Arts Major Who Worked Her Way through Law School as a Miner (and then Became a District Attorney) Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Linda Hunchuck Chambers, who studied fine and studio arts at Seton Hill, was working as a relocation specialist for a federal housing program in her hometown of Masontown, Pa. while painting signs and designing logos when her career path took an unconventional turn. In 1976, she was hired as one of the first female underground coal miners in the nation. After five years as a union miner, she accepted a job in Gateway Mine’s safety department and became a certified mine foreman. She was promoted to safety supervisor, charged with enforcing state and federal safety laws. 

Beginning in 1985, while working day shift at the mine, Linda attended Duquesne University School of Law at night. She graduated in four years and started her law career at a firm in Washington, Pa. In 1991, she and a female colleague opened a law office in Waynesburg. She proudly notes that it remains a woman-owned business. In 2004, she accepted a job as assistant district attorney in Greene County while maintaining her private practice. Promoted to first assistant district attorney a year later, she prosecuted serious criminal cases for 13 years. 

She considers her most important career accomplishment to be “obtaining justice for many abused children.” 

Linda puts Seton Hill’s values into practice through volunteering with many civic organizations, including the boards of United Cerebral Palsy of Southwestern PA (now Pathways), the Greene County Planning Commission, and the Human Services Advisory Board. Since her 2014 retirement from the District Attorney’s Office and private practice, she has taught Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at Waynesburg University and served on the boards of the Greene County Humane Society, Greene County Industrial Development Authority and Greene County Industrial Developments, Inc. 

Seton Hill University’s Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award, established in 1987, is one of the highest honors given to a graduate. Setonians have been named distinguished alumni for their leadership in education, business, science and technology, the arts, volunteerism and philanthropy.