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Law Dean LeRoy Pernell to Receive Franklin and Marshall Alumni Citation Award
June 2, 2011

Orlando, Fla.
- Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell has been selected to receive Franklin & Marshall College’s prestigious Alumni Citation award during Reunion Weekend, June 3-5, 2011, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Part of the Franklin & Marshall Society of Distinguished Alumni, recipients of the Alumni Citation are distinguished in a particular profession, have provided dedicated leadership and service in the community, and have established an exemplary record of accomplishments in a specific field or endeavor.  Pernell, who graduated from Franklin & Marshall in 1971, has worked in the legal arena since receiving his J.D. from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1974.

Since its inception in 1966, there have been 51 recipients of the Alumni Citation award.  The distinguished list includes Roy Scheider, known for his role as Chief Martin Brody in the "Jaws" movie franchise; Congressman William H. Gray, III, (D) Pennsylvania, 1979-1991; and Vice Admiral James A. Zimble, M.D., United States Navy (Retired).  Pernell will be recognized along with two additional alumni during the Alumni Celebration program on Saturday, June 4, at 10:30 a.m.

Pernell assumed the deanship of the FAMU College of Law in January 2008, after serving as law dean at Northern Illinois University (NIU) for ten years.  Under his leadership, the NIU law school was recognized nationally for its diversity efforts.  He also oversaw the expansion of technology in the classroom, the establishment of the clinical education program and the opening of the Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic in Rockford, Illinois.

He continued his diversity efforts at FAMU where the school was recognized as the most diverse law school in the nation two years in a row by U.S. News & World Report, and most recently received an A in diversity from The National Jurist magazine.  Also under Pernell, the College of Law received full accreditation from the American Bar Association in July 2009. 

Dean Pernell has written law review articles in the areas of criminal procedure, juvenile justice, personal injury and sports law, and authored the Civil Procedure Forms Supplement for West Ohio Practice from 1978 to 1986.  He was a recipient of a special award for his work as an advocate, academician, leader and dean, during the Third National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference in 2010, a monumental event, which occurs only once every five years.  He is also an elected member of the American Law Institute and past-trustee of the Law School Admissions Council. 

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The FAMU College of Law was founded in 1949 on the main campus in Tallahassee.  After graduating 57 lawyers, the law school was closed by the state of Florida in 1968. The Florida Legislature voted to reopen the law school in 2000 and Orlando was selected as the location. The re-established FAMU College of Law opened its doors in 2002 and is now housed in a state-of-the-art facility in downtown Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood.  The FAMU College of Law received full accreditation from the American Bar Association in July 2009, and has been ranked among the top five in the nation for Diversity each year by U.S. News & World Report since 2007.

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