MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The state's first black Supreme Court justice will be honored Thursday by West Virginia University's Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.The school will present Franklin D. Cleckley with this year's Neil S. Bucklew Award for Social Justice at 6 p.m. during an evening of honors for faculty and staff at Blaney House.Cleckley, a Huntington native, was appointed to the West Virginia Supreme Court by former Gov. Gaston Caperton and is also the school's first black full professor, according to a media release from WVU.He has served as a faculty member at the school's College of Law for 44 years and will retire this semester, the release states.
In 1990, he began the Franklin D. Cleckley Foundation, a nonprofit designed to help former convicts receive an education and find jobs. He has authored several legal handbooks and been the recipient of numerous awards."The Bucklew award is given to the candidate who has best demonstrated outstanding leadership, courage and support on a continuous basis in of social justice at WVU," the release states.