If Sally Kellam, Associate Dean for Development & Alumni Affairs at the Law School, thought she was going quietly into retirement at the end of this academic year, Dean Davison Douglas had other ideas.
During graduation exercises on May 14, he asked Kellam to join him on the stage at Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre.
And he presented her with the 2017 John Marshall Award.
The award, honoring the achievements of John Marshall (1755-1835), the fourth Chief Justice of the United States, is given each year to a member of the faculty or staff who has demonstrated character, leadership, and a spirit of selfless service to the Law School community.
Kellam has done exactly that, and enjoyed tremendous success, for more than 25 years at William & Mary—the last 19 for the Law School’s Development & Alumni Affairs Office.
“During her 19 years, every year the Law School has set a new record for fundraising,” Douglas said. “The Law School, in fact, now has one of best giving percentages of any law school in the country from its alumni.”
Douglas recounted how a few years ago, he and Kellam were discussing a need for larger space at the Law School, particularly to house clinics and a growing experiential learning program. The question was: Could the Law School raise the money to build an expensive new wing?
According to Douglas, Kellam replied, “I can get it done.”
And she did. The James A. and Robin L. Hixon Center for Experiential Learning and Leadership was officially dedicated in February
“Through her work, Sally has become friends with thousands of our alumni over the years, and she will be deeply missed,” Douglas said. “Sally, it gives me great personal pleasure to confer on you this year’s John Marshall Award.”
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.