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Endowments at UVA

Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Professorship in Law


The Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Research Professorship in Law was funded through the generosity of more than one hundred donors, almost all of them African-American alumni of the University's School of Law. The professorship honors James Thurgood Marshall, who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1967 to 1991 as its first black justice. Before joining the court, Justice Marshall served more than twenty years as director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. There he devised a strategy to pursue through the courts a definition of equality that assured African Americans the full rights of citizenship. His greatest legal victory came in 1954 with the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which declared an end to the "separate but equal" system of racial segregation then in effect in the public schools of twenty-one states. Justice Marshall, who died in 1993, spent much of his Supreme Court career continuing to advance remedies to the nation's legacy of racial inequality. The professorship will be awarded to scholars of distinction whose work will further the honoree's legacy.

Brandon Garrett 2015-present

History of Past Recipients and Projects