William and Mary Law School

Law School Honors Howard J. Busbee with Citizen Lawyer Award

Howard J. Busbee, an alumnus of William & Mary Law School, received the Law School’s Citizen Lawyer Award during commencement exercises Sunday, May 14. The award was presented by Jon M. Mahan, president of the Law School Association. The award goes annually to a graduate or friend of the Law School who stands squarely in the Jeffersonian tradition of outstanding citizenship and leadership.

“The 2006 recipient of the Citizen Lawyer Award is a man whose colors are certainly green and gold,” Mahan said. “Howard Busbee hit the trifecta at William & Mary, earning his bachelor of arts in accounting, his juris doctor and his Master of Laws in Taxation. Howard’s service to William & Mary has been remarkable, and his list of contributions is quite long. He is currently chair of the William & Mary Endowment Association, past president of the alumni association, co-director of the William & Mary Tax Conference, and a former member of the Law School Foundation and the Annual Fund Boards. His contributions also include service on the Dean’s Search committee, the committee that brought Taylor Reveley into our midst.”

Besides being a triple recipient of degrees from William & Mary, Busbee is a CPA and a member of the Virginia Bar. After William & Mary, he joined Pricewaterhouse Coopers, where he spent 33 years, rising to become a tax partner, the firm’s southeast regional tax director and a member of the PWC board of partners. He retired from Pricewaterhouse and returned to his alma mater and to Williamsburg, where he joined the College’s Mason School of Business, first as Assistant Dean for Master of Accounting and Undergraduate Business programs, and then as a visiting professor at the business school. Busbee has written for the William & Mary Law Review, as well as for Business and Bottom Line magazines, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle among others.

Busbee has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including Theatre Virginia, the United Way of Richmond, Virginia Special Olympics, the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation, and the Foundation for Hospital Art. He is the owner of a restored fire engine, which he makes available to charitable groups and for the entertainment of children of all ages.

“Receiving the Citizen Lawyer Award from the William & Law School is the high-water mark in my life at the Law School and the College,” Busbee said. “I am both surprised and honored.”

“Our concept of the citizen lawyer has its roots in the original intent of Thomas Jefferson for the law school he created at William & Mary in 1779,” said Taylor Reveley, dean of the Law School. “Jefferson and the man he recruited to get the school going, George Wythe, wanted students trained to be not simply skilled practitioners of law but also leaders for the common good of their communities, states and nation,” Reveley explained. Among the school’s first students was John Marshall, later the great chief justice of the United States Supreme Court – a paradigm of the citizen lawyer.

“Howard Busbee has lived the life of the citizen lawyer so prized at William & Mary,” said Reveley, “and his law school is very proud of him."