2021 Alumni Award Winners

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Charles S. Murphy Award for Achievement in Civic Service

The Honorable Richard Gergel

The Honorable Richard Gergel '79

Established in 1985, the Charles S. Murphy Award honors a graduate's commitment to the common good through his or her service  to the community or dedication to education.

Richard Gergel is a native of Columbia, South Carolina and is the grandson of Jewish immigrants who immigrated to South Carolina from Eastern Europe and the Ukraine at the turn of the Twentieth Century. He graduated from Duke University, B.A., summa cum laude, and the Duke University School of Law. Judge Gergel practiced law in Columbia for over 30 years, specializing in complex civil litigation. He was nominated to the United States District Court bench in December 2009 by President Barak Obama and was confirmed by unanimous consent by the United States Senate in August 2010. Judge Gergel presides in Charleston, South Carolina.

Judge Gergel is the author of two books and numerous articles on legal and civil rights history. His most recent book, Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry Truman and Judge Waties Waring (Farrar Straus and Giroux 2019), has received wide critical acclaim and was the basis of a recently nationally broadcast documentary on PBS.  He is married to Dr. Belinda Gergel (Duke PhD. 1981) and they have two sons, Robert Richard Gergel and Joseph Gergel.


A. Kenneth Pye Award for Excellence in Education

Dean Liz A. Gustafson

Liz A. Gustafson '86

The A. Kenneth Pye award honors a graduate or other member of the Duke Law community whose work in education  reflects former Dean A. Kenneth Pye’s life and ideals.

Liz Gustafson serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Counsel to the Dean, an advisory role she’s held in working with former dean David Levi and current dean, Kerry Abrams.  Before joining the Academic Affairs office, during Kate Bartlett’s deanship, Liz served as Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and prior to that as Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid.  Liz joined the Law School in 1992, from law practice in Washington, D.C. with Dow, Lohnes and Albertson (which merged with Cooley, LLP in 2014) , where she practiced in communications law, and a clerkship with Judge John McAuliffe of the Maryland Court of Appeals.  Liz and her husband, Mark Gustafson, also a 1986 graduate of the Law School and Duke’s Deputy General Counsel for Health Affairs, have two children, both of whom are lawyers or soon-to-be lawyers.


Charles S. Rhyne Award for Professional Achievement

Ralph Everett

Ralph B. Everett '76

The Charles S. Rhyne award was established in 1994 to recognize graduates whose careers exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, personal integrity, and commitment to education or community service.

Ralph B. Everett has four decades of leadership experience in politics and public policy in the nation’s capital having served in key leadership positions in the public, private and non-profit sectors. 

Named by Ebony magazine as one of the country’s “150 Most Influential African Americans,” Mr. Everett has worked on a daily basis with America’s leading policymakers, business enterprises, advocacy organizations and the civil rights community on a broad range of economic, regulatory and corporate social responsibility issues. He began his Washington career in 1977 by serving as Legislative Assistant to United States Senator Ernest Hollings of South Carolina. In 1982, he became the first African American to head a U.S. Senate committee staff when he was appointed to serve as Democratic Staff Director and Minority Chief Counsel for the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. When Senate Democrats won majority control four years later, he became Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the full committee, where he played a pivotal role in cable, broadcast and common carrier legislative reforms, as well as regulatory reform of the airline, truck, railway, and bus industries.

In 1989, Mr. Everett became the first African American partner at Paul Hastings LLP, a leading international law firm with offices worldwide, where for 17 years he specialized in telecommunications and transportation policy. He served as the managing partner of the Washington office, as co-chair of the firm’s federal legislative practice group and as a member of its policy committee.

Mr. Everett served for seven years as the president and CEO of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, widely acknowledged as the nation’s leading think tank for policy analysis and research on issues of concern to African Americans and other people of color.  While there he expanded the organization’s research and influence into key policy areas – including telecommunications, broadband and energy and environmental – while strengthening the organization’s leadership on health policy issues. He has also served as Senior Industry and Innovation Fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Business and Public Policy.

Mr. Everett has received several key presidential appointments. In 2008, he served the incoming Obama Administration as co-chair of the Commerce Department Transition Team.  He was appointed by President Clinton to his Board of Advisors for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. President Clinton also appointed him as U.S. Ambassador to the International Telecommunication Union’s Plenipotentiary Conference, following which he was chosen by the President to lead the U.S. Delegation to the Second World Telecommunication Development Conference in Malta, where representatives from 190 nations elected him vice chairman of the proceedings. In 2020, he served as co-chair of the Biden/Harris Policy Subcommittee on Broadband, Telecom and Digital Equity. He has also been appointed by Virginia’s governor to serve as vice chair of the Commonwealth’s Waste Management Board and to its Science Museum Board.

Mr. Everett is a member of the Economic Club of Washington, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He also served on the Duke University Law School’s Board of Visitors, and as vice chair of the board for Independent Sector, and as a board member of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Shenandoah Life Insurance Company, Star Scientific, the National Urban League, the Center for National Policy and Cumulus Media, Inc. He also chaired the Board of Trustees of the historic Alfred Street Church, one of the nation’s oldest African American Baptist Churches.

A native of Orangeburg, South Carolina, Mr. Everett is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College and earned a J.D. from Duke University Law School. He is also the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Virginia State University.


International Alumni Award

Gitanjali Workman

Gitanjali Workman '02

The International Alumni Award recognizes and honors an international graduate of the Duke University School of Law who has exemplified the highest standards of professional excellence, personal integrity, and concern for the common welfare in his or her own profession and home country.

Gitanjali Workman is General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of Soros Capital Management LLC.  

Until early 2018, Gitanjali was Counsel at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP where she practiced for over a decade focusing on all aspects of the alternative asset management industry. Prior to her time at Paul, Weiss, Gitanjali worked as an advocate in the Supreme Court of India, handling constitutional law and complex commercial and civil litigations. 

Gitanjali holds a BA. LL.B (Hons.) degree from The National Law School, India and a LL.M from Duke University School of Law. 


Young Alumni Award

Venroy July

Venroy July '07

The Law Alumni Association established the Young Alumni Award in 2000 to honor an individual who has graduated within the past 15 years and has made significant leadership and service contributions to Duke Law School and the legal profession.

Venroy July is a partner in the corporate practice group of Dickinson Wright PLLC Based in the Washington, D.C. office, Mr. July’s practice includes a wide range of corporate and finance matters, with a particular focus on mergers and acquisitions. In his practice he represents clients on a wide range of transactions from seed investments in technology startups to acquisitions and sales of multi-hundred million dollar businesses. A resident of Baltimore, Maryland, based on his reputation within the legal community, Mr. July has received the Daily Record’s Leadership in the Law Generation JD award, has been recognized as a Rising Star by the Super Lawyers magazine, has been named to the Best Lawyer list, and as a Who’s Who in Law by the Baltimore Business Journal. In addition to his legal career, Mr. July is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and is a co-founder of the Baltimore Young Professionals (BYP), an organization focused on curating social, philanthropic and financial opportunities and experiences for young black professionals in Baltimore. For his efforts in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Baltimore, Mr. July was awarded the 40 under 40 award by the Baltimore Business Journal, the 40 Under 40 award by the Black Business Review, and the Clayton McNeill Leadership award by Philanthropik. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Lifebridge Health, Grace Medical Center, the East Baltimore Development, Inc., the Green Street Academy and the Baltimore African American Homebuilders Cooperative. Mr. July received his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Economics from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, and his J.D. from the Duke University School of Law. 


Outstanding Volunteer Service Award

Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe

Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe '88

Awarded for the first time in 2021. This award honors individuals for their excellent volunteer service to Duke Law School. In their roles as volunteers, these individuals have distinguished themselves through their exceptional dedication and sustained commitment to the Duke Law community.

Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe serves as executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary for Duke Energy. He is the primary legal advisor to Duke Energy’s board of directors and senior management, and he leads the Office of the General Counsel, which includes the company’s legal, corporate governance, internal audit, and ethics and compliance functions.

Joining the company in 2002, Kodwo has held numerous positions in the legal department covering several areas of legal services to Duke Energy.  Prior to being named chief legal officer in October 2019 and corporate secretary in May 2020, Kodwo served as president of Duke Energy’s utility operations in South Carolina. 

Kodwo serves on the boards of several charitable organizations, including the Duke Law School Board of Visitors and TreesCharlotte. In 2021, Business North Carolina Magazine named Kodwo to its first list of power brokers from historically underserved communities. He has been recognized as a Diversity Champion by the Charlotte Business Journal, and by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund with an Award of Excellence for his outstanding achievements in the legal profession and his dedication to diversity in the workplace. 

A native of Ghana, Kodwo earned a Juris Doctor degree from Duke University and a Bachelor of Arts degree, with joint honors in economics and finance, from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of Business. In 2017, he was conferred an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree by Francis Marion University. 

Kodwo and his wife, Phyllis, have three daughters – Effe, Aseda and Gracie.



Charles S. Murphy Award

  • 2020 Satana T. Deberry '94
  • 2019 The Honorable Todd M. Hughes '92
  • 2018 Michael R. Dreeben ’81
  • 2017 The Honorable Mary Ellen Coster Williams ’77
  • 2016 Anthony S. Harrington '66
  • 2015 Susan M. Prosnitz '89 
  • 2014 Valerie T. Broadie '79
  • 2013 Christian Broadbent ’99
  • 2012 Robert E. Harrington '87 
  • 2011 Barbara Arnwine '76
  • 2010 Janet Ward Black '85
  • 2009 Charles L. Becton '69
  • 2008 Letty M. Tanchum '73
  • 2007 Durwood J. Zaelke '72
  • 2006 Curtis L. Collier '74
  • 2005 Allyson K. Duncan '75
  • 2004 Robert S. Warwick '69
  • 2003 Robert E. Stipe '53
  • 2002 Lee H. Henkel Jr. '52 & Haley J. Fromholz '67
  • 2001 John D. Johnston Jr. '56
  • 2000 Peter S. Gilchrist III '65
  • 1999 Rhonda R. Winston '79
  • 1998 Daniel T. Blue Jr. '73
  • 1997 William C. Campbell '77
  • 1996 Christine M. Durham '71
  • 1995 Douglas P. Wheeler '66
  • 1994 Kenneth W. Starr '73
  • 1993 Robinson O. Everett '59
  • 1992 John H. Adams '62
  • 1991 Paul Hardin III '54
  • 1990 Charles S. Rhyne '35
  • 1989 Charles H. Miller '34
  • 1988 Gerald T. Wetherington '63
  • 1987 Gerald Bard Tjoflat '57
  • 1986 H. Hale McCown '37
  • 1985 Carlyle C. Ring Jr. '56

A. Kenneth Pye Award

  • 2020 Guy-Uriel Charles
  • 2019 Katharine T. Bartlett 
  • 2018 Theresa A. Newman ’88
  • 2018 James E. Coleman, Jr.
  • 2017 Richard A. Danner
  • 2016 Paul H. Haagen
  • 2015 Sara Sun Beale 
  • 2014 David L. Lange
  • 2013 Pam Gann ’73
  • 2012 Michael J. Sorrell '94
  • 2011 James Cox
  • 2010 William Reppy Jr.
  • 2009 E. Carol Spruill
  • 2008 The Honorable Robinson O. Everett '59
  • 2007 Paul D. Carrington
  • 2006 George C. Christie
  • 2005 Clark C. Havighurst
  • 2004 William W. Van Alstyne
  • 2003 Frank T. (Tom) Read '63
  • 2002 Herbert L. Bernstein (posthumous)
  • 2001 Paul Hardin III '54
  • 1999 Melvin G. Shimm

Charles S. Rhyne Award

  • 2020 Jennifer Baltimore '92
  • 2020 John C. Yates '81
  • 2019 Cheryl Williams Scarboro '89
  • 2018 Mark Alan Fishman ’78
  • 2018 Kathleen M. Hamm ’88
  • 2017 John R. Wester ‘72
  • 2016 Robert C. Weber '76
  • 2015 Gary G. Lynch '75 
  • 2014 Colin W. Brown '74
  • 2013 James Smith ’86
  • 2012 Bruce L. Rogers '87
  • 2011 David Noble '66
  • 2010 Jeffrey Hughes '65
  • 2009 Candace M. Carroll '74
  • 2008 Glenn E. Ketner Jr. '63
  • 2007 Charles O. Verrill Jr. '62
  • 2006 James B. Maxwell '66
  • 2005 Frank Hunger '65
  • 2004 John Canning '69
  • 2002 William Louis-Dreyfus '57
  • 2001 Arnold B. McKinnon '51
  • 2000 William R. "Pat" Patterson '50
  • 1999 David Klaber '69
  • 1998 Robert L. Burrus Jr. '58
  • 1997 E. Norwood Robinson '52
  • 1996 L. Neil Williams '61
  • 1995 William F. Womble '39
  • 1994 Russell M. Robinson II '56

International Alumni Award

  • 2020 The Honorable Mandisa Muriel Maya '90
  • 2019 James J. Bergin '93
  • 2018 Yibing Mao ’89
  • 2017 Paul W. Hespel ‘95
  • 2016 Marcella Harshbarger Sampic '02
  • 2015 Yan Xuan '87 
  • 2014 Markus A. Nauheim '96
  • 2013 Manuel Sager ’85
  • 2012 Susanne I. Haas '85 & '87
  • 2011 Young Gak “Ken” Yun '88
  • 2010 Xiaoming Li '90
  • 2007 Sibylle Gierschmann '99
  • 2006 Marianne Philip '83 & Per Haakon Schmidt '83
  • 2005 Xi-Qing Gao '86
  • 2003 Jaime E. Aleman '78
  • 2002 Hideyuki Sakai '82
  • 2001 Javier Francisco Firpo '91
  • 2000 Abdul Rahman Al-Nafisah '80

Young Alumni Award

  • 2020 Lauren Fine '11
  • 2019 Celia A. Glass '14
  • 2018 Libby Magee Coles ’08
  • 2017 Linton Mann III ‘07
  • 2016 Rodney D. Bullard '01
  • 2015 Yi Lin Chua '00 
  • 2014 Nita A. Farahany '04
  • 2013 Sarah Hawkins Warren ’08
  • 2012 Amy Y. Yeung '06
  • 2011 Linda Martin '96
  • 2010 Adrian Dollard '95
  • 2009 Christopher Dean Dusseault '94
  • 2008 Jennifer L. Franklin '98
  • 2007 Jay Bilas '92
  • 2006 Christopher B. McLaughlin '96
  • 2005 Caroline B. Gottschalk '90
  • 2004 John Reed Stark '89
  • 2003 Theresa A. Newman '88
  • 2002 A. Daniel Scheinman '87
  • 2001 Elizabeth J. Gustafson '86
  • 2000 Sonja Steptoe '85

Dean's Alumni Achievement Award

  • 2018 Susanne I. Haas '85 & '87
  • 2018 Daniel T. Blue Jr. '73
  • 2016 The Honorable Allyson Kay Duncan ‘75
  • 2014 David W. Ichel '78
  • 2013 Rick Horvitz ’78
  • 2011 Stanley Star ’61
  • 2007 Peter J. Kahn '76
  • 2001 George R. Krouse Jr. '70
  • 1999 Lanty L. Smith '67
  • 1994 Robert K. Montgomery '64
  • 1992 John F. Lowndes '58