Inquirer Reports on Justinian Luncheon
The following is the article which appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Mon, Jun. 06, 2005. It was written by Porus P. Cooper:
Honor for Drexel president
The Justinian Society was founded 70 years ago in Philadelphia by lawyers with names such as Masino, Todaro, Rosa and Deluca.
The group's mission then was to combat "subtle discrimination" against Italian American lawyers, said retired Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Charles P. Mirarchi Jr., who joined in the 1940s. It still seeks to promote Italian Americans in the legal profession, and members must have some Italian heritage.
So why was it saluting Constantine Papadakis at its annual scholarship luncheon last week? The president of Drexel University emigrated from Greece and isn't a lawyer.
Not a problem, Justinian officials said. Unlike members, honorees don't have to be Italian, or even lawyers. In any case, Papadakis said in mock defense of himself, he's well-qualified in both categories.
His late mother, born Rita Masciotti, was Italian, and he's fluent in the language, he said. And while he's an engineer, he made a big splash in the legal field recently with a plan to create a law school at Drexel. "Everything is possible in this country," he said.