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Whitten Named First Holder of Sekt Chair at Creighton University School of Law

Whitten Named First Holder of Sekt Chair at Creighton University School of Law

Creighton University law professor Ralph U. Whitten has been named the first Senator Allen A. Sekt Endowed Chair in Law. The endowed chair inauguration will be held at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8, in the Harper Center Hixson-Lied Auditorium.

Whitten has been a professor of law at the Creighton School of Law since 1977. Prior to that, he served on the faculty at the University of South Carolina School of Law. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas and has a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School. He teaches and writes in the area of civil procedure and conflict of laws.

“Ralph Whitten has served the law school with distinction for over 30 years. Generations of lawyers have benefited from his knowledge and his passion. I am happy to be able to recognize his contributions in this way,” said Creighton University President the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J.

Vice President for Academic Affairs and former law school dean Patrick J. Borchers said, “The chance to have Ralph Whitten as a colleague was one of the most important reasons I came to Creighton as dean 10 years ago. I am delighted that he is receiving this recognition.”

Eric A. Chiappinelli, dean of the law school added, “Ralph’s erudition is unsurpassed and his work on the Full Faith and Credit Clause has rightly earned him a national reputation. He’s a demanding and effective teacher, as well. This is a terrific and well-deserved honor for him.”

The Sekt Chair is named in honor of Sen. Allen A. Sekt, who graduated from Creighton School of Law in 1936. He practiced law in Sioux City, Iowa, and San Francisco, where he met his wife Lillian.

Sekt went to Guam on business and fell in love with the island and became a resident. He started a Hertz automobile rental agency and later owned a Chrysler dealership on the island. He was elected senator in the Guam legislature and became Guam’s voice in Congress during the 1970s. He also helped form public policy on Guam, which benefited the less fortunate as well as all other sectors of society.

During his 30 years on the island, he was an active owner-investor in Guam real estate, which included offices, hotel projects and resort properties. Trusted and respected, and known as a true gentleman, he finalized many ventures with a handshake.Sekt was also a media pioneer, one of his productions, “Talent on Parade” on Guam television, became a local favorite.

Sekt died May 25, 2007. He was 93.

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.