Contact: Rosanne Van Heertum
Director of Development, The New York Bar Foundation

November 13, 2008


Fund to Support Law-Related Charitable and Educational Projects

The Board of Directors of The New York Bar Foundation has established a new endowment fund in memory of Lorraine Power Tharp, who passed away on October 28, 2008. The Lorraine Power Tharp Endowment Fund recognizes her dedication to the law, service to the legal profession, selfless public service and, in particular, her commitment to the mission of The New York Bar Foundation. Ms. Tharp was a member of the Board of Directors of The Foundation since 2003 and served as its Treasurer from June 2007 until her death. The Foundation will use the new fund to aid in supporting charitable and educational projects to meet the law-related needs of the public and the legal profession.

"Lorraine was a distinguished member of the legal community and The Foundation's Board of Directors voted unanimously to create The Lorraine Power Tharp Endowment Fund to serve as an important means of preserving her legacy," said John R. Horan, Foundation president. "Her warmth, intellect and compassion for others will be dearly missed by those of us who had the privilege of knowing her."

Tharp was elected a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation in 1994 and was a member of its Legacy Society. Her leadership extended far beyond The Foundation to many other organizations, including years of service to the New York State Bar Association where she served as its president in 2002-2003. She was a member of the American Bar Association, serving as a Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates.

A 35-year practicing lawyer, Tharp was a partner with the firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP, Albany, where she chaired its commercial and residential real estate practice group. She frequently lectured and wrote on real estate practice throughout New York. Tharp was the first woman lawyer at McNamee Lochner Titus & Williams, P.C. in 1978 and later became its first woman partner in 1981.

A Massena native, Tharp received her law degree from Cornell Law School and was a graduate of Smith College. She received the Albany Law School's prestigious Kate Stoneman Award in 2003 and the Outstanding Women of the Bar honor in 2004 from the New York County Lawyers' Association.

Tharp was an active member of her community, devoting substantial time and energy to many charitable organizations including those relating to the arts, health and equine. She served as a commissioner of the New York State Racing Commission and was the first woman to serve on the Commission. She chaired the Saratoga Springs Planning Board and served on the board of directors of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Inc. She received the 1995 Leadership Saratoga Distinguished Alumni Award, the Saratoga Soroptimist Club's 2002 Woman of the Year Award and the Woman of Excellence in the Professions Award from the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce in 2003.

Donations for the Lorraine Power Tharp Endowment Fund may be sent to THE NEW YORK BAR FOUNDATION, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207 or you may make an online donation at  For more information about The New York Bar Foundation, contact Rosanne Van Heertum, director of development, at 518/487-5650 or