Monday, April 29, 2002

Some Good News

Ex-judge McClain honored

By Allen Howard,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Former Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge William A. McClain received an honorary law degree Saturday during commencement exercises at the University of Michigan.

        Mr. McClain served as city solicitor of Cincinnati from 1963 to 1972, becoming the first African-American lawyer to be the law director of a major city in the United States. He also was acting city manager of Cincinnati from 1968 to 1972, another first.

        “I have received honorary doctor's degrees before. This one is very special because it's from my alma mater,” Mr. McClain said.

        His other “firsts” include:

        • First African-American member of the National Institute of Municipal Law Officers. He received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the organization's highest honor.

        • First African-American lawyer elected to the Cincinnati Bar Association and a member of the Cincinnati Lawyers Club.

        • First African-American judge of the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

        He was the only African-American student at Wittenberg University in Springfield when he attended there 1930-34.

        He has received honorary law degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Wilberforce University and he received a doctor of human letters from Wittenberg.

        “Although Mr. McClain is 89 years old, he is in the office at least five days a week until noon,” said Robert Manley, a law partner. “Sometimes, he works in the office on Saturdays and Sundays.”

        • • •

        A teacher-to-teacher conference, titled “A Blessing to Each Other — What Catholics and Jews Are Learning Together,” will be held from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. today at the Yavneh Day School, 8401 Montgomery Road, Kenwood.

        The program includes discussion of Catholic-Jewish dialogue since Vatican II, and consideration of where it would be natural or logical to introduce discussion of the other religion in the school curriculum, said Barbara Glueck, director of the American Jewish Committee.

        Presenters will be Rabbi Laurence Edwards, AJC's associate national director for interreligious affairs, and Sister Mary Ellen Coombe, a sister of Sion and associate director at the office for ecumenical and interreligious affairs.

        The subject of sexual misconduct among Catholic priests might come up, Ms. Glueck said.

        “Right now that is just about all we hear from our Catholic friends,” she said. “I think this conference may be a chance to take their minds off that issue. The discussion of religion in school curriculum is a main focus. We want to learn from each other.”

       Allen Howard's “Some Good News” column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at or by fax at 768-8340.


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