Cel­e­bra­tion honors the Reg­is­ter’s Per­son of the Year

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Dwight Bachman Dwight Bachman is the pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer at East­ern Con­necti­cut State Univer­sity

An over­flow and di­verse crowd of more than 200 friends, fam­ily, judges, at­tor­neys, le­gal mentees and sup­port­ers of re­tired Con­necti­cut Supreme Court Jus­tice Lub­bie Harper Jr. con­verged on Brazis’s Ital­ian Restau­rant at Long Wharf in New Haven, to cel­e­brate the New Haven Reg­is­ter news­pa­per se­lect­ing Harper its “2018 Per­son of the Year.”

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp; Con­necti­cut Supreme Court Chief Jus­tice Richard Robin­son, As­so­ci­ate Supreme Court Jus­tice Ra­heem Mullins, As­sis­tant At­tor­ney Gen­eral Chris­tine Jean-Louis and for­mer WVIT-TV crime re­porter Lew Brown and his son, Ju­di­cial Mar­shal Sergeant Ja­son Goff Brown, were just a few of the guests on hand for the cel­e­bra­tion. For­mer WFSB-TV re­porter and later, NBC Cor­re­spon­dent Odetta Rogers, who had ad­mired Jus­tice Harper’s ser­vice to the com­mu­nity for years, drove all the way to New Haven from her home in Green­wich to salute Harper.

For the re­cep­tion, Wil­bur L. Cross High School Prin­ci­pal Edith John­son — Harper grad­u­ated from Cross — had a graphic de­signer pro­duce the in­cred­i­bly large and beau­ti­ful ban­ner of cel­e­bra­tion, a task com­pleted within 24 hours of Harper’s re­quest to John­son. John­son told Harper she would do any­thing for him. More than five years ago, in 2013, Wil­bur Cross High School ded­i­cated and named its Li­brary Me­dia Cen­ter in Harper’s honor. In 2005, Jus­tice Harper was in­ducted into the In­au­gu­ral Class of the Wil­bur L. Cross High School Hall of Fame.

Along with many other pro­fes­sional, busi­ness and civic or­ga­ni­za­tions, East­ern Con­necti­cut State Univer­sity also named Harper com­mu­nity re­cip­i­ent of its Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Award in 2013.

What we saw at this cel­e­bra­tion demon­strated an in­cred­i­ble dis­play of what Amer­ica should be when a per­son of good will who is com­mit­ted to pub­lic ser­vice, and who un­der­stands and ap­pre­ci­ates the won­der­ment of di­ver­sity leaves his im­print on the com­mu­nity. The joy among all the peo­ple at­tend­ing the re­cep­tion tells the story of the beau­ti­ful unity and di­ver­sity among peo­ple that Harper has brought to the city of New Haven, the state of Con­necti­cut and be­yond.

Harper’s im­pact on the com­mu­nity lo­cally, re­gion­ally, na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally re­flects the best val­ues in our so­ci­ety and de­fies the cur­rent na­tional lead­er­ship style and be­hav­ior of of­fen­sive divi­sion and po­lar­iza­tion. The world needs more peo­ple like Lub­bie Harper Jr.

Dwight Bachman / Con­trib­uted photo

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and her ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant, An­drea Scott, congratulate re­tired Con­necti­cut Supreme Court Jus­tice Lub­bie Harper Jr. at an event held at Brazi’s Ital­ian Restau­rant at Long Wharf in New Haven to cel­e­brate Harper be­ing named the New Haven Reg­is­ter “2018 Per­son of the Year.”

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