News & Events
Duncan Scholarship to Help Outstanding First-Year Law Student
Gift established by Ohio State trustee
September 6, 2002
A $50,000 pledge from the Honorable Robert M. Duncan will be used to establish a scholarship to help an outstanding first-year student entering the Michael E. Moritz College of Law.
The Honorable Robert M. Duncan Scholarship, which was approved by the Board of Trustees at its meeting today, will help a student who will contribute to the intellectual and social diversity of the entering class. Duncan is the Moritz College of Law’s Distinguished Jurist in Residence and is a member of the university’s Board of Trustees.
“Ohio State is a tremendous institution that has been very good to me over the years,” Duncan said. “I am pleased at this point in my career to be able to give something back to the university I care so deeply for and to the top-ranked Moritz College of Law, whose students are the next generation of legal advocates and scholars.”
Duncan said he is pleased to be able to provide this scholarship.
“I am hoping this scholarship increases opportunities for students, especially minority students, in the years to come,” he said.
Nancy H. Rogers, dean of the Moritz College of Law, called Duncan one of the law school’s most distinguished graduates.
“The scholarship should inspire the recipient to lead within the community, as Judge Duncan has done, with clear vision, integrity, dedication, and a delightful sense of humor,” Rogers said. “The college is honored to offer a scholarship that will bear Judge Duncan’s name.”
Duncan, who has had a distinguished and lengthy legal career, began in general practice and then served as assistant attorney general for the state of Ohio, attorney examiner for the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, assistant city attorney for the city of Columbus, chief of the Workers’ Compensation section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and eventually as chief counsel to the Attorney General.
Duncan was elected to the Franklin County Municipal Court bench in 1966. He was elected to the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1968 and served there until he was appointed judge and, later, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. In 1974, former president Richard Nixon appointed Duncan to the federal bench to serve the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. In 1985, Duncan stepped down from his judicial post – which he could have held for life – to become a partner at the Columbus office of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue.
In January 1992, Duncan was appointed vice president and general counsel for Ohio State’s Office of Legal Affairs. He became secretary of Ohio State’s Board of Trustees in 1993 and served there until his retirement in June 1996. He returned to Ohio State in 1998, when then-Gov. George V. Voinovich appointed him to serve on the university’s Board of Trustees.
During his career on the bench, Duncan served on the President’s Commission on White House Fellows and the President’s Commission for the Observance of the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations.
In addition to Ohio State, Duncan has served as a board member for the American Electric Power Company Inc., the Nationwide Investing Foundation and the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Newark, Ohio.
Duncan was the 2001 recipient of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Eugene R. Weir Award for Ethics and Professionalism. Among his other honors and awards are the Ohio State University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Dr. Frederick Douglas Patterson Award from the United Negro College Fund, Black American Law Students Associations of The Ohio State University, and the Capital University Annual Award.
A graduate of Urbana High School, Duncan earned his bachelor’s degree in education in 1948 and his law degree from Ohio State in 1952.
The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University is Ohio’s flagship law school. Approximately 650 students attend classes at the school’s John Deaver Drinko Hall, located at 55 West 12th Avenue, Columbus.