Thomas J. FitzGerald, an adjunct member of the Law School faculty, has won the 2008 Heinz Award in the Environment. The Heinz Award committee describes FitzGerald, founder and director of the Kentucky Resources Council, as "a thoughtful and courageous advocate on behalf of those whose environmental health is most at risk." As "an influential voice in improving the environmental landscape within his home state and across the nation," FitzGerald has made his nickname, Fitz, "synonymous with environmental protection in Kentucky."
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, FitzGerald came to Kentucky after reading Harry M. Caudill's Night Comes to the Cumberlands (1963), which "described corporate plunder of mineral wealth in Eastern Kentucky." FitzGerald said that "he was inspired by people 'who had the courage to stand up against the ravages of strip mining.'" Over the course of his career, he has in turn inspired — and protected — many others. In the opinion of Kentucky's former secretary for the environment, LaJuana S. Wilcher, Tom FitzGerald has "probably done more to protect the environment of Kentucky than any other individual."
Tom FitzGerald embodies the values of dedicated advocacy and public service that the Law School strives to instill in all of its students. We're proud to be associated with him, and we congratulate him on his prestigious and richly deserved award.