Alumni Awards

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The Lifetime Achievement Award


The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an alumnus whose lifetime career has been highly distinguished, and whose achievements and contributions are widely recognized as significant and outstanding in his or her field. The recipient should be a graduate whose professional career has spanned a substantial period of time and whose accomplishments reflect admirably on and bring honor to the individual, the Bar and the School of Law.


The Distinguished Alumni Award


The Distinguished Alumni Award is an annual award given by the Carolina Law Alumni Association to a UNC School of Law graduate whose accomplishments and contributions have enhanced the school and the profession of law at the local, state, national or international level. The recipient should demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Excellence in the practice of law

  • Excellence in public service as members of the judiciary or other elected / appointed office
    The high ideals of the legal profession


The Outstanding Recent Graduate Award


The UNC Law Alumni Association established the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award in 2002 to annually recognize a recent graduate for achievements that have brought credit to the school, the legal profession or society. The recipient must be a graduate of UNC School of Law within the past 10 years and must demonstrate one or more of the following: 

  • Accomplishments within the legal profession

  • High level of community involvement 


Professor S. Elizabeth Gibson Award for Faculty Excellence


The Professor S. Elizabeth Gibson Award for Faculty Excellence is presented by the UNC Law Alumni Association to honor a tenured faculty member who typifies the outstanding qualities of integrity, legal scholarship, exemplary teaching and commitment to service to UNC School of Law and the University. The award is named for S. Elizabeth Gibson ’76, Burton Craige Professor of Law, to honor the qualities that she exemplified in her more than thirty years as a much loved and respected educator.   


2018

  • M. Ann Reed ’71 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Jay M. Goffman '83 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Mary L. Irvine '12 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2017

  • John B. McMillan ’67 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • David Fulghum Kirby ’77 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Douglas Stuart Sea ’80 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • The Honorable Patricia Timmons-Goodson ’79 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Vivian Riner Connell '13 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award posthumously

  • Charles Edware Daye - Professor S. Elizabeth Gibson Award for Faculty Excellence

2016

  • Thomas W. Ross '75 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Mary Boney Denison '81- Distinguished Alumni Award

  • The Honorable Rickye McKoy-Mitchell '84 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Amanda S. “Mandy” Hitchcock ’07 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

  • Elizabeth Gibson '76 - Professor S. Elizabeth Gibson Award for Faculty Excellence 

2015

  • The Honorable Sarah Parker '69 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • John Charles "Jack" Boger '74 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Chris Brook '05 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2014

  • Irvin W. ("Hank") Hankins III '75 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Barbara B. (“Bonnie”) Weyher '77- Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Lindsey Roberson '07 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2012

  • James E. Delany'73 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • DeWitt F. (Mac) McCarley '77- Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Vasiliki Alis (Celia) Pistolis '82 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Wilson L. White '06 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2011

  • Wade H. Hargrove, Jr '65 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • William D. Johnson '82 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Ashley H. Campbell '03 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2010

  • John B. McMillan '67 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Ashley Osment '95 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Ben F. Tennille '71 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Edward F.Hanes, Jr '00 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2009

  • The Honorable Roy A. Cooper III '82 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • James Y. Preston '61 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Reginald T. Shuford '91 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Harriett Twiggs Smalls '99 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2008

  • Karen L. Henderson '69 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • John P. Kennedy '50 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Howard E. Manning'68 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Kristi Kessler Walters '99 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2007

  • Marion A. Cowell, Jr '64 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Robert C. Soles, Jr '59 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • The Honorable R. Allen Baddour '97 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2006

  • H. Parks Helms - '61 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • William L. Osteen, Jr '56 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Robert Weisberg, U.S. Ambassador (ret.) '75 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Candice S. Wooten '01 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2005

  • Thomas W. Ross '75 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • The Honorable David B. Sentelle '68 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Christine C. Mumma '98 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2004

  • William C. Friday '48 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • J. Dickson Phillips '48 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • E. Osburne Ayscue '60 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • William E. Graham '56 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Sara W. Higgins '95 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2003

  • The Honorable Sarah E. Parker '69 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Francis I. Parker '49 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Kearns Davis '95 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2002

  • Hubert B. Humphrey, Jr '51 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • The Honorable H. Martin Lancaster '67 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Matthew T. Martens '96 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

2001

  • The Honorable Anthony E. Rand '64 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • H. Patrick Taylor '48 -Distinguished Alumni Award

2000

  • Walter F. Brinkley '49 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Wade M. Smith '63- Distinguished Alumni Award

1998

  • The Honorable James B. Hunt '64 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Raymond D. Witt, Jr '39 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Harvey Beech '52 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • J. Kenneth Lee '52 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Lacy W. Thornburg '54 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1997

  • John R. Jordon, Jr '48 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Charles M. Shaffer, Jr '67 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1996

  • Doris R. Bray '66 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Burley B. Mitchell '69 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Lindsay Warren '51 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1995

  • William M. Cochrane '41 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • James K. Dorsett, Jr '41 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • W. Travis Porter, III '60 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Sherwood H. Smith '60 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1994

  • The Honorable Henry E. Frye '59 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Bertha Merrill Holt '41 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Ralph M. Stockton, Jr '50 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1993

  • Marion A. Cowell, Jr '64 - Alumni Leadership Award

  • Robert G. Byrd '56 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • The Honorable C. Boyden Gray '68 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • George W. Miller, Jr '57 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • William L. Thorp, Jr '51 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • The Honorable Willis P. Whichard '65 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1992

  • Reef C. Ivey, II '68 - Alumni Leadership Award

  • Julius L. Chambers '62 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Robin L. Hinson '58 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Hamilton H. Hobgood '36 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Daniel Pollitt - Faculty Achievement Award

1991

  • William A. Dees, Jr '48 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Franklin T. Dupree, Jr '36 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • William A. Johnson '44 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • John Sanders '54 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Donald Clifford - Faculty Achievement Award

1990

  • William B. Aycock '48 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Kathrine B. Everett '20 - Lifetime Achievement Award

1988

  • J. Dickson Phillips '48 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1986

  • William B. Aycock '48 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1985

  • Henry Brandis, Jr '30 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1984

  • William C. Friday '48 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1982

  • William H. Bobbitt '23 - Distinguished Alumni Award

1981

  • The Honorable James E. Holshouser '60 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • The Honorable James B. Hunt '64 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • The Honorable Dan K. Moore '29 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Terry Sanford '46 - Distinguished Alumni Award



2019 Awards Process


Alumni, faculty and friends were invited to submit nominations for the UNC School of Law alumni awards. Nominations for 2019 were accepted until August 6, 2018. Recipients will be announced at the Fall Law Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting (November 2, 2018) and be honored at the Spring Leadership and Awards Dinner (May 3, 2019)


Any nominee already submitted for 2018 will automatically be considered for 2019 and will not need to be re-nominated. 


Questions? Contact Kelly Mann, alumni and donor relations coordinator, at 919.445.0170 or mann@unc.edu.


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