At commencement ceremonies for Elon Law's Class of 2010, North Carolina business leader Robert E. Long, Jr. was presented with the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his philanthropic and civic leadership. Class of 2010 member William Warihay received the law school's highest student honor, the David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism.
Jim Melvin, former Greensboro mayor and president of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation of Greater Greensboro, presented Long with the honorary degree on behalf of Elon University. The degree was conferred by Elon University President Leo M. Lambert.
During the degree presentation, Melvin remarked that Long was one of the most successful business entrepreneurs in North Carolina and a tireless advocate for the betterment of the region, the state and the nation.
“Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Long has built a reputation for visionary leadership, creativity, and innovation and played a pivotal role in the economic revitalization of our region,” Melvin said.
Melvin also detailed Long’s pivotal contributions to the development of Elon University School of Law, Greensboro’s downtown baseball stadium, and the nationally-acclaimed Wyndham Championship golf tournament.
“Bobby Long is the ultimate role model for all of you,” Melvin told the Class of 2010. “He is a true success by every business standard, but he has spent day in and day out trying to make mine and your lives better, and what better can you say about somebody.”
Long is a founding member of the law school’s advisory board and a founding donor to the law school. Click here to download Elon’s honorary degree citation for Robert E. Long, Jr.
Click on the E-Cast link to the right of this web article to watch a video clip of the honorary degree presentation.
The Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism
Elon Law professor Helen Grant presented Class of 2010 member William Warihay with the university’s annual David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism.
The award bares the name of David Gergen, adviser to four United States presidents, Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, one of the country’s preeminent political commentators, and chair of the Elon University Law School Advisory Board.
Describing the significance of the award, Grant said, “The university chose to name this award in honor of David Gergen, whose professional life and contributions have embodied the highest ideals of selfless leadership and service. From a score of nominees, the faculty recommended one graduating student, whose record of activity within the law school and the broader community, we believe, best exemplifies the law school’s mission of fostering lawyer-leaders.”
In selecting Warihay for the award, Grant highlighted his role in the creation and success of Elon University’s Mock Trial program, among a wide range of contributions he has made to higher education and to society.
“He has provided outstanding service to Elon and the broader community at a local, regional and national level,” Grant said. “As an undergraduate, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Mock Trial program at Elon. Since entering Elon Law, he has continued this endeavor, taking on the primary role of teacher and mentor, training and traveling each year with members of the undergraduate team as they compete in the American Mock Trial Association National Championship program, helping to shape both the program and its students.”