Seven will be recognized for their significant contributions to the legal field.
Seven will be recognized for their significant contributions to the legal field.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law Alumni Association will honor six exceptional graduates and one exemplary faculty member at its annual Alumni Awards.
The awards recognize members of the Carolina Law community who embody the law school’s mission to serve the legal profession; the people and institutions of North Carolina; the nation; and the world with ethics and dedication to the cause of justice.
Seven Law Alumni Association Awards will be presented:
- C. Boyden Gray ’68, of Washington, D.C., founding partner of Boyden Gray & Associates will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his highly distinguished career as well as his achievements and contributions that are widely recognized as significant and outstanding in the legal field. After graduation from Carolina Law, Gray clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. In 1968 he joined the firm of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering (now Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr) and became a partner in 1976. Gray took a leave of absence from the firm and worked in the White House for 12 years, first as counsel to the Vice President during the Reagan administration and then as White House Counsel to President George H.W. Bush. In the Reagan administration, he was Counsel to the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief. Gray later served as Director of the Office of Transition Counsel for the Bush transition team, and as Counsel to President Bush from 1989 to 1993. During this time, Gray became one of the main architects of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments that suggested market solutions for environmental problems. Under President George W. Bush, Gray served as the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union and U.S. Special Envoy to Europe for Eurasian Energy. In 1993, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal. He also returned to Wilmer Cutler & Pickering in 1993, where his practice focused on a range of regulatory matters with an emphasis on environmental issues, including those relating to biotechnology, trade, clean air, and the management of risk. He also served as chairman of the section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association.
- Willis Whichard ’65, of Chapel Hill, N.C., partner at Tillman Whichard & Cagle PLLC will also receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his highly distinguished career as well as his achievements and contributions that are widely recognized as significant and outstanding in the legal field. Whichard began his legal career as a clerk to N.C. Supreme Court Justice William H. Bobbitt. He practiced law in Durham and then entered politics becoming the only person in the history of North Carolina who has served in both the state House and the state Senate and also sat on both the Court of Appeals of North Carolina and the North Carolina Supreme Court. He retired from the Court in 1998 and served as dean of the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University from 1999 until 2006 when he became partner Moore & Van Allen. In 2013, he joined Tillman Whichard & Cagle, PLLC where he practices estate planning and probate while also serving as an arbitrator, mediator, and consultant on litigation matters, especially appeals.
- Jerry Blackwell ’87, of Bloomington, Minnesota, United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, for his accomplishments and contributions that have enhanced the school and the profession of law at the local, state, national and international levels. A double Tar Heel, Blackwell has over 35 years of experience addressing complex litigation matters around the country. He is a founding member of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers and the Minnesota Collaborative Legal Community Coalition, a legal education committee consisting of lawyers, judges, and public interest organizations. He was also the founding partner of Blackwell Burke P.A. Blackwell served pro bono as a lead special assistant attorney general in the successful prosecution of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Additionally, Blackwell was instrumental in securing pro bono the first posthumous pardon in Minnesota history for Max Mason, a Black traveling circus worker wrongfully convicted of raping a White woman in 1920. In December 2022, the U.S. Senate confirmed Blackwell’s appointment to the federal bench.
- Alice Mine ’85, of Chapel Hill, N.C., executive director of the North Carolina State Bar, will also receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, for her accomplishments and contributions that have enhanced the school and the profession of law at the local, state, national and international levels. Mine practiced law in Durham, North Carolina from 1985 until 1993, concentrating in the areas of employment law and transactions. She joined the staff of the North Carolina State Bar in 1993 as assistant executive director. In this capacity, she served as staff counsel to the Ethics Committee, director of Board of Legal Specialization, director of Board of Continuing Legal Education, and director of the Board of Paralegal Certification. While serving as assistant director, Mine was staff counsel to the State Bar during three major revisions of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct. Mine was appointed to the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Specialization in 2012 and served as the chair of the committee from 2014-2015. In 2017, Mine was appointed to the Planning Committee for the ABA Annual Professional Responsibility Conference. She currently serves as chair of the planning committee. Mine was an adjunct professor at Duke University School of Law where she taught professional responsibility from 2001 to 2012. In October 2018, Mine was installed as executive director of the North Carolina State Bar.
- Jeremy Collins ’13, of Dardens, N.C., founder, and president of Providence Omnistructure, will receive the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award for his achievements that have brought credit to the school, the legal profession, and our society. Providence Omnistructure is a social enterprise that delivers high-performance, low-cost broadband and digital resources to rural, underconnected communities. Collins is also the CEO of Blackacre, an antiracism and innovation development firm. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Collins served in North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s administration as the Director of the nation’s first Office of Digital Equity and, previously, Director of Public Engagement. From the beginning of his career to the present, Collins has coalesced advocates across the country to enact the North Carolina Racial Justice Act, expand voting rights, end mass incarceration, and abolish capital punishment.
- Sarah Hill McIntyre ’14, of Durham, N.C., a collaborative family law attorney with Two Families Law, will also receive the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award for her achievements that have brought credit to the school, the legal profession, and our society. At Two Families Law, McIntyre represents clients in out-of-court custody and divorce cases through the state-defined collaborative process. She negotiates and drafts separation and property settlement agreements, parenting plans, pre/post-nuptial agreements, and other instruments and contracts necessary for evolving families. In addition to her work, she maintains a robust pro bono practice through initiatives such as Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Durham Domestic Violence Unit; Lawyer on the Line; North Carolina Free Legal Answers; and the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center’s Federal Expunction Project. Prior to working at Two Families Law, McIntyre was a staff attorney at the North Carolina Justice Center working with the Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. She has also served as a staff attorney at the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence. McIntyre is currently an adjunct professor at Carolina Law working with the Domestic and Sexual Violence Clinic.
- Professor Mary-Rose Papandrea, Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, will receive the Professor S. Elizabeth Gibson Award for Faculty Excellence for embodying the outstanding qualities of integrity, legal scholarship, exemplary teaching, and commitment to service to UNC School of Law and the University. Papandrea joined the Carolina Law faculty in 2015. Her teaching and research interests include constitutional law, media law, civil procedure, national security, and torts. Papandrea is the author of numerous book chapters and articles on media law and First Amendment topics, including universities and speech, government secrecy and the press, public employee speech rights, and government speech. Papandrea attended Yale College and the University of Chicago Law School, where she served as the Topics & Comments Editor of the Chicago Law Review and graduated with High Honors. After law school, Papandrea clerked for Associate Justice David H. Souter of the United States Supreme Court as well as Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Judge John G. Koeltl of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She practiced law at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C. and taught at Boston College Law School prior to joining Carolina Law. Papandrea served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2016-2021 and received the Charles E. Daye Award for Excellence in Service in 2020.
The law school will recognize these award recipients on February 17, 2023 at the Carolina Club.
Questions? Contact Kelly Rose (Assistant Director of Alumni and Donor Relations) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.445.0170.