Newsmaker: John E. Blahovec
Noteworthy: Blahovec was given the Alumnus of Distinction award by the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association for 28 years as a judge for the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas. The association said his peers noted he was a fair and impartial judge who softened difficult courtroom situations with his wit and humor.
Family: Wife, Marylou; daughters, Rebecca and Rachel
Education: Attended Pitt-Greensburg for two years, then transferred to the Oakland campus of the University of Pittsburgh to complete his bachelor's degree in political science in 1973. He earned his juris doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1976.
Occupation: Senior judge in Westmoreland County. Elected in 1985 to the county bench, he served 10 years in family court and 18 years in criminal court until he retired in 2013. Before his election, Blahovec owned a law practice from 1976 to 1985 and taught at Westmoreland County Community College.
Background: Blahovec said he was the first in his family to attend college, so enrolling at a branch campus near his home enabled him to keep his job at Anderson's Market while commuting to classes for two years. A political science professor at the time, Mike Rubinoff, encouraged Blahovec to go to law school. “If it hadn't been for him, I might not have done it. Pitt at Greensburg was very important,” Blahovec said.
Quote: “It was a great honor,” Blahovec said of receiving the award. “It was nice to even think they remembered me. (Pitt-Greensburg) just gave me a great start...It was so much more intimate and personal. You got to know the professors. I still remember professors I had who had a huge impact on me.”