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Loyola selects law professor as year’s academic leader

Loyola press release - January 21, 2005

In accepting the 2005 Dux Academicus Award, Kathryn Venturatos Lorio, Leon Sarpy Distinguished Professor of Law, said, “When people ask me what my profession is, I tell them that I am a teacher and a lawyer. I am equally proud of both titles. Both are honorable professions with the capacity for great contribution to society. It is that potential that I try to tap in my students.”

A member of the law faculty since 1976, Lorio was honored at the university’s spring convocation January 7, where University President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Walter Harris, Ph.D., presented her with the award.

Family, friends, and colleagues turned out to support Lorio who is often recognized not just for her legal acumen, but also for her professionalism. She is one of the most well-regarded members of the legal profession and has received numerous awards that attest to this fact. The Association for Women Attorneys of New Orleans presented Lorio with the Michaelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award in recognition of professional integrity, and the Louisiana State Law Institute asked Lorio to be its banquet speaker, the first time in the organization’s 62-year history that a female attorney addressed the group. She also was selected as the 2003 Distinguished Professor of the Year by the Louisiana Bar Foundation.

Her textbooks and treaties on successions and donations are in libraries across the state. Her knowledge and involvement in one of the most complex medical and legal phenomena—alternative means of reproduction and their legal impact—has catapulted her to the upper echelon of legal scholars.

A nominating letter stated, “She is a generous colleague—generous with her time, generous with her knowledge and experience, and generous with the spotlight that she has earned.” A student wrote, “Professor Lorio is sensitive to the needs of the students, and she eagerly offers her assistance. She begins her conversation by inquiring into how she can assist me and whether her advice has been helpful. Professor Lorio remains ardently devoted to the study of law, her students, and to Loyola University….”

“I remember that the best teachers I had were not those who used the hour of class time to impress the students with their own knowledge and ability,” Lorio recalled,” “but rather those who worked with the students, presenting them information, challenging them to think and develop their own skills so that when the students left the classroom, they would not be thinking how smart the teacher was, but would instead be impressed with how smart they were as they mastered a new concept."

Lorio was appointed the Leon Sarpy Distinguished Professor of Law in 1992, the School of Law’s first professorship. She has written seven books and a multitude of articles and scholarly papers. She has served on various committees and public task forces. Lorio received her juris doctor in 1973 from Loyola and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Newcomb College in 1970.