May 14, 2015
Four members of the Tulane Law Class of 2015 are being recognized with Tulane University’s most prestigious all-campus student honors. And one outstanding law graduate, Micah C. Zeno, is receiving two awards.
Zeno, Demetrius D. Sumner and Graham Williams are recipients of the Tulane 34 Award, one of the university’s highest honors, which goes to only 34 graduating students across all university components. Named for Tulane University’s founding year, 1834, the award recognizes students who have distinguished themselves through all-around excellence in leadership, service and academic achievement.
Zeno and Alston L. Walker have been chosen to each receive a Student Crest Award, a campus-wide recognition of students’ efforts and achievements within and outside of the classroom. These awards, sponsored annually by the Division of Student Affairs, honor excellence in leadership, scholarship and community service, as well as initiative and promise in campus leadership.
Demetrius D. Sumner: Tulane 34 Award
Demetrius D. Sumner, from Dallas, Texas, was the first black chief justice of Tulane Law’s Moot Court Board and led its development into a model organization. His role included overseeing more than 80 students, including board members and students on 15 teams competing nationally and internationally; working with administrative justices to manage budgets; helping recruit practitioners to serve as judges; and acting as a liaison to the faculty, administration and the public. Demetrius also has been a creative student advocate, spearheading a new Career Support Fund to help with the costs of attending job interviews outside the region; proposing a program to better integrate transfer students into campus life; and championing a summer academic camp to expose students to legal writing, substantive law and other information to bolster their law school success. He was a student voice in the hiring of a faculty member and an assistant dean, and he was a Cowen Scholar with the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives.
Alston L. Walker: James F. Kilroy Provost’s Award
Alston L. Walker of Shreveport is recipient of the James F. Kilroy Provost’s Award, which recognizes one graduate student who has excelled scholastically, has a distinguished record of involvement and has been an outstanding student leader. Alston served as editor in chief of the Tulane Law Review, leading 60 student editors in the production of journal editions totaling 1,400 pages and guiding junior members in writing articles for potential publication, expanding alumni connections and enhancing the journal’s online and social media presence. He also chaired student committees helping to evaluate candidates for a faculty job and assistant dean’s position. Alston served as vice president of the Business Law Society; mentored and tutored first-year students, offering advice on outlining class information and taking exams; and helped a New Orleans high school senior aspiring to be a first-generation college graduate navigate the application and admission process.
Graham Williams: Tulane 34 Award
Graham Williams of River Ridge, Louisiana, served as executive president of the Student Bar Association, the umbrella group that manages a budget of $150,000 designated for more than 40 student organizations that sponsor educational and public service programming. In that role, he worked to promote inclusiveness, a sense of community and increased loyalty to Tulane Law. In a separate project, Graham spearheaded the Class of 2015 development team, 21 students who worked with their classmates to generate more than 60 percent participation in a class gift dedicated toward scholarships. Graham also played a vital role in maintaining strong relationships among students, faculty and administrators, serving as student representative on the law school’s Faculty Senate; the Dean’s Advisory Committee; Dean David Meyer’s five-year review committee; the Faculty Interviewing and Appointments Committee; and the Career Development Committee, where he helped career counselors to improve job-search programming.
Micah C. Zeno: Tulane 34 Award and Service and Leadership Award
Micah C. Zeno of Terrytown, Louisiana, is receiving a 34 Award and the Service and Leadership Award, which recognizes one graduate student who has made significant contributions to New Orleans through the combination of outstanding community service and leadership. As chief justice of the Honor Board, Micah leads a 12-member student board in promoting a fair learning environment that holds students to a high standard of honesty and integrity. He spearheaded a “Keep it Classy” campaign that encourages students to consider ethical issues in their studies and build healthy lawyering habits by learning to implement the Model Rules of Professional conduct while still in school. He also served on the Student Bar Association Elections Committee, was Civil Law Society secretary and Black Law Students Association parliamentarian and was a member of the Moot Court Board. In the community, Micah volunteered with the Second Harvest Food Bank; the Tulane University Legal Assistance Program, which provides free legal assistance; and the Civil District Court’s Self-Help Resource Center, which offers information to community members seeking domestic relations assistance.
The law school's awards ceremony is set for May 15 at 5:30 p.m. in the Wendell H. Gauthier Appellate Moot Court Room 110 in Weinmann Hall. Refreshments at 5 p.m. in the Marian Mayer Berkett Multipurpose Room precede the ceremony.