Professor Thomas J. McSweeney Receives W&M Alumni Association’s Alumni Fellowship Award

  • Honored
    Honored  In his letter of nomination for the award, Dean A. Benjamin Spencer wrote of McSweeney that "he is a devoted teacher and mentor, an outstanding scholar, and a beloved member of the community."  Photo by David Morrill
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Professor Thomas J. McSweeney has been selected to receive a 2022 Alumni Fellowship Award by the William & Mary Alumni Association. These awards, endowed by the undergraduate Class of 1968, are given annually to five outstanding young professors at William & Mary "who reflect the best of teaching, mentoring and research at the university."

In his letter of nomination, William & Mary Law School Dean A. Benjamin Spencer wrote: “Professor McSweeney is a devoted teacher and mentor, an outstanding scholar, and a beloved member of the community. His infectious love of learning and his unparalleled dedication to William & Mary epitomize the qualities one seeks in a winner of this award.”

Spencer went on to include excerpts of McSweeney’s teaching evaluations, including the following two:

McSweeney has the most effective teaching style in the law school. Every day, he spells out the rules in multiple jurisdictions, provides examples, discusses policy concerns, [and] presents hypotheticals on each individual topic . . . The amount of information I learned in 14 weeks is intimidating and exhilarating.

Professor McSweeney is the best professor I’ve had at William & Mary Law so far. He gives great examples and hypotheticals that aid in the learning process. At times I would read and not fully grasp the material, but by the end of the next class I would find myself getting it. Not only that, he is extremely nice and approachable. The school is extraordinarily lucky to have him as a professor.

McSweeney has received three other awards while on the faculty of William & Mary. These honors include a 2018 Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, the 2019 Walter L. Williams, Jr., Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching (selected by the graduating 3L class) and the 1L Professor of the Year Award (selected by the Class of 2023).

Editor's note: Professor McSweeney earned his B.A. at William & Mary (Class of 2002), where he was a James Monroe Scholar.  Read more.