The Hon. Arthur J. Gajarsa ’62, Chairman of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Board of Trustees, has been named a recipient of the 2016 John Carroll Award by the Georgetown University Alumni Association. It is the highest honor bestowed by the association.

The John Carroll Award is named for Archbishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in North America and founder of Georgetown University. Established in 1951, the award is conferred upon alumni whose achievements and record of service exemplify the ideals and traditions of Georgetown and its founder.

Judge Gajarsa. © Pepe Gomez

Judge Gajarsa. © Pepe Gomez

“We are very proud that the Georgetown University Alumni Association has bestowed this honor upon the Chairman of our Board of Trustees,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “In moving from electrical engineering to a distinguished career in the law, Judge Gajarsa has demonstrated the kind of intellectual agility that we strive to develop in our students, and has guided the growth of technology-intensive industries that have benefitted our nation and the world.”

Gajarsa is a senior counsel in the Litigation/Controversy Department and a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Door LLP. He had a long and distinguished career in the judiciary. He was nominated to the Federal Circuit in 1996 by President Clinton, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and served for 15 years, retiring in June 2012.

Prior to his appointment to the Federal Circuit, he was a well-recognized litigator who also practiced corporate law, intellectual property, securities law, and general litigation with various law firms as a partner or principal officer. During his career he represented Native American tribal interests for whom he made several appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gajarsa earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Rensselaer, his master’s in economics at Catholic University of America, and his J.D. at Georgetown University. He has served on the boards of directors at Georgetown University, the National Italian American Foundation, and Outward Bound USA. He joined the Rensselaer Board of Trustees in 1994 and was elected chairman in 2010.

The John Carroll Award was presented April 16 at a special banquet during John Carroll Weekend, an annual weekend of social, cultural, and intellectual engagement for Georgetown alumni, faculty, and university leaders, which took place this year in Rome, Italy. The celebration, held at the ancient church Santo Spirito in Sassia, included remarks from Georgetown President John DeGioia and a video tribute to the awardees.