The University of Richmond School of Law presented the Honorable Roger L. Gregory with the William Green Award for Professional Excellence on Friday, March 19, 2010. The Green Award is the Law school’s highest honor. University of Richmond President Edward L. Ayers and Richmond School of Law Dean John Douglass presented the award to Judge Green at the annual Scholarship luncheon at the Jepson Alumni Center at the University of Richmond.

Dean Douglass said, “Judge Gregory’s skill and professionalism across decades of service as a lawyer and judge make him an outstanding role model for our students and for all members of our legal community.  We are honored to include him among the remarkable men and women who have received the William Green Award for Professional Excellence.”

Judge Roger Gregory was appointed to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by former President William J. Clinton in December 2000, then re-nominated by former President George W. Bush, and confirmed for a lifetime appointment by the Senate in 2001. He is the first African American to hold a seat on the Fourth Circuit and the only judge on the United States Court of Appeals to be appointed by presidents of different political parties.

A native of Petersburg, Virginia, Judge Gregory graduated from Virginia State University before earning his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He holds honorary degrees from Virginia Union, Virginia State, Virginia Commonwealth, and Widener Universities and taught Constitutional Law as an adjunct professor at Virginia State University. He is a past rector of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Board of Trustees and served on Virginia State University’s Board of Visitors. Judge Gregory is currently a member of the University of Richmond Board of Trustees.

Judge Gregory began his legal career with the Detroit law firm Butzel, Long, Gust, Klein & Van Zile before becoming an associate with Hunton & Williams in Richmond. In 1982, he co-founded the law firm Wilder & Gregory with L. Douglas Wilder, becoming managing partner upon Wilder’s election as Governor of Virginia.

Past recipients include: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, United States Supreme Court; Chief Justice Harry L. Carrico, Virginia Supreme Court; Attorney Oliver W. Hill, civil rights activist; Justice Elizabeth B. Lacy, Supreme Court of Virginia. The Green Award honors Judge William Green, one of the three distinguished members of the original Law School faculty at Richmond College. Judge Green, in a memorable address to the first law class on Oct. 10, 1870, challenged each student to consider no man but himself as his rival or competitor, endeavoring through hard work and “love of excellence, solely to surpass, as far as he can, his own previous performance.”