President Oxholm Helps Break Ground for Community Legal Services

By Purnell T. Cropper | October 4, 2011

Arcadia University President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III participated in a Sept. 16 groundbreaking ceremony for a new building for Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, a non-profit organization that Tobey and Kim Oxholm have supported for more than three decades. President Oxholm served on the CLS Board of Trustees for 20 years, and by virtue of his service and their leadership gift, he and Kim currently serve on its capital campaign committee.

Catherine Carr, Executive Director of CLS, noted how thrilled she was to have President Oxholm at the groundbreaking ceremony and her appreciation of the leadership the Oxholms have provided in making this project a reality.

“Tobey and Kim have always understood the importance of equal access to justice for all and made it a priority in their work and their lives. Their support for this new building shows their concrete commitment to making sure that the legal system is accessible to even the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community.”

Community Legal Services was founded in the early 1970s as part of the War on Poverty to provide free legal services for income eligible clients. Over its 50 years, it has become a national and international leader in a variety of areas affecting housing, income and job security, family and domestic relations, housing, and consumer fraud. The groundbreaking was for a new building an $8.2 million, three-story building at Erie and North Broad Streets in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter delivered remarks, as did U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah, U.S. Representative Vincent Hughes, and State Senator Dwight Evans. “The new Law Center building will help CLS sustain 45 permanent jobs. CLS helps low-income Philadelphians by providing them with advice and representation in civil legal matters, advocating for their legal rights, and conducting community education about legal issues that affect them,” according to the mayor’s website.

During his 25-year career as a Philadelphia lawyer, Oxholm received many local, state, and national awards for exemplary public service, including his leadership of Philadelphia’s pro bono (volunteer) and public interest legal communities. The awards include the Pro Bono Publico Award from the American Bar Association, the Martin Luther King Jr. award from Pennsylvania Legal Services, Lifetime Achievement Awards from both CLS and the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, and the Bar Medal from the Philadelphia Bar Association.