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Albany Law School Honors Alexander Hamilton with Degree
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Alexander Hamilton

Summary: Since our Founding Father never had a formal legal degree, Albany Law School wants to award him with an honorary degree.

Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s first treasury secretary, will be receiving an honorary degree from Albany Law School. The law school announced their intention of honoring Hamilton by having his 5th great-grandson, Douglas Hamilton, accept the award on his behalf, according to the school’s announcement Thursday.

  
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Dean Alicia Ouellette said, “Alexander Hamilton’s ties to the Albany area are significant. Hamilton studied law and practiced law in Albany. He wrote Federalist #1 while traveling between Albany and New York City. By conferring this degree, we are acknowledging his impact on the Capital Region and New York’s legal community.”

Hamilton never received a formal law degree during his life. He attended King’s College (now Columbia University) but did not graduate. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1783. He then opened a law office in New York City but would frequent Albany, where the Supreme Court of Judicature (later the Court of Appeals) and state legislature were located.

Hamilton died at the age of 47 in 1804 after entering into a duel with Aaron Burr. Hamilton fired into the air while Burr fired at and shot Hamilton. Hamilton has been honored in other ways, including a Broadway play named after him.

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Albany Law is giving another honorary degree. The school plans to recognize Edward P. Swyer, entrepreneur and president of Swyer Companies. Ouellette added, “Edward Swyer has been a part of Albany Law School for decades. He has made a significant and lasting impact on Albany Law School’s students, on our Clinic and Justice Center, and in the lives of our Clinic’s clients. He is a true believer in the power of law to build and strengthen communities, and a strong advocate for the important legal work done by our Clinics. I’m honored to award him this degree.”

Swyer’s father’s construction company built the law school’s library, Schaffer Law Library, in 1986. The family has remained a big part of the law school since. They support the school with the Lewis A. Swyer Academic Success Program, which provides academic support for first-year law students.



Do you think honorary degrees are a waste? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about others who have received honorary degrees, read these articles:

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org



 

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