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.   

2019 Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: John L. Sanders ’54


John L. Sanders was a member of the faculty at the Institute of Government from 1956 to 1994. He began as a research assistant in 1951, joined the faculty in 1956, and became director in 1979. During his time here, he had considerable influence on both the University and the state. Among his contributions are his work with legislative commissions on the reorganization of state government from 1956 to 1961, the Governor's Commission on Education Beyond the High School in 1961, the North Carolina Constitutional Commission from 1958 to 1959, and the North Carolina State Constitutional Study Commission from 1968 to 1969. He served as University Vice President for Planning from 1973 to 1979 and also served as chair of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee and chair of Buildings and Grounds Committee, where he supervised the planning of new buildings, the preservation of historic structures, and the landscaping of the Chapel Hill campus. His influence on preserving North Carolina's historic structures extended to the Capitol building in Raleigh where, as a founding member of the State Capitol Foundation, he served as president from 1976 to 1991. Areas of expertise included state government organization, reorganization and administration, state constitutional revision, legislative representation, and higher education organization and administration. He earned a JD from UNC School of Law.

Distinguished Alumni Award: D.C. "Mike" McIntyre '81


Mike McIntyre is Senior Advisor and Director of Government Relations with the law firm of Poyner Spruill LLP. Before joining the firm, he held the position of Congressman of North Carolina’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mike served for 18 years – from 1997 to 2015. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. McIntyre was the #2 Ranking Member on the Agriculture Committee and #3 Ranking Member on the Armed Services Committee. A leadership survey by the Wilmington Star-News found that Congressman McIntyre was southeastern North Carolina’s “most powerful and effective leader.” Not only was he ranked first among government and political leaders, but he was also “first among all leaders,” which included those in positions of business and civic leadership as well. A leader on issues that impact our families, Congressman McIntyre co-chaired the Congressional Prayer Caucus and the Task Force on Responsible Fatherhood and was the founder and Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Youth Sports. He has served on the Board of the U.S. Naval Academy and was one of only nine Members of the U.S. House currently serving on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Secretary of the Navy has presented him the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest civilian award given by the Navy for his exceptional leadership and work on behalf of the Navy and Marine Corps.

Outstanding Recent Graduate Award: Jessica N. Holmes '09


Wake County Commissioner Jessica N. Holmes received her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. She is licensed to practice in North Carolina and New York. In November 2014, she became the youngest commissioner ever elected in Wake County’s history.

She was re-elected to a second term as a commissioner and as Chair of the board in November 2018, making her the youngest person to ever wield the gavel. She represents over one million constituents as an at-large representative helping to manage a 1.2 billion dollar budget and an almost 4,000 person staff. She spent the majority of her career as an education law attorney at the North Carolina Association of Educations and is now an adjunct professor at the NC State School of Social Work, teaching "The Legal Aspects of Social Work."

As a first generation college student, her top priority is addressing the cycle of poverty by ensuring access to a quality education for all students and taking a whole child approach to achieve the greatest educational outcomes. She prioritizes family oriented policies and is responsible for Wake County’s first paid parental leave policy and fair chance hiring and living wage ordinances. Most recently, she had a vision to address affordability in Wake County and worked to create and lead Wake County’s first affordable housing committee resulting in a historic county financial commitment of 15 million per year in perpetuity and a necessary increase in the number of shelter beds available to homeless single women.

Her greatest mentors include Professor and Civil Rights Legend Julius Chambers, with his Education Law course being among her favorites while attending Carolina Law. 

Professor S. Elizabeth Gibson Award for Faculty Excellence: Lissa L. Broome


Lissa Lamkin Broome is the director of the school's Center for Banking and Finance, and she serves as faculty advisor to the North Carolina Banking Institute Journal. She also heads the school's Director Diversity Initiative, which works to increase gender, racial, and ethnic diversity on the boards of directors of publicly traded corporations in North Carolina and throughout the United States.

Broome became a member of the Georgia bar in 1982 and practiced until 1984 in the banking area with the Atlanta firm of King & Spalding. In 1984, she joined the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and is a member of the North Carolina bar. Her teaching interests include commercial law and banking law.

Broome was the recipient of the McCall Award for Teaching Excellence in 1986, 1992, 1995, and 1998. In 2009, she was inducted into the newly-created McCall Master Teachers' Society for Teaching Excellence. From 1993 to 1995, Broome served as the law school's associate dean for academic affairs. She is a member of the American Law Institute, the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, and the North Carolina International Women's Forum. Since July 1, 2010, Broome has served as the University's Faculty Athletics Representative to the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA.

Broome co-authored Regulation of Bank Financial Service Activities, with Jerry W. Markham, and its accompanying statutory supplement, with the 4th edition published in 2010. She also co-authored Securitization, Structured Finance and Capital Markets (LexisNexis, 2004) with Steven L. Schwarcz and Bruce A. Markell.

Broome is a native of Champaign, Illinois. She majored in finance at the University of Illinois and obtained her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge Alvin B. Rubin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


  • M. Ann Reed ’71 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Jay M. Goffman '83 - Distinguished Alumni Award

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


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


  • 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 


  • The Honorable Sarah Parker '69 - Lifetime Achievement Award

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

  • Chris Brook '05 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award


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

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

  • Lindsey Roberson '07 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award


  • 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


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

  • William D. Johnson '82 - Distinguished Alumni Award

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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • Thomas W. Ross '75 - Distinguished Alumni Award

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

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


  • 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


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

  • Francis I. Parker '49 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Kearns Davis '95 - Outstanding Recent Graduate Award


  • 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


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

  • H. Patrick Taylor '48 -Distinguished Alumni Award


  • Walter F. Brinkley '49 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Wade M. Smith '63- Distinguished Alumni Award


  • 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


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

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


  • Doris R. Bray '66 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Burley B. Mitchell '69 - Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Lindsay Warren '51 - Distinguished Alumni Award


  • 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


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

  • Bertha Merrill Holt '41 - Distinguished Alumni Award

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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • William B. Aycock '48 - Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Kathrine B. Everett '20 - Lifetime Achievement Award


  • J. Dickson Phillips '48 - Distinguished Alumni Award


  • William B. Aycock '48 - Distinguished Alumni Award


  • Henry Brandis, Jr '30 - Distinguished Alumni Award


  • William C. Friday '48 - Distinguished Alumni Award


  • William H. Bobbitt '23 - Distinguished Alumni Award


  • 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

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