January 28, 2009
Harvard Law School has received a $10 million gift—made anonymously—in honor of Professor Laurence H. Tribe ’66.
The gift—one of the largest ever received in the history of the law school—will be used to establish a new chair in constitutional law and to support a variety of scholarly activities in the field.
The chair will be known as the Laurence H. Tribe Professorship of Constitutional Law when Professor Tribe retires. Until then, at Professor Tribe’s request, it will be known as the Thurgood Marshall Professorship of Constitutional Law.
"We are deeply grateful for this extraordinarily generous gift," said Dean Elena Kagan '86. "Larry Tribe is not only one of the world's foremost authorities on constitutional law but also one of the world's greatest constitutional law teachers, and I'm delighted that this chair will honor his profound and enduring contributions to both scholarship and teaching. HLS has a long history of leadership in the field of constitutional law--and our future is even brighter now thanks to this
In addition to funding the chair, the gift will enable new teaching and research activities in constitutional law, including:
• summer research by faculty members
• student research
• visiting professorships and lectures
• conferences, symposia and other public scholarly events, and
• senior and junior fellowships
Said Tribe: “I am truly humbled and was stunned when Elena Kagan told me about this great honor. The opportunity to designate someone else whose name this professorship will bear until I retire is especially welcome. Being able to designate Thurgood Marshall, whom I regard as the greatest American lawyer of the last century, is most gratifying to me. I am also enormously pleased by the fellowships, the lectures and conferences, and all of the constitutional research by faculty and students that this generous gift will support.”
Tribe, one of the nation’s pre-eminent legal scholars, is Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard. He joined the law school faculty in 1968, received tenure in 1972, and held the Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professorship in Constitutional Law from 1982 to 2004, when he was appointed University Professor—the highest academic honor that Harvard University can bestow upon a faculty member, reserved for just a handful of professors throughout the university.
Professor Tribe is the author of more than 100 books and articles, including American Constitutional Law, On Reading the Constitution, and, most recently, the Invisible Constitution. He has argued 35 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States—including the historic Bush v. Gore case in 2000 on behalf of presidential candidate Albert Gore, Jr.— and he has testified frequently before Congress on a broad range of constitutional issues.
In addition to his J.D, Tribe holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College (1962), and he has been conferred with numerous honorary degrees, including a doctor of laws in 2008 from New York University.