Distinguished jurist and Claremore native Darnell Jones, II, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, will present Rogers State University’s Maurice Meyer Distinguished Endowed Lecture on Friday, Oct. 30.
Jones will deliver his remarks entitled “Diversity Then and Now: What Have We Learned?” at 11 a.m. in the Will Rogers Auditorium on RSU’s Claremore campus. The event is free and open to the public. Public parking will be available in the Centennial Center parking lot.
A 1968 graduate of Claremore High School, Jones was inducted into the Claremore Public Schools Foundation’s Hall of Fame in 1995.
Jones was sworn in as a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania after nomination by President George W. Bush in 2008. He previously served as President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania from December2005 until his appointment in October 2008. During his tenure as President Judge of Pennsylvania’s largest judicial district, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania appointed him as Chair of the Administrative Governing Board (AGB) of the First Judicial District. The AGB is the coordinating body for all of the courts of the First Judicial District.
Jones began serving as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1987. He held various positions on the Court of Common Pleas, including: managing judge of the Adult Probation and Parole Department, member of the Judicial Education Committee, presiding judge and Co-Coordinating Judge of the Homicide Division, and presiding judge in the Major Civil Trial Division. He served as a presiding judge in the Commerce Case Management Program (Business Court), and also served as a Supervising Judge of the Philadelphia County Grand Jury. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where among other responsibilities, he served as chief of the Family Court Division. Jones obtained his bachelor’s degree in French from Southwestern College and his law degree from American University, Washington College of Law.
He has previously served as an adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s University’s Graduate School, Temple University School of Law, and The National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Jones has been an adjunct professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School since 1993. He has taught Handling Capital Cases and Criminal Evidence for the National Judicial College. At the request of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, he oversaw the development of a curriculum for trial judges presiding over capital cases within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania–the Supreme Court’s Capital Case Initiative program. He was a contributing author of “Presiding Over a Capital Case, A Benchbook for Judges.”
Jones was named one of the 500 leading judges in America by Lawdragon magazine in 2005. He has been appointed a Business Court Representative to the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section, and served as a liaison to the Judicial Division of the ABA.
Jones is a member of the University of Pennsylvania American Inn of Court. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of New Directions for Women; the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Thomas R. Kline Law School Board of Drexel University, the Advisory Board of the George Mason School of Law – Law & Economics Center Judicial Education Program, and previously served as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges. He is a member of the Model Civil Jury Instructions Committee for the Third Circuit. In 2012, Jones was appointed to the Committee on Criminal Law of the Judicial Conference of the United States by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
The Maurice Meyer Endowed Lectureship was established at RSU by Mr. Irvin Frank in honor of his uncle, Sergeant Maurice Meyer. Maurice Meyer was a member of Company A, 357 Regiment. He served with distinction as an officer of the 90th Division during the St. Mihiel campaign in France during World War I. He was wounded by German shrapnel on Sept. 23, 1918. He died the following day and was accorded a hero’s funeral in Tulsa on May 3, 1922.
In 1920, the first barracks were built on the campus of the Oklahoma Military Academy (RSU’s predecessor institution). The building was named the Maurice Meyer Barracks in honor of Oklahoma’s fallen war hero. Today, the same building, now Meyer Hall, houses the RSU president’s offices and the Oklahoma Military Academy Museum.
The Maurice Meyer Distinguished Endowed Lectureship is held annually to honor the legacy of the Meyer family and the life of an American who died defending freedom and democracy. The goal of the lectureship is to foster an appreciation for diversity and humanity and to promote tolerance and understanding of other cultures, people and ideas.
For more information, visit www.rsu.edu/lectureships/meyer or call 918-343-7773.