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Established in 2007, the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law & Public Policy provides a unique opportunity to foster public education and civic action on important public policy issues, building on the late Governor Dick Thornburgh’s legacy by creating a framework for advancing his vision of creating effective and principled governance. The Forum engages in a variety of activities that enhance the accountability and integrity of governmental institutions at the local, state, and national levels. Internationally, it seeks to advance those values as well as the commitment to rule of law for all levels of government.

Through annual lectures and a University-based archive spanning Thornburgh’s diverse career, the Forum is intended to develop program relationships with schools and departments across the University. 

The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law & Public Policy makes Faculty Academic support grants available designed to encourage both undergraduate and graduate faculty to expand relevant utilization of the extensive resources of the Dick Thornburgh Papers housed in the Archive Service Center. 

The Dick Thornburgh Undergraduate Summer Fellowships are available to support undergraduate research into issues of governance addressed in Dick Thornburgh’s long and eminent service in national and international leadership. 

The Dick Thornburgh Prize for Legal Service and the J. Evans Rose, Jr.  Prize for Government Service award are each awarded annually to one law school student whose goal is to pursue a career in public service upon graduation.

The Dick Thornburgh Forum Disability Service Award is available each year to a University of Pittsburgh student from any campus whose service has made a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities. 

The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law & Public Policy will continue its mission of fostering public education and civic action on important public policy issues under the stewardship of Chancellor Emeritus Mark Nordenberg and the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics. Nordenberg, who chairs the Institute of Politics (IOP), succeeds Ed McCord, formerly the associate dean of the Honors College, who retired in 2018 after serving as the Forum’s director since 2010.