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Former State Supreme Court Judge to Speak at Susquehanna University Commencement

April 27, 2009

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Cynthia A. Baldwin, a former justice on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, past chair of the Pennsylvania State University board of trustees and the first African American female judge elected to the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas, will address an anticipated 429 graduates of Susquehanna University at Commencement services May 10. The event is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in the field house of the James W. Garrett Sports Complex.

The ceremony follows a baccalaureate service at 10 a.m. in the Weber Chapel auditorium and a Commencement luncheon gala from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center’s Evert Dining Room.

Baldwin currently is a partner in the law firm Duane Morris LLP in Pittsburgh, where she practices appellate litigation within the firm's trial practice group and mediates all types of cases. She served as Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from 2006-08 and in various divisions of the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas for 16 years.

Prior to her judicial appointments, she was the attorney-in-charge in the Office of the Attorney General at the Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer Protection. She also taught at Widener University Law School in the trial advocacy program.

Baldwin received her law degree from Duquesne University, where she was a member of its Law Review. She went on to teach as both a visiting and an adjunct professor at the university’s School of Law, and is a trustee emerita of the school’s board of directors and past president of its law alumni board.

Before attending law school, Baldwin taught English and was an assistant dean of student affairs at what is now the Greater Allegheny campus of Pennsylvania State University. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Penn State in English and American Literature, respectively. In 1995, the governor of Pennsylvania appointed Baldwin to the Penn State board of trustees, where she eventually served as chair.

Baldwin formerly served on the Pennsylvania Commission for Justice Initiatives and currently is a member of the American Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Homer S. Brown Law Association and the Women's Bar Association. She chairs the board of directors of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Baldwin was a gubernatorial appointee to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency from 1990 to 2002, and is a past member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing. She also is a former Master in the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Inns of Court and the Matrimonial Inns of Court.

In September 2008, Baldwin’s professional success earned her the Greater Pittsburgh Athena Award. In January 2007, Baldwin received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities, Honoris Causa from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. In 2003, the Mental Health Association of Allegheny County awarded her the Espirit Children's Service Award for her role in the lives of children with emotional and behavioral problems.

Baldwin was chosen as a Fulbright Scholar in 1994 and lectured at the University of Zimbabwe Law Faculty in Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence. Having worked with judiciaries in several other countries, Baldwin is now involved in efforts in Guinea and Uganda to fight government corruption and to educate people about their rights and responsibilities as citizens of democratic governments.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 30 states and 12 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers. For more information, visit www.susqu.edu.

Contact: Karen Jones
The Commencement luncheon and ceremony will be broadcast live on our Web site.

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