Endowed Scholarship at Gannon University to Honor Memory of Former Erie County DA Michael J. Veshecco

Posted: November 16, 2015

The late former Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Veshecco will be remembered through the establishment of an endowed memorial scholarship at Gannon University. Veshecco's son, Nathan, of Yellow Springs, Ohio, established the scholarship in his father's memory in September.

"My dad lived 28 years in a wheelchair, and even I can't begin to understand the hardships of that experience," Nathan Veshecco said. "What I do know is that living with mobility issues can be, among other things, extremely stressful, costly and time consuming. Having just marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act - the compliance and implementation of which dad crusaded for in all the places he lived - I felt it was most appropriate for a scholarship in his name to, in some way, continue addressing that struggle. If this endowment can help to lighten the load even a little for Gannon students with mobility concerns, I think it's worth it."

During his eight years as district attorney, Veshecco embodied a tough and progressive approach to the office, which collectively took on over 15,000 cases and raised the overall conviction rate in the county to 90 percent. He cultivated a talented bipartisan staff referred to as "The Dream Team," which included several future judges, as well as future Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.

"As dad said in one of his initial 1979 campaign ads, 'the district attorney is a spokesman for the people - not numbers, not statistics, but people.' His approach to justice was visceral and compassionate, and every administration since his departure has been tasked with rising to the standard he set in that way. When I speak to any of his former colleagues or contemporaries, the mark he left is clear."

After leaving the office in 1987, Veshecco held a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and later worked under Governor Ridge in the General Counsel's Office.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the endowed scholarship can do so by sending checks made payable to Gannon University and include Mike Veshecco, Esq. Endowed Mobility Scholarship in the memo section of the check. Send gifts to the attention of Jana Hunt; Coordinator of Gifts and Records; Gannon University; 109 University Square; Erie, PA 16541. Gifts can also be made online here. For online gifts, please include Mike Veshecco, Esq. Endowed Mobility Scholarship on the comments line.