George R. Johnson, Jr., Dean of the Elon University School of Law, presented charter class member Holly J. Greeson with the David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism at the law school's inaugural commencement exercises, for her outstanding service to the law school, to the Greensboro community, to non-profit organizations and to the legal profession.
In describing the award, Johnson said, “From the very conception of the law school at Elon University, leadership and professionalism have been at the center of our mission and purpose. The University therefore committed to recognizing from each graduating class a student whose activities represent these twin principles. The University chose to name this award in honor of David Gergen, whose professional life and contributions have embodied the highest levels of selfless leadership and service.”
In selecting Greeson for the award, Johnson said, “From a score of nominees, the faculty recommended one graduating student whose record of contributions to the law school and the broader community we believe best exemplifies the law school’s mission of fostering lawyers and leaders. Her outstanding record of service within the law school and beyond, coupled with a strong academic performance, marks her as a clear choice for the initial David Gergen Award.”
Greeson has provided outstanding service to the law school and the broader community through her leadership in the Women’s Law Association (WLA), which she was instrumental in establishing during her first year at the law school.
In her second year of law school, Greeson served as WLA’s Director of Philanthropy. Under her direction, WLA held a successful fundraiser to benefit the Susan B. Komen Foundation supporting breast cancer awareness and research, and a clothing drive on behalf of Dress For Success, providing assistance and career development education to promote women’s independence.
As a third year law student, Greeson served as WLA’s President. Under her leadership, WLA held a three-day program on “Breaking the Chain of Domestic Violence,” which included a guest speaker, a project to educate law students on domestic violence issues, and advocacy for state funding to support enhanced services for victims of domestic violence.
Greeson was also instrumental in staging the WLA’s first annual 5k race, which involved nearly 100 Elon law students, staff and faculty members, along with members of the surrounding community, and raised nearly $3,800 for the North Carolina Brain Tumor Fund.
Greeson also led WLA in holding several events, including two informal “Coffee & Conversations” and a “Women in the Profession Dinner,” at which Elon law students had the opportunity to hear from and interact with members of the regional legal community.
In addition to her leadership in WLA, Greeson has been an active participant in several other student organizations, including the Elon Law School Innocence Project (of which she served as Case Manager), Secretary of Delta Theta Phi honors society (of which she served as Secretary), and the International Law Society.
Greeson’s academic performance and achievement at Elon Law have likewise been exemplary. She has maintained a GPA placing her among the top of her law school class and earning a place on the Dean’s list, and has received a merit-based scholarship in each of her three years.
As a second year law student, Greeson was selected as a member of the Moot Court Board and represented Elon as part of the moot court team at the John Marshall International Moot Court Competition in Chicago, Illinois.
She has also gained outstanding practical experience through a judicial externship, for which she was selected by North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Douglas McCullough, and as a student in the Legal Aid clinic where she worked with attorneys representing indigent clients in domestic violence cases.