This award supports female graduate students studying Political Science or Law for global learning experiences abroad.
1913-1996 Genevieve Blatt was born in East Brady, Pennsylvania, daughter of George and Clara (Laurent) Blatt. She attended Sacred Heart High School in Pittsburgh, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Political Science, and a Juris Doctor. While attending the University, she organized the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Conference on Government. Later she created the James A. Finnegan Foundation which is devoted to the same cause. This remarkable lady was admitted to the Bar in 1938 and became Secretary and Chief Examiner for the Pittsburgh Civil Service Commission. In 1945, she became Assistant City Solicitor and drafted the city’s first Anti-Smoke Ordinance. She served as Executive Director, Pennsylvania State Treasury Department in 1946. She then was elected Secretary of the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee in 1948; elected Secretary of Internal Affairs in 1954, and re-elected in 1958 and 1962. She was the Democratic Party Nominee for U.S. Senate in 1964 and later served as Assistant Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, appointed by President Lyndon Johnson. In 1972, she was appointed by Governor Milton Shapp to the position of Judge-Commonwealth Court.
She was re-elected in 1973 and 1983. In 1993, Judge Blatt retired. Genevieve Blatt was active in a long list of community endeavors and received numerous awards. Her strong religious faith was evident in all she said and did throughout her life. She was a pioneer for women in government and the professions. She was a woman who inspired many people because of her leadership and dedication to good government, and her high degree of integrity and honesty. Her appeal went well beyond party lines. On Judge Blatt’s death, it was said of her life: “Idealism was the drive seen as key to her success;” “For three generations of public service to this State and Nation, she has been a role model;” “She worked tirelessly to motivate young people to become involved in the political process;” “She had a keen sense of history and knowledge of Pennsylvania and its people;” “This lady indeed was an outstanding Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania.