Fall 1999

A Message from the Dean

A Discourse on Constitutional Law
The Journey of a Journal
On History and Heritage: John K. Castle
In Defense and Celebration of the First Amendment

Public Service at the Forefront
Lindback Adwardee: Bruce H. Mann
Snippets of History (1915 - 1951)
Celebrations: Alumni Reunion and Commencment

Faculty Notes
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam

Penn Law

The University of Pennsylvania Law School was founded in 1790, three years after the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. A signer of the Constitution, James Wilson, was the original architect of the nascent Law School as its first dean. With the passage of time, the memory of that link of Penn Law to the nation's founding history may have faded, but in the last few years Penn Law has renewed its relationship with the origins of the Constitution through the Castle family.

John K. Castle, Chairman and CEO of the New York merchant bank Castle Harlan, and Marianne Sherman Castle are the parents of 1999 Penn Law graduate William (Bill) Sherman Castle. Also, Marianne is a direct descendant of Roger Sherman of Connecticut, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. It becomes a right reunion when Penn Law is able to celebrate this heritage and forge ever more relevant bonds with history through the Castles' loyalty and generosity to the institution.

What makes John Castle virtually unique among the Law School's Overseers and benefactors is the fact that he has graduated from neither Penn Law nor any other school of the University. Despite this, Castle made a major gift to Penn Law to fund the overhaul of the space provided for the Penn Journal of

Constitutional Law located at the head of the grand staircase in Silverman Hall. He is also a leadership donor with a gift of $300,000 for the Colin S. Diver Distinguished Chair in Leadership. Additionally, Castle is-a benefactor for Dr. James Orsini's research in the School of Veterinary Medicine.

His gift to the journal remained anonymous while Bill was in Law School, but since his graduation, celebrated with a mammoth party at Philadelphia's Ritz Carlton Hotel, the $200,000 Journal space is now officially designated as the "Gift of William Sherman Castle '99, in memory of his forefather, Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights."

The decision to support the journal came, he says, from "talking to Dean Diver about things that were important in terms of the dean's agenda at the law school. Clearly this [the journa4 was something that was targeted by the dean as well as President [Judith] Rodin." Castle notes Penn's overall interest in all matters Constitutional, such as the forming of links to the National Constitution Center planned for construction on Independence Square. "And, of course, Philadelphia is a natural place to have all that happen," as the birthplace of the Constitution.

Castle feels strongly about the need for continuing academic study of the Constitution: "It's amazing that we've been able to build a country in terms of democracy and a balance of powers between the states and the central core, and to maintain a level of justice and freedom over such an extended period of time. There was the potential that this Constitution wouldn't work, and a weaker form, the Articles of Confederation, did fail. It's essential to understand how this success came about.

"And those considerations are not only, 'How do we make this institution continue to be effective in maintaining a positive environment for our citizenry to survive and thrive and grow,' but also, 'What elements in the Constitution are critical in terms of application to other countries trying to create their own new forms of government that will be successful in caring for the people and providing for the common benefit?' "

In addition to an appreciation for early American history, Castle has a keen interest in modern American history. In 1995, the Castles purchased the former Kennedy family compound in Palm Beach, Florida. They have taken great care to preserve what history might remember about America's most successful and influential political dynasty. The Castles regularly host events for non-profit groups at the estate, including two for Penn Law in the last two years. Aside from offering refined feasts, guests are given tours of the house by formerr Kennedy Administration staff members that take a visitor from the President's bedroom - he spent the last weekend of his life at the compound - to the hand-labeled lingerie drawers of matriarch Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. History is in the details, and the Castles have assured that these details will be carefully maintained for some time to come.

John K. Castle has circumnavigated the globe on his 42-foot yacht the Marianne, is an accomplished horseman, and has been very successful in high finance, but perhaps it is through his ties to and passion for the history of America's founding that is most striking. As with his care for a piece of America's political history, Castle's celebration of the heritage and the future of Constitutional scholarship is history in the making.