Alumnus Honors Her “Trailblazer” Father with Gift to Law School
Kimberly Hunter Turner ’90 sums up her father’s legacy by one word – trailblazer. She’s certainly right about that: the Honorable Mac D. Hunter ’63 was only the second African American to graduate from Seton Hall Law, and he blazed trails throughout a remarkable legal career, now commemorated by a gift to the Annual Fund.
Kimberly added, “He was a dedicated advocate, committed to excellence. And Seton Hall Law was his springboard.”
Her father grew up in Port Murray, NJ with four other siblings. He attended Rider University, and, while he lacked the means to attend law school full-time, he had the drive to start in the Law School’s Evening Division, where one of his professors, Francis Coughlin encouraged his appetite for the law.
“This was the 60s when was a lot of social upheaval in Newark and around the country,” reminds Kimberly. “But my dad kept persevering.”
The Hon. Mac D. Hunter went on to practice, become Deputy Attorney General, then Acting Director for the Division of Civil Rights, and capped his career by being named to the New Jersey Superior Court. He was the first judge to receive a Masters in Judicial Studies from the National Judicial College.
His accomplishments inspired his daughter to be like her father.
“I grew up watching him in the courtroom having a passion for equality and believing the best way to advance that value was through the law,” says Kimberly. “I remember my dad saying ‘you have to advocate for everyone, everybody, regardless of their race, color, religion, or sexual orientation.’ That to me, was passion.”
Kimberly Hunter Turner herself went on to graduate from Seton Hall Law in 1990. She felt the comradery and spirit of the student body and remembers one professor in particular who made a lasting impact on her as a man of integrity and vision – Wilfredo Caraballo.
Ms. Turner is privileged to have given back to Seton Hall Law in her father’s memory. She knows that, if he had one message to give to young lawyers today, it would be “The road will be bumpy. Stay focused, stay determined, stay the course. You will achieve great things. You will make a difference.”