Summer 2013
News from the Bristol
campus and beyond
By the Bay
Retired Rhode Island Supreme Court
Chief Justice Joseph R. Weisberger ’92H,
’97H(Law) – a Roger Williams University
Trustee and a central figure in the founding
and development of RWU Law – died on
December 7, 2012, at the age of 92.
Chief Justice Weisberger served as
chairman of both the Roger Williams
University School of Law Advisory
Board and its Board of Directors, and
is the namesake of the school’s first
endowed professorship. In 1991, he led
the feasibility study that recommended
establishing RWU Law.
A graduate of Brown University
and Harvard Law School, Weisberger
interrupted his undergraduate studies in
1941 to join the Navy, where he served
in the Pacific. He practiced law and
served briefly in the state Senate before
being appointed to the bench in 1956, at
age 35. He was a Superior Court judge
until 1978, when he was appointed to
the Rhode Island Supreme Court as an
associate justice. He served as chief justice
from 1993 to 2001. In the years following
his retirement, he helped lead the court’s
mediation program.
“You hear many accolades for Chief
Justice Weisberger’s long and distinguished
service to our state,” said RWU Law
Dean David A. Logan. “But to me it is
also personal: he was instrumental in the
founding of this law school and was the
first and longest-serving Chair of our
Board of Directors. He was also a classic
gentleman and a wonderful mentor to me.”
Founding Father
Chief Justice Joseph R. Weisberger (1920-2012)
“Whereas the need for a Law
School in Rhode Island has
been clearly demonstrated,
now hereby be it resolved
that the Law School Advisory
Board recommends that a law
school be established by
Roger Williams College.”
– Justice Joseph R. Weisberger,
Chairman of the Law School
Advisory Board, 1991
Chief Justice Weisberger and his wife, Sylvia,
attending an RWU Law event.
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