Revisit, Renew and Re-engage with the Spirit of Michigan Law

As you know, Michigan Law is an extraordinary place. Not only is there a strong sense of community that pervades the student body, but there also is a lifelong affiliation alumni feel for both the Law School and for each other. It is the efforts of our alumni that set Michigan Law apart from its
peer schools and ensure that it continues to be one of the world’s best law schools.

One of the goals of the reunion is to improve and support recruitment and matriculation of black students through outreach and mentoring. Because of which, we strategically planned the reunion to occur when the Butch Carpenter Gala would be taking place. Being able to bring students and alumni together to foster professional connections and to learn from each other will greatly benefit all who attend.

It is our hope that as our outstanding alumni gather to celebrate this special occasion, they also take a moment to give back to the institution and our efforts to collectively support past, present, and future Michigan Law students.

We hope you will join us for the African American Alumni Reunion and the 39th Annual Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Fund Gala, as your involvement is vital in making the weekend a success. On behalf of all Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) members and the entire African American Alumni Reunion committee, we look forward to seeing you in March.



Saul A. Green
Class of 1972

Curtis L. Mack
Class of 1973

Omotunde Okesanya
Class of 2018
Chair, 2017 Butch Carpenter Scholarship Gala

Elizabeth A. Campbell
Class of 1978

Khalilah V. Spencer

Class of 2001


Honorary Co-Chairs

Sharon Barner, ’82 (Cummins, Inc.)
Melody Barnes, ’89 (New York University)
Mary Frances Berry, ’70 (University of Pennsylvania)
David Cade, ’96 (Boeing)
Hon. Harry T. Edwards, ’65 (U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit)
Harold Ford, ’96 (Morgan Stanley)
Hon. Roger Gregory, ’78 (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit)
Broderick Johnson, ’83 (The White House)
Charlotte Johnson, ’88 (Scripps College)
David Baker Lewis, ’70 (Lewis & Munday)
Michele Mayes, ’74 (New York Public Library)
Kevyn Orr, ’83 (Jones Day)
Horace Rodgers, ’51
Walter Sutton, ’70
Larry Thompson, ’74 (University of Georgia School of Law)
Reginald Turner, ’87 (Clark Hill)
Sandra Williams, ’78 (CBS Television)

Executive Chairs

Elizabeth Campbell, ’78 (Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP)
Saul Green, ’72 (Miller Canfield)
Curtis Mack, ’73 (McGuire Woods)
Khalilah Spencer, ’01 (Honigman)

Committee Co-Chairs

Chandra Davis, ’02 (McFadden Davis, LLC)
Barron Wallace, ’89 (Bracewell LLP)


Charles Lowery, ’79
Ena Weathers, ’88 (Social Security Administration)


Marty Dunn, ’84 (Dinsmore & Shohl)
Markeisha Miner, ’02 (Cornell Law School)
Travis Townsend, ’03 (Townsend & Lockett)

Support the Reunion

Support this important event in a meaningful way through a charitable gift. This gift will provide immediate assistance in a number of ways, including:

  • event registration fees for current and prospective students;
  • reduced registration fees for recent graduates and alumni working within the public sector; and
  • general programming and outreach.

All gifts received by Monday, February 27, 2017, will be recognized on the Reunion website and onsite during the Reunion weekend, so your prompt attention and assistance are greatly appreciated.

Please share the Reunion brochure and gift form with the appropriate person and department within your organization. This could be the marketing, recruitment, charitable giving, or diversity department.  Gifts can also be made directly online.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Reunion fundraising committee at

Reunion Supporters

Thank you to the following organizations and individuals who have financially supported the African American Alumni Reunion Weekend. You have our sincerest gratitude.

Danielle Agee, ‘92
Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP
Paul E. Bateman, ‘80
Blank Rome
BP Foundation
Bracewell LLP
Elizabeth A. Campbell, ‘78
J. Danielle Carr, ‘89
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
The Employment Law Solution: McFadden Davis, LLC.
Lisa D. Freeman, ‘90
Mitoshi H. Fujio-White, ’07
Saul A. Green, ‘72
Honigman Miller Schwarz and Cohn, LLP
Lewis Family Charitable Foundation
Christopher Lewis, ’78

Kecia Lewis, ‘89
Lewis & Munday
Curtis L. Mack, ‘73
McGregor Fund
McGuireWoods LLP
Meijer, Inc.
Miller Canfield P.L.C.
Reuben Munday, ‘76
Michael Parham, ‘89
Polsinelli PC
Paul Roye, ’79
Kevin B. Scott, ‘83
Nadia Shash, ’06
Barron Wallace, ‘89
Jack M. Williams, ‘88
Sandra Williams, ‘78

Registration Information


Early bird registration will run until March 3. Regular registration rates will apply from March 4-17. A 20-percent discount is available to those working in public service/government, as well as for those alumni within five years of graduation.

To guarantee space for you and your guests, reservations for the reunion should be received no later than March 17. Reservations received after this date will be accepted if space is available. No refunds will be given after March 17.

A confirmation will be sent to you upon receipt of your reservation. Name tags for all prepaid reservations will be held at registration.

Hotel Information

The Law School has arranged for a special hotel rate at the Sheraton Ann Arbor. Please contact the hotel directly and identify yourself as a member of the African American Alumni Reunion 2017.  To be included in the block, please make your reservations by March 8th.

Sheraton Ann Arbor – $129/night
3200 Boardwalk Dr. Ann Arbor, 48108
Group name: African American Alumni Reunion 2017

Additional hotels are available near the Sheraton. While we do not have a dedicated block of rooms at these hotels, they will provide a competitive rate.

  • Fairfield Inn – 3285 Boardwalk Dr., Ann Arbor, 48108, 734-995-5200 (walking distance to Sheraton)
  • Courtyard Marriott Ann Arbor – 3205 Boardwalk Dr., 48108, 734-995-5900 (walking distance to Sheraton)
  • Kensington Hotel – 3500 S. State St., 48108, 734-761-7800

If you need alternative hotel suggestions visit the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau site or call the Events Office at 734.615.4535.



The A3 Reunion headquarter hotel is the Sheraton Ann Arbor, located at 3200 Boardwalk Drive. The MLaw A3 Bus will pick-up and drop-off at the Sheraton throughout the day on Saturday, March 25. Please see schedule for more information.

Should you wish to use metered street parking, it will cost $1.60/hour in change Mon-Sat, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

For the Carpenter Gala on Saturday evening, March 25, parking is free after 6 p.m. at meters and in the Thompson Street structure (508 Thompson Street), located behind the Michigan Union.

Special Assistance

Reunion facilities are wheelchair accessible. If special arrangements are necessary, please notify the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 734-615-4535 or


Dress is casual to business casual for all events except the Butch Carpenter Gala, where cocktail attire is encouraged.

Michigan BLSA T-Shirts

You can pre-order your BLSA T-shirt with your online registration for $10. BLSA will also have t-shirts available onsite at the reunion. Please make checks payable to the “Black Law Students Association” or “University of Michigan”.

Other Information

U-M is smoke-free. As part of the University of Michigan’s ongoing effort to create a healthier environment for its faculty, staff and students, all three campuses – Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flit – are smoke-free. This extends the smokefree environment of U-M buildings to the campus grounds.

Smoking is not prohibited on sidewalks adjacent to public thoroughfares on the Ann Arbor campus. Thank you for your cooperation.


Tentative Schedule – Subject to Change

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Reunion Check-in & Registration

Lawyers Club, Faculty Dining Room

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Casual Lunch with Students

Lawyer’s Club Main Dining Room

*Pre-registration required

1 p.m.  Tour of Law School & Lawyers Club Residences

Meet in the lobby of the Lawyers Club

No fee to attend, but pre-registration is required.

3:30 – 4:45 p.m. Lions at the Bar: Civil Litigators and Their Greatest Cases

Beatrice  & C. Blake McDowell Jr. Room, 1225 South Hall

This session will highlight prominent trial lawyers and their greatest cases.  Each panelist will discuss the excitement, challenges, and lessons of their respective cases.

Sharon Barner, ‘82, Cummins, Inc.
Jamala S. McFadden, ’01, McFadden Davis, LLC
Moderated by Harold L. Kennedy, III, ’77, Kennedy & Kennedy

5 – 6 p.m.  Listening session with students and alumni

Beatrice  & C. Blake McDowell Jr. Room, 1225 South Hall

Connect with current students to learn more about their challenges, triumphs, and experiences on campus during this informal listening session.

Moderated by: Markeisha Miner, ‘02, Cornell Law

6:15 – 8:15 p.m.  Welcome Reception with current and prospective students

Lawyers Club Lounge

*No fee to attend, but Pre-registration is required

8:15 p.m.  Opportunity for casual social gatherings

Enjoy a night out in Ann Arbor. A list of local area establishments will be available online and at registration.

10 p.m. – 12 a.m. Open House Social

Sheraton Hotel lounge-adjacent area

(Re)connect with fellow alumni for casual mingling at the end of the evening.

Tentative Schedule – Subject to Change

8 – 11 a.m. Reunion Check-in & Registration

Jeffries Student Lounge, South Hall

8– 9 a.m.  Continental Breakfast & Conference Breaks

$20 early bird/$30 regular registration; includes conference breaks
Jeffries Student Lounge, South Hall

*Pre-registration required

Start the day with fellow alumni in a casual setting.

9 – 10:15 a.m.  Conversation with Dean Mark West

Beatrice  & C. Blake McDowell Jr. Room, 1225 South Hall

Join Dean Mark West for an update on the Law School and a frank conversation regarding diversity efforts at the Law School

Moderated by: Khalilah Spencer, ‘01

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.   Holding Court in Obamalot, the Change Hope Delivered.

The panelists will discuss their respective roles and efforts during the election of President Obama and their strategic leadership positions within the administration and beyond.

Broderick Johnson, ’83, former cabinet secretary and assistant to President Obama
Laura Kupe, ’13, former special assistant at the Department of Homeland Security
Aaron Lewis, ’05, Covington & Burling LLP
Leslie Overton, ’94, Alston & Bird, LLP
Moderated by Marty Dunn, ’84, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

12 p.m.  Attendee Group Photo

Steps of the Reading Room

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.  Luncheon and Keynote Remarks: “Reflections on Racial Stigmas and Stereotyping.”

$50 early bird/$60 regular
Michigan Union, Anderson

*Pre-registration required

Keynote remarks from the Honorable Harry T. Edwards, ‘65, senior circuit judge and chief judge emeritus on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Washington, D.C.

Moderated by the Honorable Gershwin Drain, ’72, United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

2 – 3:15 p.m.  Policing and Community Engagement

Beatrice  & C. Blake McDowell Jr. Room, 1225 South Hall

How police interact with African Americans and communities of color has dominated the newsfeeds since our last reunion.  This panel of Michigan Law alumni will discuss the complex and sensitive issues associated with achieving public safety through constitutional policing and community engagement.

Jerry Ashford, ’91, Chief of Litigation, City of Detroit Law Department
Judith E. Levy, ’96, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, Public Interest/Public Service Faculty Fellow at the University of Michigan Law School
Travis Townsend, ‘03, Townsend & Lockett LLC
Moderated by  Saul Green, ’72, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC

3:30 – 4:45 p.m.   Alternative Careers: You Don’t Have to be a Lawyer After Law School

Beatrice  & C. Blake McDowell Jr. Room, 1225 South Hall

Remember when you were told you could do anything with a law degree, or when you observed television shows about the courage of those who departed from tradition and started new ventures or careers? Ever wonder how you can blend your talent, determination, and experiences into new and less traveled paths to better live the life you’ve imagined? Join us for a panel discussion featuring fellow alumni who have unleashed the power and transferable skills of a legal education to pursue their unique dreams and destinies.

Michael Coppock, ’01, GreenDot Corporation
Ronald Falls, Jr., ’05, Chief Operating Officer, Post Advisory Group
Lisa Helem, ’09, National Law Journal
Jerika Richardson, ’07, Senior Advisor & Secretary to the Board at NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB)
Moderated by Adrian Ohmer, ’13, Invest Detroit Ventures

7 p.m.  39th Annual Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter Gala

Michigan Union

*Pre-registration required

  • 7 p.m. – Cocktail Hour
    Anderson Room
  • 8 p.m. – Dinner Service
    Rogel Ballroom

    Keynote Remarks: Broderick Johnson, ’83
    Former partner, Bryan Cave LLP; former Deputy Asst. to President Clinton; former Assistant to President Obama, Cabinet Secretary and Chair of My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.
  • 10 p.m. – Afterglow Reception
    Anderson Room


Tentative Schedule – Subject to Change

10 – 11:30 a.m.  Brunch and Weekend Wrap-up

$40 early bird/$50 regular
Aikens Commons, Upper Level

*Pre-registration required

Come together with fellow alumni and students to review the weekend’s discussions and identify next steps to keep the momentum going.

Moderated by Khalilah Spencer, ’02, Honigman

12 – 1 p.m.  Michigan Black Law Alumni Society (MBLAS) Meeting

The Tauber Family Classroom, 138 Hutchins Hall

This meeting will focus on the strategic direction and priorities for MBLAS.

Giving Opportunities

Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter
Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year to first-year Michigan Law students and members of the Black Law Students Alliance (BLSA) who exemplify its namesake’s ideals.

Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter entered the University of Michigan Law School in 1977, with the desire to become an advocate for the urban community by using his professional skills in business and law for its benefit and edification.  Since February 21, 1978, the Black Law Students Alliance has continued to promote Mr. Carpenter’s vision through the Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Fund.  BLSA established the award “to promote the attributes exemplified by (Carpenter’s) life and to motivate the social commitment demonstrated by his professional objectives.”  In 2013 the Fund awarded a total of $50,000 in scholarships to four deserving students.

Make a gift

Gabriel Hargo Scholarship Fund
for Michigan Law

This is a recruiting scholarship to address racial diversity in the graduate student population for African Americans admitted to the University of Michigan pursuing a Law degree. This fund is managed by the University of Michigan Alumni Association as part of its LEAD Scholars program.

The Fund is named in honor of Gabriel Franklin Hargo, the first African American to graduate from the University of Michigan—and the first to graduate from the Law School – in 1870. He was only the second African American in the nation to earn a law degree.

Make a gift

Reunion Goals

  • Reengage African American alumni with the Law School and each other.
  • Celebrate the legacy of Michigan Law’s African American alumni community.
  • Recognize the importance of alumni-funded scholarships and lay the foundation for increased support for African American students.
  • Improve and support recruitment and matriculation of African American students through outreach and mentoring.

Why Now?

  • Before the passage of Proposal 2 (“the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative”) in 2006, the average number of African American students in each Michigan Law class of 25 to 30. It now averages 15 to 18.
  • In a race-blind admissions process, most African American students we admit are choosing among the best and most appealing schools in the nation. Because of that increased competition, we lose more of our admits than we did prior to Proposal 2. Scholarships can make the difference in recruiting top talent and getting students who aren’t familiar with Michigan, and Ann Arbor, to look at us seriously.
  • With such a small African American student population at Michigan Law, recruiting even two or three admitted students away from another school could make a significant difference.
  • An uptick in African American applications to the Law School for the Class of 2019 shows that momentum is building and that our efforts do make a difference.