Ben Snyder is the 2012 recipient of Elon University School of Law’s highest honor for a graduating student, the David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism.
Elon Law Professor Michael Rich presented the award at Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2012, held May 20 Under the Oaks at Elon University. Rich delivered the following statement, recognizing Snyder for outstanding contributions to the law school and to the larger community:
“The David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism recognizes a member of the law school graduating class whose activities represent those twin principles at the core of Elon Law’s educational mission. This award is named for political commentator, former Presidential advisor, and Chair of Elon’s Law School Advisory Board, David Gergen.
“In their nominations, students, faculty, and staff all celebrate this year’s award recipient for his kindness, his generosity, and his dedication to his fellow students and the law school community. Moreover, this year’s recipient is an outstanding candidate for the Gergen Award due to his demonstrated commitment to serving the public interest as a lawyer.
“Within the law school, he has served as President and Secretary/Treasurer of the ACLU, co-director of the Pro Bono Board, and a Case Manager for the Innocence Project. As a Moot Court board member, he wrote the problem for the 2012 Billings, Exum and Frye National Moot Court Competition. And he has done exemplary work in the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic that was recognized recently in the Greensboro News-Record.
“The activities and contributions of this year’s recipient beyond the law school have also proven his commitment to connecting the law school to the larger community. He worked at the Winston-Salem office of Legal Aid of North Carolina. He helped to coordinate the training of legal observers during the Occupy Greensboro protests. He planned a panel attended by students and members of the community on Amendment One and organized a phone banking campaign in opposition to the Amendment. And he served as a liaison between Elon and the NC Rising Conference in 2011.
“Finally, what has always stood out for me personally about this year’s recipient is his ability to maintain his deeply-held and strongly-felt convictions while always exhibiting respect for the opinions and views of those with whom he may disagree. It is this quality of his character, combined with his intelligence and hard work, that makes me confident that he will be an alumnus and leader of whom we can all be proud.
“It is therefore a great pleasure to present, on behalf of the Law School and Elon University, the 2012 David Gergen Award for Leadership & Professionalism to Ben Snyder.”