Wednesday, October 30, 1996

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172

CONTACT: Paul M. Kurtz, (706) 542-7140


ATHENS, Ga. -- Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, will deliver the 85th Sibley Lecture at the University of Georgia School of Law November 12 at 3:30 p.m. in the law school auditorium.

The lecture, "Crusades: The American Experience of Religious Freedom," and the reception which follows are open free to the public.

The Sibley Lecture Series, established in 1964 by the Charles Loridans Foundation of Atlanta, is designed to attract outstanding legal scholars of national prominence to the law school. It honors the late John A. Sibley, a 1911 law school graduate who served for many years as chair of the board of the Trust Company of Georgia.

"We are delighted to be able to welcome a person of such stature as Judge Noonan to our campus," said Paul Kurtz, the law school's associate dean for academic and student affairs. "I am confident that his Sibley Lecture will be stimulating for faculty and students as well as the general audience and enrich the intellectual life of the school.

"Both as an academic and as a jurist, John Noonan has been on the cutting edge of a number of issues," Kurtz continued. "He is both a scholar of Catholicism, as well as a catholic scholar. Both in print and in lectures, he has applied his thoughtful approach to such matters of fundamental importance as jurisprudence, religion, marriage, abortion and contraception."

Noonan was appointed to the appellate court, which covers California and other western states, in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan. For two decades prior to that appointment, he was a member of the law faculty at the University of California - Berkeley; he served on the law faculty of Notre Dame from 1961-1966.

Noonan earned his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Harvard College, where he was named to Phi Beta Kappa. He studied English literature at Cambridge University for one year, and received his master's and doctorate in philosophy from The Catholic University of America. Noonan then earned his law degree from Harvard. He practiced law with a Boston law firm for five years before beginning his teaching career.

Noonan's government service includes an appointment as special assistant to President Dwight Eisenhower and membership on the special staff of the National Security Council in 1954-55. He has also served as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health and to the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Noonan is a member of the American Law Institute and has served for 20 years as an executive committee member of the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Law and Religion. He has served as the director of Americans United for Life, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, and the National Right to Life Committee. He also has chaired the religious studies program at the University of California - Berkeley.

A respected scholar, Noonan has written numerous articles and books on matters of government and religion, judicial ethics, legal history, religious human rights, abortion, and contraception. He has served as a visiting professor, teaching in both law and religion, at such noted institutions as Harvard, Stanford, Boston College and UCLA, and has been the recipient of nine honorary Doctor of Laws degrees.