Two Orlando Attorneys to Head College Alumni Groups
Two Orlando attorneys have been named to head the two College of Law alumni organizations responsible for helping fund and guide the nation’s largest public law school. Marybeth McDonald of McDonald & Rodgers P.A. will lead the UF Law Center Association Board of Trustees, and Bruce M. Harris of Gray Harris & Robinson P.A. is new president of the Law Alumni Council. Both took office at the groups’ fall meeting last week. “Our university and law school have benefitted from a distinguished tradition of alumni leadership,” said Dean Jon Mills. “We are very grateful for the involvement and expertise of these graduates in helping us carry out our academic mission.” McDonald will lead the advisory board for 2001-2003, succeeding attorney Richard M. Robinson of Gray Harris & Robinson, who served as chairman since 1998. Harris succeeds West Palm Beach attorney Bill Bone, who served for the past year. “I am honored to have the privilege of serving in this position at such an important time in the law school’s history,” McDonald said. “We are on the way to achieving our goal of expanding and renovating this state’s premier law school so we can continue to provide the finest quality legal education to Florida citizens and to advance into the ranks of the nation’s Top 10 public law schools.” McDonald will guide the Board as it secures remaining private funds necessary for planned expansion of the college’s law library and construction of a new Student-Faculty Academic Center due to begin construction in 2002. Already more than $4 million has been contributed by UF law alumni, friends, faculty and law firms toward the January goal of $5 million, needed to secure state matching funds of $5 million. Harris leads a group of more than 180 representatives of UF’s graduating classes who assist the law school with alumni outreach activities such as receptions, reunions and CLE, and with fund raising and student mentoring activities. Harris said his goals include increasing communication with alumni and students, and building a stronger foundation of involvement and support for the law school, in addition to supporting the building campaign efforts.“Great law schools have great alumni participation,” Harris said. “Though we can’t ever fully pay back the school for the education and opportunities it has given, we can help make the College of Law a better place for current and future students. “Ninety-nine percent of us are able to give something back, yet less than 15 percent actually do,” Harris continued. “So I hope to work with other council members to involve greater numbers of alumni in supporting our school, and in offering the kinds of outreach events and services our alumni want and need.” Other new appointments to the Alumni Council include Ken Johnson, Naples, president-elect, and Oscar Sanchez, Miami, secretary. Appointments to the Council’s Executive Committee include Tim Cerio, Tampa; Patrick Cousins, West Palm Beach; Adam Hall, Miami; Larry Keefe, Fort Walton Beach; Paul Linder, Orlando; Barry Silber, Pensacola; George Vaka, Tampa; and Evan Yegelwel, Jacksonville.