Spring Board Meetings Update
GW Law student David H. Glanton (2L), Paul Khoury, JD '86, and Professor Steven Schooner
Members of GW Law's board of directors assembled in Washington, D.C., in mid-April for the annual Spring Board Meetings. Highlights of the weekend included the nomination of new board members and recognition of members whose terms were coming to a close, the restructuring of existing committees, and the creation of three new committees to better serve alumni, students, and the Law School as a whole.
Board of Directors Welcomes New Members
Applications to join GW Law's board of directors spiked for the 2012-to-2015 term. After careful review of the candidates, the nominating committee welcomed nine new members to the board:
Dick Langan, JD '80; Lisa Mednick Owen, JD '84; Jon Geier, JD '85; Bernard A. Nigro Jr., JD '86; Alberto Estrella, JD '94; Sergio Oehninger, JD '02; Will Wilder, JD '06; Andres Castrillon, JD '07; Ariel Wade, JD '10; and Mike Lueptow.
Jonathan S. Kahan, BA '70, JD '73, catches up with faculty and alumni at the Spring Board Meetings.
Five board members signed on to serve for another term: Mark Berthiaume, JD '80; Joe Blute, JD '82; Gerry Barrios, JD '87; John Lewis Jr., JD '90; and Theresa Bowman, JD '11.
The board also recognized those loyal members whose terms had drawn to a close: Mini Bhatt, JD '90; Eric Koester, JD '06; Doug Mickle, JD '90; Matt Brief, JD '80; John Hay, JD '80; Steve Oggel, JD '67; Denise Sweet Owens, JD '79; Chad Sarchio, JD '95; and Jessica Tillipman, JD '03.
Two new committees were created at the Spring Board Meetings: the Student- Alumni Relations Advisory Committee and the Career and Professional Development Advisory Committee.
The Student-Alumni Relations Advisory Committee focuses on enhancing the relationship between GW Law students and alumni—recruiting alumni to serve as student mentors, advisers, and speakers, and helping raise awareness about the GWLAA among students and young alumni.
The Career and Professional Development Advisory Committee members provide advice and guidance to the Career Development Office (CDO) regarding outreach, alumni services, and the Inns of Court. Members also advise the CDO on ways to encourage alumni to post jobs, hire GW Law alumni, and connect with students as advisers, and they are collaborating with the dean of the CDO, Abe Pollack, on drafting an innovative strategic plan.
Board members also voted to realign existing committees and redefine some of their roles. The Program Advisory Committee, for example, will now focus on offering advice on the structure, formation, organization, and programming of GW Law Alumni Affinity Groups and GW Law Alumni Weekend. The newly merged Nominating and Awards Committee will recommend new nominees and renewals to the GW Law Alumni Association's Board of Advisors. The committee also selects winners for Law School awards presented by the GWLAA and provides nominees for various universitywide awards.
Ike Sorkin, JD '68, Senior Associate Dean Christopher Bracey, and Steve Goldman, JD '76
Lastly, the Strategic Planning Committee was dissolved, following the completion of the strategic plan; the group's functions will now be carried out by the Executive Committee.
Promoting Student Awareness
To strengthen student awareness about the GWLAA, the Strategic Planning Committee suggested implementing a rebranding strategy focusing on ways in which alumni and students can interact on a regular basis. The group pledged to support efforts by the Law School to develop student-alumni mentoring programs, and it will assist with promoting the program to colleagues and other GW Law alumni.
Increasing Alumni Benefits
During the Spring Board Meetings, the board proposed offering increased opportunities for GW Law alumni to earn continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Another alumni benefit that the board is considering is the development of career advancement programs, such as new partner training and professional growth seminars capitalizing on the resources housed at the Law School.
Law School Receives $450,000 Gift for Energy Initiative
GW Law Board member Charlie Berardesco, JD '83 (left), who worked at Constellation Energy for nine years and helped the Law School obtain the company's gift to launch an energy law and policy initiative at GW, poses with his partner, John Thornton. Mr. Berardesco is now general counsel of the North American Electric Reliability Corp.
The George Washington University Law School has received a $450,000 donation from the Constellation Foundation to launch an energy law and policy initiative that will develop leaders on legal and policy issues in the electric energy field.
Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp., supplies homes and businesses with power, natural gas, and energy products and services in the United States.
"It is abundantly clear that America's economic future depends in large part on our developing and maintaining a sound energy policy," says former Dean Paul Schiff Berman. "With this generous contribution from the Constellation Foundation, the GW Law School is poised to become the national leader among law schools by becoming a trusted, non-partisan source of innovative thinking in this ever changing sector."
The $450,000 donation will help the Law School expand its energy law and policy offerings and fund the hiring of a program adviser to launch the initiative, develop a research agenda, build an energy law advisory board, and convene stakeholder meetings.
The Law School already has a strong footing in energy law and policy, thanks to its location in the heart of the nation's capital. Students can learn about utility regulation, national security, and energy and property interests in natural resources. They can contribute to the George Washington Journal of Energy and Environmental Law. And the Law School also serves as host and co-sponsor of the annual Conference on the Law of Demand Response and partners with universities abroad for students interested in international energy law issues.
"The electricity industry is evolving rapidly, from the deployment of Smart Grid technology to the expansion of competitive markets serving a growing number of business and residential customers," says Mayo A. Shattuck III, chairman of the Constellation Foundation and executive chairman of Exelon Corp. "Many of the key policy matters that will frame this evolution will be developed and debated in the nation's capital, making George Washington University Law School an ideal partner."
Opening Doors for Law Students
James F. Humphreys Creates Endowed Scholarship at GW Law
Prominent litigator James F. Humphreys, JD '78, donated $1 million to his alma mater for a GW Law endowed scholarship.
Renowned civil litigator James F. Humphreys, JD '78, believes that education is the fundamental driver of opportunity and advancement in this country. That philosophy, combined with his gratitude to his alma mater, spurred him to donate $1 million to GW Law to endow a scholarship for law students.
"GW Law was the key to my career," says the longtime GW benefactor, who leads the law firm James F. Humphreys & Associates in his hometown of Charleston, W.Va. "The education and encouragement I received at the Law School enabled me to pursue a lifetime dream of helping consumers and victims. I have been very fortunate financially, and it is right and proper that I should pay back and support the institution that made my career possible."
"Jim Humphreys is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met," says former Dean Paul Schiff Berman. "He truly gets it. He understands that if we are to have a functioning democracy, we need to take the long view and keep education affordable forever. Jim is proof positive that philanthropy is not merely about money; it is about passion to change the world."
This is not the first time Mr. Humphreys has given back to his alma mater. He has donated for years to GW Law scholarships and in 2003 funded both a student lounge in Stockton Hall and an amphitheater classroom in Stuart Hall.
In 2005, Mr. Humphreys donated $3 million to the Law School to establish the Humphreys Complex Litigation Center and Endowed Chair. The center offers comprehensive information about complex litigation to judges, lawyers, and policymakers.
Mr. Humphreys is also an active and hands-on alumnus, serving as a member of the GW Board of Trustees and the Law Board of Advisors, and is often on campus attending events and supporting many GW, student, and alumni endeavors.
He urges all alumni to support their alma mater "as generously as they're financially able in order to continue making the dreams of future generations of aspiring lawyers possible."