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Alum Grad Dinner Celebrates Class of 2011

May 20, 2011

More than 300 graduating students, alumni, faculty, and staff gathered at the InterContinental Hotel May 18 to salute the class of 2011 and present a number of faculty and student awards at the annual Alumni Graduates Dinner.

For the second year in a row, Professor Julie Nice received the Distinguished Faculty Award, which is voted on by graduating students. In accepting the award, Nice first recognized Professor John Adler, who has received the award nine times.

“No one will ever match John Adler’s record of winning these awards, so I’m proud to accept the ‘Adler Award,’” she said.

To the class of 2011, she had two messages: “We believe in your intelligence, integrity, determination, and compassion and that’s why we as faculty love being here with you,” she said. “The second thing I hope you’ll remember as you go forward is that we are all USF law—alumni, students, staff, faculty—and together we make our collective reputation. The way this law school prides itself on its genuine sense of camaraderie will help us going forward. As we lift out a hand to one another and help each other on the way we’ll all rise.”

The Hon. Ira A. Brown Jr. Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award was presented to Robert Arns ’75 and Thomas Brandi ’72, who Dean Jeffrey Brand introduced as “two of the great trial lawyers in the United States.” The two have been team teaching Trial Practice at USF for eight years.

“We’ve had about 180 students now over eight years. This has been really inspirational to us, so thank you,” Brandi said.

Loran Simon received the Student Bar Association Award, which is voted on by the graduating class to recognize character, service, and leadership. In addition, members of the Class Gift Committee presented the dean with a check for $68,000 to endow a student scholarship.

Calling the gift stunning, Brand said “This is typical of what this class has been about for the last three years. Despite the economic woes, despite the anxiety, this class’s signature statement has consistently been to give back. I’ve seen you do it in the Tenderloin. I’ve seen you do it in Southern States working on the death penalty. I’ve seen you in Hanoi, in Cambodia, in Port Au Prince. Leave it to this class to raise $68,000 for future generations, thinking about someone else when they’ve got so much on their minds.”

The event was supported by Benefactors The Arns Law Firm/Tournesol Vineyards and
Miller Sabino & Lee, Inc., Legal Placement Services; Patron Hanson Bridgett LLP; and Sponsors Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP, Fotouhi Epps Hillger Gilroy, P.C., Lieff, Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Liuzzi, Murphy & Solomon, LLP, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, LLP, Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney, Plastiras & Terrizzi, Sedgwick, and Trombadore Gonden Law Group LLP.