UNC School of Law Honors Distinguished Alumni

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UNC School of Law will honor three exceptional alumni at the school's annual Law Alumni Weekend Leadership and Awards Dinner, Thursday, Sept. 27.

The Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to three alumni: James E. Delany '73, DeWitt F. (Mac) McCarley '77 and Vasiliki Alis (Celia) Pistolis '82. The school will also present its Outstanding Recent Graduate Award to Wilson L. White '06.

"It is a singular honor to be nominated by one’s peers and then to be selected by the Law Alumni Association Executive Committee for these awards," says John Charles "Jack" Boger ’74, dean and Wade Edwards Distinguished Professor of Law. “We have many distinguished alumni, and it is a delight to recognize a selection of them during Law Alumni Weekend.”

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

James E. Delany '73

James E. Delany '73

James E. Delaney is commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, the United States' oldest Division I college athletic conference. The Big Ten’s fifth commissioner since its founding in 1896, Delany enters his 24th year in that role. While at the Big Ten, Delany has guided the conference through expansion twice, with the addition of Penn State in June of 1991 and Nebraska in July of 2011.

Upon graduation from UNC School of Law in 1973, Delany served as staff attorney with the N.C. General Assembly and then joined the staff at the N.C. Attorney General’s office. He began his career in intercollegiate athletics as an investigator for the NCAA enforcement department in 1975. In 1979 he was named commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference.

Delaney serves on a number of boards and committees, including the University of North Carolina General Alumni Association Board of Directors; Division I Men’s Basketball Committee (chair 1990-91); USA Basketball (vice president, 2000-2008 and treasurer, 1996-2000); National Football Foundation Board of Directors (2008 to present); USA Football Board of Directors (2011 to present); and the Collegiate Commissioners Association (past president and vice president).

DeWitt F. (Mac) McCarley '77

DeWitt F. (Mac) McCarley '77

Mac McCarley is a partner with Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein and practices in the Government & Public Policy Group.

Prior to joining Parker Poe, McCarley served as city attorney for Charlotte, N.C., for 17 years. Previously, he served as city attorney for the City of Greenville, N.C., for 14 years and as assistant general counsel for the North Carolina League of Municipalities in Raleigh.

In his role as Charlotte city attorney, McCarley negotiated the return of an NBA franchise to Charlotte and the subsequent arena construction and operating agreements between the team and the City.  He also led the city negotiation team working with NASCAR on agreement to construct and operate the NASCAR Hall of Fame and negotiated the contract between the city and the Democratic National Committee for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

McCarley served on the University of North Carolina School of Government Foundation Board of Directors (chair, 2009-2011). Other organizations he has served include the Rotary Club of Charlotte (president, 2008-2009); the Mecklenburg County Bar Foundation Board of Directors (chair, 2010-2011); and the Florence Crittenton Services Inc. Advisory Board (chair, 2004-2008).

Vasiliki Alis (Celia) Pistolis '82

Vasiliki Alis (Celia) Pistolis '82

Celia Pistolis is the assistant director of advocacy and compliance with Legal Aid of North Carolina Inc. (LANC), a statewide nonprofit law firm providing free legal services to low income persons. Pistolis manages the overall legal advocacy of the firm and coordinates the firm's appellate advocacy with other senior attorneys.

Pistolis has planned and executed statewide poverty law conferences that brought together legal aid and pro bono attorneys for training. Annually, she oversees LANC's Martin Luther King Jr. Summer Internship Program. In her administrative role, Pistolis addresses compliance issues and develops policies and procedures to ensure that LANC staff complies with various regulations and other funding requirements while still providing critical legal services to low income clients.

Pistolis was the 2001 recipient of the Deborah Greenblatt Outstanding Legal Services Attorney Award from the NC Bar Association. In 2011, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation recognized her dedicated service, commitment and professional accomplishments by awarding her a Sabbatical Program grant.

Outstanding Recent Graduate Award Recipient

Wilson White '06

Wilson White '06

Wilson White joined Google Inc. in September 2011 as an associate litigation counsel. At Google, White’s primary job is to manage the company’s patent litigation. He also advises the company’s business units on other intellectual property and litigation related issues.

Previously, White was an associate in Kilpatrick Stockton’s IP practice in Atlanta. He joined the firm in 2008, after spending the first year out of law school as a clerk for Judge Alexander Williams Jr. on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

While in Atlanta, White was heavily involved in public service in Atlanta, as an active board member with the Partnership Against Domestic Violence, a mentor for high school students and an alumni leader in his national fraternity. White was named as a national finalist for the White House Fellowship Program in 2010 and a Georgia Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in Intellectual Property Litigation in 2010 and 2011.

As a student UNC School of Law, White served as president of the Black Law Students Association, as an editorial board member of the North Carolina Law Review and as a member of the Broun Trial Team. He was also an inductee of the UNC School of Law James E. and Carolyn B. Davis Society in 2006.

-September 24, 2012

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