“The heart and soul of the law school.”
That’s how Dean Davison M. Douglas described Cassi Fritzius, his executive assistant, during this year’s graduation ceremonies at Lake Matoaka.
As graduates and families looked on, Douglas went on to award Fritzius with the 2016 John Marshall Award, 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.
The award honors the achievements of John Marshall (1755-1835), the fourth Chief Justice of the United States, who is credited with laying the foundations of American constitutional law. Marshall was among the first students to study law under the tutelage of George Wythe at William & Mary.
“Cassi is one of the unsung heroes of the Law School,” Douglas said. “She is always looking for a way to help another person, often by simply providing a sympathetic ear.”
A breast cancer survivor, Fritzius is involved in numerous organizations and movements to help combat the disease. She has worked with the local affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, was featured on a Komen billboard in Virginia Beach in 2009, and is involved with a local motorcycle club, The Old Dudes, created in part by her husband, which has raised more than $100,000 for breast cancer research.
Fritzius is an avid quilter and donates a quilt for the Komen Foundation to auction each year. She is also a part of a national movement, Quilts of Valor, whose goal is making quilts that both heal and comfort our war wounded. Quilters around the world donate quilts for servicemen and women.
Most recently, Fritzius has become involved with BeyondBoobs!, a Williamsburg health organization dedicated to healing and saving lives by supporting young women diagnosed with breast cancer while providing breast health education for all.
“She has also produced hundreds of quilts that have also provided support and fundraising for breast cancer research,” Douglas said. “Cassi, all of us at the Law School are honored to call you our friend, and we are pleased to honor you with this year’s John Marshall Award.”
This is not Fritzius’s first recognition for all her hard work. In 2013, she was awarded the George Wythe Society Award, which honors a faculty or staff member who performs outstanding service to the Law School community and demonstrates fidelity to those qualities of character, leadership, and selfless service that distinguished the life of George Wythe.
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.