On a daily basis, college students across America busy themselves with the stresses of higher academic life.  They travel to and from class, casually wandering aimlessly in and out of their college’s buildings and halls.  Many however, have no knowledge of what each building houses as well as what it is formally known as.  Duquesne University, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is no exception to this fact.  Each and every building on this urban campus possess a great story that all individuals would benefit from learning.

Duquesne University is known for its fabulous law school.  But what is a good academic program without a great building in which it can be based?  The Edward J Hanley Hall is just that building.  Construction for the hall began on June 22, 1981.  Shortly after on September 16, 1982, the building was dedicated to an Edward J Hanley.  But who is, or was this man?

With Pittsburgh, comes steel. With the steel industry, comes famous tycoons.  Based on the location of Duquesne, after some research, it came as no surprise when the name Edward J Hanley showed up in connection to the Pittsburgh steel industry.  Originally from Whitman, Massachusetts, Hanley attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.  In 1936, Hanley became a part of the Allegheny Steel Company, eventually achieving tenure as the president.  Through his efforts there, as well as with Ludlum Steel Corporation, Hanley quickly rose to the top of the steel industry.  He retired in 1967 but not before he left his mark, founding the world’s largest titanium producer, Titanium Metals Corporation.  After his accomplishments in the steel industry, he became the Chairman of Duquesne University’s Board of Directors, officially linking him to the college.  Sadly, he passed away on March 14, 1982, but his mark on Duquesne University and the School of Law will forever be remembered, literally.

Being named after a prestigious individual, the building as well as the School of Law within have a reputation to uphold.  The school itself fulfills that reputation with its academics, but also with organized events.  After talking with Mary Serafini, an administrative assistant in the building, I was enlightened by upcoming dates.  On Monday, September 8, 2014 Duquesne University School of Law, in cooperation with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is hosting President Ford’s Pardon of Richard Nixon: A 40-Year Retrospective.  Serafini explained, “The dean of the college will speak.” This event is to remind individuals of an important historical time in our country.

As this political event is never to be forgotten, neither is the legacy of Edward J Hanley.  Duquesne’s School of Law comprehends very well the importance of understanding and remembering past people and occasions that have left an impact.

Starting out I knew nothing about the School of Law or Edward J Hanley.  But this just shows that a little interest and information can carry you a long way.  I encourage my readers to take some time to learn something about a person, place, or event that you would normally overlook.  You might just be surprised in what you find.


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