Florida A&M University
The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) College of Law paid tribute to 10 renowned alumni during the third annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony. Not only did the FAMU College of Law honor individuals, but it also celebrated its 15th anniversary of the law school’s reopening in Orlando 2002. The 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients were:
· Isaiah Floyd, a 2015 graduate and associate attorney at Monts Law, P.L., honored with the Rising Star Award.
· Charles Gee, a 2014 graduate and partner of Gee & Lee Attorneys at Law, honored with the Young Alumni Award.
· Josephine Balzac, a 2011 graduate and president of the Law Office of Josephine Balzac, P.A., honored with the Professional Excellence as a Solo Practitioner Award.
· Lynda Murray-Blair, a 2007 graduate and manager of diversity and inclusion at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP, honored with the Professional Excellence in a Law Firm Award.
· Dedra Sibley, a 2006 graduate and provost of the Eastern Florida State College, honored with the Professional Excellence in Government Industry Award.
· Aziza Bowser, a 2008 graduate and production risk of business and legal affairs at MTV Networks/Viacom Media Networks, honored with the Professional Excellence in the Corporate/Private Industry Award.
· Roberta Walton, a 2005 graduate and division manager at the Self Help Center in the Orange County Clerk of Courts, honored with the Public Service Award.
· Kamilah Jolly, a 2007 graduate and managing attorney & counselor at law at Jolly Esquire, PLLC, honored with the Extraordinary Service to the College of Law Award.
· Christopher Monts, a 2006 graduate and founder & managing partners at Monts Law, P.L., honored with the Alumnus of the Year Award.
Each year a special “legacy” tribute is paid to a selected graduate from the original law school in Tallahassee. Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, known by many as “Judge”, was the 2017 Legacy Award recipient. Hastings has distinguished himself as an attorney, civil rights activist, the first African-American judge in the state of Florida and now a member of the U.S. Congress. He undoubtedly deserved the honor considering, as congressman, some of his legislative priorities were increasing access to affordable health care for all and providing greater economic opportunities for working class citizens.
In addition, the College of Law Alumni Alliance partnered with the Greater Orlando chapter of the National Alumni Association to present the first Alumni Scholarship. The $2,500.00 scholarship was awarded to Ms. Angela Chapman, a third-year law student who has overcome great personal hardships while in law school and who plans to graduate in December 2017.
These accolades would not have been possible without the ceremony’s generous sponsors. The sponsors included: Lynum & Associates, PLLC; Kirson & Fuller; Nizam Razack, MD JD; Monts Law, P.L.; Gee & Lee Attorney At Law; The Gilbert Firm; The Orange County Clerk of Courts; Dial Klein Nuckols Attorney At Law; The Lincolnton Group, LLC; and the FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences.