William and Mary Law School

"Moliterno Shave Campaign" Reveals Prof's Visage for Good Cause

The Black Law Students Association, in conjunction with the Public Service Fund, launched the "Moliterno Shave Campaign" in January. The campaign's payoff: if $2,000 could be raised to help support the Oliver Hill Scholarship and summer public service grants, Professor Jim Moliterno would doff his trademark beard. In public.

In a memo in support of the students' efforts, Dean Reveley referred to the campaign "as a rare chance, simultaneously, to do some good and to reveal all of the Moliternian visage, a sight last seen when Nixon sat in the White House."

On April 18, in the Law School' entrance hall, in front of about 150 onlookers, it took Professor Moliterno about 25 minutes to do something he had not done since 1971. A poster titled "A Brief History ... of Professor Moliterno's Beard" was at hand displaying photos chronicling the almost twenty years that Jim and his beard have been part of Marhall-Wythe.

Moliterno said people had really kind things to say about his clean-shaven face such as "you look much younger." A few days afterward he felt he had to explain to a CLE audience of environmentally conscious lawyers that his stubble was not an affectation of a "Hollywood" look. Members of the class joked that his beard could be thought of as a "renewable resource" and growing it back was "an appropriate thing to do close to Earth Day."