American University Washington College of Law Unveils Alumni Judges Gallery, Encouraging Aspirants to Aim High

Honoring the Legacy of Excellence and Inspiring Future Legal Leaders

More than 30 alumni judges gather for a group photo with Dean Fairfax during the dedication ceremony of the Alumni Judges Gallery, representing a fraction of the celebrated 130 honorees recognized for their distinguished judicial contributions.

In a momentous dedication ceremony, the American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) proudly revealed a remarkable tribute to its distinguished alumni who have attained esteemed positions in the judiciary. The unveiling of the impressive wall of fame drew a crowd of more than 100, including 36 alumni judges and their guests, alongside current and past faculty, staff, and students.

Prominently located outside the Pence Law Library, more than 100 individually framed photographs and over 130 judges' names, display judges from 30 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Brazil, and Uganda.

Dedicated to the late Honorable Eli Nash Jr. '64, the gallery's framed portraits tell a unique story of perseverance, dedication, and legal brilliance. Made possible through the contributions of Dean Roger A. Fairfax Jr. and Lisa M. Fairfax, the expansive gallery highlights the indomitable spirit and resilience of the alumni and serves as a beacon of inspiration for current and future students.

Alumni Judge's Gallery located outside of the Pence Law Library

"When I raised the question of whether we, personally, as a family, would be willing to make a financial gift in support of this amazing gallery, Lisa enthusiastically agreed," Dean Fairfax said. "Perhaps the most important reason Lisa and I wanted to support this endeavor is because of our 30-year friendship with Stephanie and Steve Nash, whose father, Judge Eli Nash ’64, passed away last year.  This gallery stands as a tribute to his remarkable legacy and reminds us of the transformative power of the law and the profound impact one individual can have on the legal landscape. Judge Nash's dedication to the pursuit of justice continues to inspire and guide our collective journey towards a more equitable and just society."

Dean Fairfax introduced Judge Gerald Bruce Lee WCL '76, retired U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, to represent alumni judges with special remarks.

 "We thank our law school for the honor and the victory to return to WCL, the place where we took our first baby steps of learning how to read a case, identify the issues, and apply the law," Judge Lee WCL said. "We never dreamed that one day we would return to our law school with our families to have our photo in a place of honor in a judge's gallery. We hope this gallery of the possible will inspire our law students to consider seeing themselves pursue a career on the bench. They say if you see it, you can be it."

A striking visual narrative of the far-reaching impact of AUWCL's rigorous academic programs and the profound influence of its esteemed faculty members, the gallery serves as a living testament to the power of education and the transformative potential of the American University Washington College of Law.

"We are proud of all of our alumni," Dean Fairfax said. "This gallery is not just a celebration of past achievements but also a powerful motivation for the aspiring legal minds of tomorrow. It represents the endless possibilities that lie within the grasp of those willing to put in the effort and dedication needed to excel in the legal arena."

The celebratory occasion marked the inauguration of a gallery that not only pays homage to the accomplished alumni but also stands as a vibrant testament to the rich legacy and promising future of AUWCL.

Story by Keith Pierce, APR 

See the full photo gallery here.