Elon Law Reunion Weekend features first alumni awards
As part of Elon Law Reunion Weekend, four alumni were recognized for professional and philanthropic achievement, the Class of 2009 celebrated its five-year reunion and alumni celebrated the contributions of Dean George R. Johnson, Jr. to the early successes of the law school.
In welcoming remarks at Reunion Weekend’s March 8 reception, Andrea Harrell L’09, president of the Elon Law Alumni Association, commented on the growing strength of the law school’s alumni network.
“Reunion Weekend has become a ‘can’t miss’ event for many of us because of the strong sense of community among Elon Law alumni and the support we are able to build for each other through this weekend of great fun and fellowship,” Harell said.
The reception featured the announcement of four new awards that will be given out annually to Elon Law alumni by the Elon Law Alumni Association.
- Jeb Brooks L’10 received the George R. Johnson, Jr. Professional Achievement Award, named in honor of the law school’s second dean and member of the founding faculty. The award recognizes Elon Law alumni who have made significant professional contributions while bringing honor and recognition to Elon University School of Law. Brooks is President and CEO of The Brooks Group, a global sales training firm based in North Carolina. Presenting the award, Jennifer Reutter L’10 noted that The Brooks Group has been ranked a top twenty sales training company for five consecutive years by Training Industry, that Brooks was named to the 2011 Triad Business Journal’s 40 Leaders Under 40 and that he is a fellow in the Institute of Political Leadership.
- Steven Luther “Luke” Spencer, II L’09 received the F. Leary Davis Service and Leadership in the Community Award, named in honor of the law school’s founding dean and professor of law emeritus. This award is presented to an alumnus of the law school who has demonstrated outstanding service and leadership to the community, state or nation. Presenting the award, Andrea Davis L’12 noted that Spencer is a member of the Air Force JAG Corps, the Company Grade Officer of the Year for the Holloman Air Force Base Wing Staff Agencies and recipient of both the Accelerate Award, an annual award given to a young ACC JAG officer who displays outstanding leadership, and the Air Force Commendation Medal for meritorious service. Based on his performance at Holloman and Eglin Air Force base, Spencer was selected to serve as part of the Special Victims Counsel program, providing advice and representation to sexual assault victims at installations located across the United States.
- Sarah Robinson Lucente L’09 received the Distinguished Service to Elon Law School Award, presented to an alumnus who has demonstrated continued exemplary service to the law school. An associate attorney at Wishart Norris Henninger and Pittman in Charlotte, N.C., Lucente is the Campaign Chair of the Elon Law Alumni Association “Drive to 25” campaign and an active member of the Alumni Council. Lucente hosts annual Elon Law alumni events in Charlotte and works tirelessly as Campaign Chair for the “Drive to 25” which supports student scholarships. Lucente supports and participates in many nonprofit organizations, including Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte, Girls on the Run-Dilworth Elementary, and Carolina Foster Kids Foundation.
- Mital Patel L’09 received the Young Alumni Award, recognizing an alumnus with outstanding professional and service achievements who has graduated within the last five years. Patel operates his own law firm in Raleigh, N.C., Triangle Business Law. He has been instrumental in cultivating the entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Carolina. In 2013, Patel presented on entrepreneurial cultivation in North Carolina to senior federal officials at the White House, participated in an entrepreneurship conference in Rio de Janeiro and was given the opportunity to ring the NASDAQ bell. A 2014 profile on Patel’s leadership in law and entrepreneurship by Elon University’s Magazine of Elon is available here.
At the March 8 Reunion Weekend reception, Jason Aycoth L’09, past-president of the Elon Law Alumni Association, Damon Duncan ’06, L’09 and David Morrow ’07, L’10 presented on the leadership, service and overall contributions of law school dean George R. Johnson, Jr. to the law school.
“Dean Johnson has been beyond words to this law school,” said Aycoth. “He has been a mentor, he has been a friend, he has been an inspiration, but most importantly he has been an example.”
The alumni association also recognized Eugenia Leggett, associate dean for development, for her contributions to the law school and to the law alumni community.
"Dean Leggett has been the driving force behind our early successes as an alumni association," said Harrell. "Dean Leggett has done whatever it took to keep us moving forward together, to nurture our Elon spirit, to create and promote events that brought us together and to spotlight the importance of alumni in the life and legacy of the law school. We greatly appreciate all she's done for us and for Elon Law."
Many alumni participated in the sixth annual Barbara Sullivan 5K Race for Women’s Health on Saturday, coordinated by student leaders of the Women’s Law Association at Elon Law, an event led this year by Mallory Horne L’14, with significant support from alumna Ivy Oakley L’11 and other students and alumni. A slideshow of the race is available here. The race is named for the mother of former WLA member Ann Sullivan L’09, who lost her life to a brain tumor. Every year, WLA honors other members of its association and their families by donating all of the proceeds of the race to health issues that have affected them. All proceeds from the 2014 race are designated for The Alzheimer’s Association Greensboro Chapter.
Janison Dillon L’13 spoke about the importance of alumni giving at the March 8 reception.
“What we want is for twenty-five percent of all alumni to participate in giving back to the law school,” Dillon said. “Any gift that you give makes a difference. We all know that alumni are really the legacy of any law school, and everything you do makes a strong impact, whether through giving or service in your communities. Alumni who make a gift to Elon Law by May 31 will be considered a part of our twenty-five percent for the Drive to 25.”
Alumni are encouraged to contribute to the Drive to 25 here. Make sure to designate your gift to “School of Law” and noting “Drive to 25” in the Additional Comments section.
All programs and events of Elon Law Reunion Weekend were coordinated in collaboration with the Development office at Elon Law and with the Elon Law Alumni Association.