Kevin Walsh, Knights of Columbus Professor of Law and the Catholic Tradition and the co-director of the Project on Constitutional Originalism and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT), has had some impressive accomplishments in his legal and academic careers. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Judge Paul V. Niemeyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He’s been a full-time faculty member at the University of Richmond School of Law, and he holds degrees from Harvard Law School, the University of Notre Dame, and Dartmouth College.
Walsh’s recent appointment as the Knights of Columbus Professor of Law and the Catholic Tradition and the co-director of the Project on Constitutional Originalism and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT) have him excited about new possibilities he has always wanted to explore. “To integrate the study and the profession of law with the Catholic intellectual tradition is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Walsh said.
Thanks to $8.25 million in start-up funding for CIT and an endowment to fund his faculty chair, Walsh not only will teach subjects like constitutional law, he’ll also work with faculty and students to dive into a subject that has long fascinated him.
“We aim to be the center of the conversation about the moral foundations of American constitutionalism,” said Walsh. “In addition to focusing on law, it’s part of my responsibility to integrate the perspectives of the Catholic intellectual tradition as part of teaching and scholarship.”
This chair is the 12th to be established through Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University. Leonard Leo, a University trustee, directed a gift to establish the chair in partnership with the Knights of Columbus.
“Professor Walsh is among the most distinguished and rigorous originalist scholars in the country. I am certain his future work on the Constitution and the Catholic intellectual tradition at the Catholic University’s law school will be quite impactful,” Leo said.
“There is no better lens through which to develop a full respect of human dignity or to foster true human flourishing than the Catholic intellectual tradition, which provides a rich framework to understand the foundations of human civilization itself,” said Patrick Kelly, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus. “With his impressive credentials and his passion for this work, I am confident that Kevin Walsh will add much to the Columbus School of Law and constitutional scholarship as a whole.”
Walsh will work on projects that include fellowships and classes open to a range of students. “I’ll be teaching a two-credit seminar called Law in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition that will be open to law students, but also to other students at the University. It’s rewarding to teach and to have the perspective of people who are coming at it fresh.”
“An endowed chair allows us to attract top scholars like Kevin Walsh,” said Stephen Payne, dean of the Columbus School of Law. “Our students will be able to work alongside and grow with Kevin, an opportunity they might not have had without the chair.”
For Walsh, the opportunity means both receiving and giving back. “I view this as a chance to go further down a road not taken in my formal education, and to then have it as part of my responsibility to teach the next generation of lawyers."