As Cleveland State University mourns the passing of former U.S. Congressman Steven LaTourette, ’79, who passed away August 3, the university also honors his legacy to students.
Congressman LaTourette came to CSU’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1976 after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan. Upon graduation, he worked as a public defender for ten years before being elected Lake County Prosecutor, serving in that position until he was elected to the United States Congress in 1994 to represent Northeast Ohio’s 14th Congressional District. He served nine terms and was a member of the House Appropriations Committee and subcommittees including Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Interior, Environment and Related Agencies.
After deciding not to seek re-election in 2012, LaTourette established the first endowed post-graduate fellowship at Cleveland--Marshall. The Steven C. LaTourette Graduate Public Interest Fellowship is designed to give recent Cleveland-Marshall graduates hands-on, high-level work experience in public-sector jobs, accelerating their development as civic leaders. Since 2013, students have been awarded fellowships with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Cuyahoga County Public Defender’s Office, and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
“Steve was not only a distinguished alumnus but also a friend and colleague. He will be deeply missed,” says Lee Fisher, interim dean of Cleveland-Marshall and former Lieutenant Governor of Ohio. “One of his greatest legacies was his constant search for consensus, common ground, and bipartisanship. He set a standard that should serve as a future model for public service.”
Congressman LaTourette also served on the the Cleveland-Marshall National Advisory Board, was a featured speaker at Alumni Homecoming, and hosted multiple law school reunions in the Washington, D.C. area. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from CSU in 2005 as well as the university's In Tribute to Public Service award in 2013.