Schnader Honors Peter Langenus with Community Service AwardOn October 12, 2016 by Schnader in Litigation
Schnader is pleased to announce that Peter C. Langenus is the 2016 recipient of the Earl G. Harrison Community Service Award. He was celebrated at a ceremony in the firm’s Philadelphia office on October 6th.
“In his steadfast dedication to serving both country and community, Peter is a living example of the higher calling of the law,” said Chairman David Smith.
Peter’s lifelong commitment to community service focuses on veteran issues and diversity and opportunity in higher education.
A Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Peter served as an airborne ranger commanding a rifle company. He later served as a Colonel in the Army Reserve during Operation Desert Storm. He was Commander of VFW Post 653 for many years, spearheading fundraising for the VFW’s support system for local veterans and organizing Memorial Day commemorations. Peter is actively involved in researching and advocating on behalf of service members who are eligible for awards such as the Silver Star. He also speaks to local middle and high school students about the Vietnam War and veterans’ service. He is a trustee of the United States Army War College Foundation, which provides financial support for students and faculty. In 2016, the Hannah Benedict Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution honored Peter with its Award for Outstanding Service for Veterans.
Peter serves on the Board of Directors of Regis College in Massachusetts, which has made diversity in education a major focus of its mission. Peter and his wife Eileen championed that effort with “The Langenus Challenge” to raise funds to allow diverse and underprivileged students to attend the school. Prior to serving at Regis, Peter and Eileen headed the Parent Advisory Board at Gettysburg College, where they helped with fundraising and mentored students about the legal profession.
In addition, Peter served for many years as a troop leader for the Boy Scouts and remains involved in their community service projects. Each year, he organizes and accompanies a troop to cook dinner and sleep over at a soup kitchen and homeless shelter.
Chairman David Smith presented the award, which reflects Schnader’s founding tradition of working to improve access to justice and advancing the common good. Invoking Polonius’s advice to his son Laertes in Hamlet (This above all: to thine own self be true…), David said, “All of us who work with Peter will attest to his utter inability to speak anything but the truth, reminding us that we too are bound by those principles.”
Peter then spoke of life lessons he learned in the military, and shared his vision for a better world.
“What should unite us is the color of our blood, the desire to do good, and the determination to help those less fortunate,” he told the crowd of Schnader attorneys and staff members.
The Earl G. Harrison Community Service Award is presented annually to a firm attorney or staff member who has a distinguished record of community service. Earl G. Harrison was one of Schnader’s founding partners and a remarkable humanitarian. After World War II, he worked to convince the western nations to both open their own borders to those displaced persons liberated from the Nazi concentration campsâ€š and to support the creation of the State of Israelâ€š where Jews who could not face returning to their former homes could emigrate.