s long record on behalf of human rights extends back into the Eisenhower administration when he was counsel to the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame on the First U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Later he played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In the Kennedy administration, he was a special assistant to the president and chaired the Special Cabinet Group on Civil Rights. Wofford has also served as president of two colleges: the State University of New York at Old Westbury and of Bryn Mawr College. He has authored several books including “Of Kennedys and Kings,” and with his late wife, Clare, “India Afire.”

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