Commencement Speaker U. S. Attorney Mary Jo White to Receive Honorary Degree
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. —Pace Law School’s commencement exercises will begin at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 19, on the Chapel Green in White Plains. More than 200 degrees including, Doctor of Laws, Master of Laws and Juris Doctor will be conferred. Mary Jo White, U. S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, will offer the Commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws. A special certificate of recognition for academic achievement will also be awarded during the ceremony to the parents of Tom Wilson, a fourth year Dean’s List student who passed away this past year after a long battle with Muscular Dystrophy (5 weeks after his younger brother died from the same disease).
Commencement speaker, Mary Jo White was the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, which covers Manhattan, the Bronx and New York City suburbs.
White was the prosecutor in charge of the investigation of President Clinton’s last-day-in-office pardon of billionaire financier Marc Rich. She has handled cases that include Wall Street crime, international art theft, organized crime racketeering, drug trafficking, police corruption and terrorism. She presided over the successful prosecutions in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing cases and the terror conspiracy cases against Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and others who plotted to blow up various New York City landmarks.
White’s office has devoted considerable resources to the embassy bombings case, indicating Saudi exile, Osama bin Laden and 20 others in an alleged worldwide plot to kill Americans and destroy U.S. government property. After the embassy bombings in East Africa in August 1998, White’s office worked alongside the FBI’s anti-terrorism task force to gather evidence in the crime that killed 224 people.
Graduating student, Jason Pensky was one of Tom Wilson’s closest friends and will present the Certificate of Recognition of Academic Achievement to Tom’s parents. As was Tom, Pensky is also wheelchair bound. He was paralyzed as a result of a diving accident in high school.
“Tom was an inspiration to me,” said Pensky, who was recently hired by the Miami Public Defender’s Office. “He knew he was going to die but he lived life to the fullest each day. This is what I try to do, like Tom, I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me.” In addition to becoming a lawyer, Pensky is also a professional actor and has appeared on As the World Turns and Law & Order.
At commencement, Christina Brouder will become Pace Law School’s youngest graduate. Since age 5 Christina was run over by a drunken driver, fracturing her skull and breaking her ribs and leg. Brouder became the youngest person ever to testify before a Bronx Grand Jury, and since this time, she has known that she wanted to become a lawyer. During her recover while Christina was learning to walk again, she passed the time in the hospital by forming a family contemporary pop band. She graduated from the High School of Music and Art at 15 and at 18 from Fordham University. (She also has a degree from the French Culinary Institute of New York). Brouder will take a year off after graduation to play in the family band Spirits of Gilbride alongside her brother and three sisters.
Founded in 1976, Pace Law School is located in White Plains, New York, 20 miles north of New York City. The School offers the J.D. program for full-time and part-time day and evening, students. Its post-graduate program includes the LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees in environmental Law and the LL.M. in Comparative Legal Studies. Pace has one of the nation’s top-rated environmental law programs and its Clinical Education Program also is nationally ranked, offering clinics in domestic violence prosecution, poverty law, environmental litigation, securities arbitration, and disability law. Pace Law School is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent and diversified University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County, and a Hudson Valley Center located at Stewart Airport in New Windsor.