Posted: Monday May 12, 2014
May 12, 2014
Saint Vincent College honored Charles J. Queenan Jr., a corporate lawyer whose distinguished legal career spanned nearly six decades while he also served as a prominent business, civic and community leader, with an honorary doctor of laws degree at its annual spring commencement ceremony on May 10, in the Robert S. Carey Student Center.
Chairman emeritus of K&L Gates since 2013 in recognition of his lifetime of contributions to the legal profession, his community and the firm which he headed for 14 years from 1976 to 1990, he formerly served as the chair and senior counsel at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, now K&L Gates, a global law firm with more than 2,000 attorneys. The firm practices out of 48 fully integrated offices located in the United States, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America representing leading global corporations, growth and middle-market companies and capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.
The citation read as follows: “For more than five decades, yours has been the voice of leadership in a multitude of venues in the public and private sectors of western Pennsylvania. In hearing your voice, many have learned the great truth that in the hearts of those who are revered as true leaders in their profession and their community is an unquenchable passion to serve others in the pursuit of a good greater than themselves and to make that pursuit without thought of temporal reward. Since you became a lawyer in 1956, and all during the time that you were establishing your unparalleled reputation for excellence as a skilled business and tax practitioner, your voice of leadership was growing louder and stronger throughout our community. It was heard by your fellow lawyers at Kirkpatrick and Lockhart (now K&L Gates) who had you serve for years as their Chair and Senior Counsel before bestowing upon you the unique honor of Chairman Emeritus in 2013 in recognition of your lifetime of service to your clients, your fellow lawyers and to the law itself. But your voice has also been heard in countless corporations, organizations and groups which needed your guidance and direction. The list of the boards on which you served, the committees whose noble causes you advanced, the charitable groups you have promoted and the educational institutions which you guided is so long and so varied as to be seemingly an impossible assemblage for one man to have performed in a lifetime. And yet, you have done all of that, and more. For your voice has also been that of a teacher and mentor to innumerable fellow lawyers, business and civic leaders, educators and public servants who have so often sought out your wisdom in times of great challenge in their lives. In sharing with them your insight, and in exemplifying for them your passion for selfless service to a greater good, you have left behind a legacy of leadership for new generations to follow. We at Saint Vincent have been blessed to hear your voice, and in humble recognition of the example and guidance you have given all of us, we are honored to present the degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to you, Charles J. Queenan Jr. This Tenth Day of May Two Thousand Fourteen.”
He guided the firm through its first combination in 1981 and additional office openings and put in place many of the firm’s foundational features. In recognition of his service to the firm and the legal field as well as his formative role in mentoring numerous fellow attorneys, he is the only partner of the firm to be designated as chairman emeritus.
He holds a bachelor of arts degree and a master of science degree from Dartmouth College and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School.
Queenan is a life member of the American Law Institute, a member of the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Bar Associations (and their respective tax sections), the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, The Federalist Society and the Dartmouth Society of Engineers. He has also served as past chairman of the Pittsburgh Tax Club and the Annual Penn State Tax Conference.
In addition to his leadership role at one of the region’s top law firms, Queenan has spearheaded many corporate, charitable and civic endeavors. He has been a director of several local and regional corporations such as Allegheny Ludlum Corp., Allegheny Teledyne Corp., Fansteel Inc., Crane Co., Teledyne Technologies Inc., Medusa Corp. and Allegheny Technologies Inc.
He has provided a strong voice of leadership in the development and nonprofit sector, particularly in higher education, regional development, civil service and health care. This included serving as chair of the board of directors of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, current co-chair of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, chair of the audit committee for the board of Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse and emeritus chair of the board of trustees of Carnegie Mellon University, where he endowed a chair of psychology. He is a member of the Saint Vincent College Board of Directors and its Finance, Audit and Enrollment Committee.
In addition to his leadership in higher education he has served as a director at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International Inc., Boy Scouts of America and National Flag Foundation, and is currently a director at National Organization on Disability and the National Institute for Newman Studies.
He is a life member of the United Way of Allegheny County. Queenan has been recognized by a number of different organizations including the League of Women Voters, Boy Scouts of America and the Holy Family Institute.
More than 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees were awarded at the commencement ceremony. The main speaker was Dr. Patrick D. Gallagher, who will become the 18th chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh on Aug. 1.
Photo: Charles J. Queenan Jr., center, receives honorary doctoral degree from Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., left, and Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., president.
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