Law School Holds Annual Alumni Weekend
Family. Friends. Food. Laughter.
All were a part of the second annual Alumni Weekend hosted by Widener Law Commonwealth.
The weekend included an alumni awards reception, a 5K race, continuing legal education lectures, and the Dean’s Picnic.
The Alumni Awards Reception was held at the Country Club of Harrisburg and honored Rhodia Thomas, a 1997 alumna, and Liz Simcox.
Thomas, executive director of MidPenn Legal Services, was the recipient of the Alumni Association Outstanding Service Award for her years of dedication and service in providing legal services to individuals in the community who cannot afford representation. She was nominated for the award by Paul Edger, a 2011 alum who is now the managing attorney at MidPenn Legal Services in Cumberland County. Edger received the award in 2015.
"What a wonderful honor to receive the Outstanding Service Award from my beloved law school, where i was trained, supported and guided by my professors, all of which helped me to realized my childhood dream of becoming at attorney," said Thomas."
Liz Simcox, executive director of the Dauphin County Bar Association (DCBA), was presented with the Zealous Advocate award. The award is given to an individual who tirelessly advocates for students and alumni of the law school, working to connect them with influential leaders in the community. Simcox has held numerous positions with the law school including dean of students, and she is currently the director of externships here in part-time capacity. Simcox plans to retire from her position with the DCBA at the end of 2018.
"The event was a wonderful opportunity for Widener alumni, faculty, current students and friends of the law school to come together to share in celebrating the wonderful achievements of both Rhodia and Liz, and all they have done on behalf of the law school," said Edger said.
A silent auction was held at the reception raising more than $1,800 for the law school’s interscholastic competitions, such as Moot Court and Trial Advocacy. All of the auction items were donated by alumni, students, faculty, or friends of the law school.
On Saturday, the day kicked off with the Breakfast with the Dean event, followed by three continuing legal education lectures. The sessions were given by Professors Randy Lee, Jim Diehm, and Emeritus Professor Michael Cozzillio. The Speedy Trial 5K was also held on Saturday and was organized by the law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta - Pepper Chapter. The race raised more than $1,000 that will benefit MidPenn Legal Services and VITA. MidPenn Legal Services is a nonprofit, public interest law firm providing legal services to low-income residents and survivors of domestic violence with legal advice and representation. VITA provides free tax preparation services to needy individuals and families.
The final event of the weekend was the annual Dean’s Picnic, which was attended by about 150 guests. Alumni and friends participated in challenging games of giant Jenga and a cornhole tournament. Tickets were sold during the picnic for the chance to win prize baskets assembled by various student organizations. The ticket sales for the auction baskets raised an additional $359 for MidPenn Legal Services and VITA.