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"Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render to every one his due."
~ Emperor Justinian
Upcoming Events
September 2020 - September 2021
Membership Application and Membership Renewal
The Justinian Society and Foundation Statement on Current Events
January Virtual Board Meeting
February Virtual Board Meeting
March Virtual Board Meeting
April Virtual Board Meeting
May Virtual Board Meeting
January 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
This month the Justinian Society of Philadelphia proudly spotlights The Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.) who has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Center for Guardianship Certification, which was created to enhance the quality of guardianship services by developing and administering a comprehensive national guardian certification program. More...
December 2020 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society of Philadelphia proudly recognizes the pro bono efforts of board member, Nate Andrisani, who recently secured the release of his client, Andrew Swainson, who spent more than 30 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. More...

You can read more about Nate’s victory by clicking here.
November 2020 Justinian Co-Members of the Month
This Month, the Justinian Society proudly celebrates and spotlights the accomplishments of two board members, Denise Mandi and Brittany Stepp, for their recent elections to the Board of Governors and YLD Executive Board of the Philadelphia Bar Association, respectively. Please join us in congratulating Denise and Brittany. More...
Justinian Society News
The Justinian Society's tribute in memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Justinian Society of Philadelphia celebrates the life and mourns the passing of one of our nation's most brilliant and deeply cherished jurists, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. More...
Virtual Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Announcement
News from The Justinian Foundation – 2020 Scholarship Recipient
Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Reception
Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Reception
Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Reception
The Justinian Society and Foundation Host 80th Anniversary, Honor the Chairman of Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Present Law School Scholarships
The Justinian Society and Foundation hosted their 80th Anniversary on June 6, 2016, honoring Philip Rinaldi, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board, Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC. The Foundation also presented three scholarships to outstanding law student. More...
The Justinian Society Elects Officers at Annual Meeting
The Justinian Society Annual Meeting and Election was held on June 6, 2016 at Top of the Tower in Philadelphia. More...
The Justinian Foundation Awards Three Scholarships to Law Students
The Justinian Foundation, which provides scholarships to Italian-American students enrolled in Philadelphia-area law schools, recently presented scholarships totaling $4,500 to three area students. More...
The Justinian Society and Foundation Announce the Richard F. Furia, Esquire Scholarship Open to Second Year Law School Students
Justinian Society Event Photos

To see all of the photos from our most recent events, see our Flickr account.

To see photos from the 2019 Justinian Christmas Party, click here.

To see photos from the 2019 Beccaria Award, click here.

To see photos from the Luncheon Honoring PA Superior Court President Judge Jack Panella, click here.

To see photos from the 2019 Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Reception and Luncheon, click here.

To see photos from the Luncheon Honoring The Honorable Idee Fox, click here.

To see photos from the Luncheon Honoring 2019 Phila Bar Chancellor Shelli M. Fedullo, click here.

To see photos from the 2018 Justinian Christmas Party, click here.

To see photos from the 2018 Beccaria Award Ceremony, click here.

To see photos from the 2018 Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Reception, click here.

To see photos from the Justinian Luncheon Honoring Carl A. Solano, click here.

  Chancellor Alfano Honored as Distinguished Naturalization Ceremony Guest

Gaetan J. Alfano, Chancellor of the Justinian Society, served as the Distinguished Guest at the November 17, 2005 Naturalization Ceremonies facilitated by United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania's Judge Cynthia M. Rufe.

More than 100 people from 34 countries were granted citizenship.

Chancellor Alfano's Remarks were as follows:

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  My name is Gaetan Alfano.  I am an attorney here in Philadelphia.  I also am the Chancellor or head of the Justinian Society of Philadelphia.  This Society, which is named after the Roman Emperor Justinian, was founded over 70  years ago by 15 attorneys of Italian descent.  When it was founded, the Justinian Society served many purposes.  One purpose was to encourage Italian Americans, many of whom were new citizens, to become attorneys.  Another purpose was to help these attorneys to find work in Philadelphia law firms. 

In Philadelphia, seventy years ago, the practice of law was dominated by large, well established firms with very American sounding names like Price, Drinker or Harrison.  Many of the attorneys in these large Philadelphia firms could easily trace their families back to England.  At that time, there were no Italian American attorneys in these law firms.
That was seventy years ago.  Today, the Justinian Society has grown from 15 members to over 800 members.  Through a charitable foundation, the Justinians have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide scholarships to help law students.  Many Justinians now are attorneys in Philadelphia's largest, most prestigious law firms.  Others, like me, have started their own law firms.

As you can see, the Law is one area in which Italian Americans have made tremendous progress.  Many of the judges in the district court, the judges who decide cases in this courthouse, including Judge Rufe, are Italian Americans.  The next highest court is the Court of Appeals.  In this region or circuit, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, Judge Scirica, is Italian American.  In the highest court in America, the United States Supreme Court, one Justice - Justice Scalia - is Italian American while the President has nominated another Italian American - Judge Alito - for an opening on that Court.  The progress that Italian Americans have made in the Law has been matched in other areas, including the Arts, Entertainment, Medicine, Business, and Government.

I hope that each of you, as new citizens, will enjoy the same success that we have enjoyed.  Another fundamental goal of the Justinian Society is to encourage our members, despite our progress, to remain rooted in our common Italian heritage.  To put it another way, we should never forget where we came from. 

So, if I can leave you today with one thought, it is this: please remember and cherish your own heritage.  There is always pressure on a new person in any group to want to fit in, to look like, to sound like, to dress like those who already are here, basically, to conform.  It has happened in my own family.  For example, my last name is ALFANO.  I had relatives who changed their names to ALFORD because they thought it sounded more American.  In America, my grandfather's name was John.  There was only one problem - that wasn't his real name.  He actually had a very common Italian name that was difficult for people in America to pronounce.  But, because he owned a grocery store where he dealt with many people from different backgrounds, he thought that it was easier for his customers just to call him John.  So, for fifty years, he was known as John.

My own first name is Gaetan.  It is spelled GAETAN.  Although I'm very proud of it, my name really isn't a name at all.  In Italian, it is Gaetano, spelled GAETANO but my parents thought that it might make me look and sound more American if they dropped the O at the end of my first name.  Well, if you look at my face and hear me speak, I don't think that it worked too well. 
America prides itself on freedom and diversity.  I would encourage you, as American citizens, to exercise your freedom by retaining your ethnic heritage and by weaving your diversity into the fabric of American society.  Your holidays, customs and traditions will become part of the broader culture of the United States.  And, when you leave here today, your name, whether it is Ashok, or Sergei, Mohammed, or Maya, Maria or Han, now is an American name. 


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