CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: May 4, 1999
Law awards first Erich D. Mathias International Social
The University of Iowa College of Law has awarded the first Erich D. Mathias
International Social Justice Award posthumously to the former third-year law
student for whom the award is named.
Erich Mathias died in a Jan. 8 auto accident while
returning from winter break from his parents home in South Carolina.
The award will be presented each spring to a third-year
law student who has most demonstrated a commitment to international social,
economic, and cultural justice issues.
Mathias is remembered by UI law faculty and his classmates
as a student with an avid interest in international social justice issues
even before starting law school in 1996. Before then, he worked in various
positions as a consultant with the Catholic Relief Services, with the Family
Planning International Assistance of Planned Parenthood, and with the Religious
Working Group on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
He studied international law through George Washington
University at Oxford and attended the University of London law school in 1998
through a UI study abroad program. An externship with the Center for Economic
and Social Rights in New York gave him an opportunity to call for changes
in the way multilateral banks influence foreign countries domestic priorities.
"Erichs enthusiasm for law and helping
other people made him a stand-out among other students. He was widely liked
and respected for his ambitions and his talents," says Linda McGuire,
assistant dean for student affairs.
"The Social Justice Award is a way of recognizing
future law students who mirror Erichs zeal for global change and have
demonstrated that they are dedicated to the betterment of the world,"
A memorial service was held for Mathias on Jan. 14,
the day N. William Hines, law school dean, announced the award. Donations
to fund future awards can be made to the Iowa Law School Foundation.