“William & Mary Law School is more than happy to have you home.”
That’s the sincere message Dean Benjamin Spencer had for members of the nine reunion classes who returned to Williamsburg during Alumni Weekend on April 8-9.
After two years of pandemic (Alumni Weekend 2020 was canceled and 2021 was virtual), members of the 2s and 7s—1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012, and 2017—came back in person to catch up, meet current students and faculty, and reacquaint themselves with the mild weather and beauty of Williamsburg in the spring.
A virtual component also allowed members of the Class of 1972 to meet via Zoom, with an in-person gathering planned for the Fall.
The weekend had something for everyone. [View the slideshow.] On Friday evening, members of reunion classes attended a reception with the Dean and members of the faculty in the Burwell Ballroom & Terrace at Kingsmill Resort on the James River.
The next morning, the Black Law Student Association (BLSA), Kaufman Canoles, P.C., and the Law School’s Office of Advancement sponsored a networking event in which students had the chance to spend time with alumni and get expert advice.
Dean Spencer and Associate Dean for Law School Admissions Dexter Smith also honored Madeline Shay Williams ’22 and Shakuan Smith ’23, respectively the 2020 and 2021 winners of the Oliver W. Hill Scholarship, awarded annually to a BLSA member.
The morning also featured tours of the Law School building, a remembrance event put on by the Class of 2017 for their classmates, and a roundtable discussion led by Professor Rebecca Green of the Election Law Program, Professor Vivian Hamilton of the Center for Racial and Social Justice, Professor Stacy Kern-Scheerer of the Immigration Clinic, and students Fiona Carroll ’22 and Max Weiss ’22.
A family BBQ at Kingsmill and a live and virtual “Conversation With Dean Spencer” completed the morning and afternoon activities.
On Saturday evening, festivities continued in the James River Grand Ballroom at Kingsmill Resort, where members of the Dean’s Council and reunion volunteers joined Dean Spencer for a private reception and champagne toast in advance of the Alumni Bash.
Spencer remarked that although it wasn’t his first alumni weekend at William & Mary, it was his first in-person reunion. He was quick to thank everyone for partnering with him in creating a better law school experience.
“One of the best benefits of serving as dean is getting to work with each and every one of you in ensuring that our students receive the best legal education possible,” Spencer said. “All of you are dedicated partners in the Law School’s excellence.”
During the subsequent Alumni Bash at the James River Grand Ballroom & Terrace, alumni enjoyed an expansive dinner buffet, dancing and socializing. They also celebrated class gifts and multiyear pledges in honor of their milestone reunions, with the Class of 1982 raising the most money as of that evening. The overall giving total of all the classes will continue to increase until the fiscal year ends on June 30 and will be reported in July.
Adding to the festivities was the announcement of the Red-Hot Reveley Award for Outstanding Class Participation. The Class of 1992 took the honors this year.
Dean Spencer shared his gratitude for the generosity and hard work of everyone in the room, and for those far and wide who could not attend but who contributed to their class gifts. He said that remarkable opportunities and achievements are taking shape across the Law School, and private support helps make it all happen.
“I am so grateful for your support over the past year, for your stellar reunion committee work, and for helping me get to know this extraordinary community,” Spencer concluded. “I am excited to work with all of you to continue to make this law school an even more amazing place.”
View the slideshow of Alumni Weekend 2022.
About William & Mary Law School
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America’s first law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.