University of the District of Columbia Law Professor and former Chief Judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals, the Honorable William C. Pryor, was honored during the University's 2011 Founders' Day Program with the Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke Lifetime Achievement Award. The Award is presented to that UDC faculty or staff member who has consistently demonstrated exceptional loyalty and extraordinary commitment, dedication, and service to the advancement of the University and its goals and objectives. It is named in honor of Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke, President of the former District of Columbia Teachers College, which merged into UDC in 1977.
Judge Pryor is a Distinguished Professor of Law and Resident Scholar at UDC's David A. Clarke School of Law, where he teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. He also serves as a Senior Judge on the D.C. Court of Appeals, to which he was first appointed in 1979 and where he later served as Chief Judge. He was appointed to the D.C. Court of General Sessions (now Superior Court) in 1968. Prior to becoming a judge, he worked for the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and as an attorney for the Bell Telephone Companies. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Judge Pryor earned a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
UDC's Founders' Day Convocation and Awards Program annually brings together the entire University to celebrate academic achievement. Also honored this year were Katherine Brittain Bradley (Dr. Marjorie Holloman Parker Distinguished Educator’s Award); Dr. Antonia Nowell (Dr. Cleveland L. Dennard Distinguished Service Award); Laurie Nicole Robinson, Esq. (Honorable Ronald H. Brown Distinguished Leadership Award); and several student scholars. The Keynote Speaker was UDC undergraduate alumnus Judge Michael R. Pearson, who sits on the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Maryland. A video produced by UDC and showing highlights of the 2011 ceremony appears below.