The William & Mary Law School Association recognized Maryann Nolan Chong J.D. '07 as recipient of the 2016 Taylor Reveley Award during the Law School's May 15 Diploma Ceremony. Chong currently serves as a Program Operations Specialist with the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The award is named in honor of William & Mary President and former Law School Dean Taylor Reveley, and recognizes outstanding commitment to public service by an alumna or alumnus who has graduated in the previous 10 years.
Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas presented the award to Chong and described her long-standing interest in international law and her devotion to public interest endeavors.
After receiving her undergraduate degree in Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia, Chong spent two and a half years in Ecuador as a Peace Corp volunteer. As a law student, she took a variety of courses in international law such as human rights law, post-conflict justice, and Islamic Law. She expanded her international perspective by participating in the Law School's Study Abroad Program in Spain and through a Summer Public Service Fellowship which supported her work at the Center for Human Rights and Environment in Argentina. In addition to playing an active role in student organizations such as the Public Service Fund and the Students for the Innocence Project, she volunteered at a local elementary school for the America Reads program and assisted people awaiting deportation through her work with the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition.
The Virginia State Bar (VSB) recognized Chong shortly before her law school graduation with the 2007 Oliver White Hill Pro Bono Award, which is given each year to a student from a Virginia law school. The VSB's Special Committee on Access to Legal Services selected Chong for her "passion for justice and [her] achievements in the areas of immigrant rights and international human rights." She was honored at her graduation as co-recipient, with her classmate William Durbin, of the George Wythe Award, which is given for outstanding and selfless service to the Law School.
Before beginning her career with USAID, Chong was a Fellow at the International Bridges to Justice Program in Cambodia, a Program Associate and Program Manager at the National Center for State Courts, and a Senior Program Manager at the East-West Management Institute.
"I think we will see great things from [Maryann] in the coming years," Douglas said during the Diploma Ceremony.
Previous recipients of the Reveley Award include Douglas Bunch B.A. '02, J.D. '06 and Douglas Smith, J.D. '06 (2011), Alexis A. McLeod, J.D. '07 (2012), Chris Rey, J.D. '10 (2013), Latoya C. Asia, J.D. '09 (2014), and William C. Smith, B.A. '04, J.D. '09 (2015).
This is the second award created by the Law School Association to recognize public service. The other, the Citizen-Lawyer Award, also is given annually at graduation and recognizes a graduate or friend of the Law School who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to citizenship and leadership.
To read more about Maryann Nolan Chong's endeavors and career, go to her profile on the website of the Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Program.
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.