William & Mary: William & Mary to honor award winners at Charter Day

Charter Day is an annual tradition that celebrates William & Mary’s founding in 1693 by royal charter. It is also an occasion to honor the contributions of some of the university’s outstanding students, alumni and faculty members.

This year, William & Mary will celebrate four 2022 award winners during its Feb. 11 Charter Day ceremony in Kaplan Arena.

Thomas Jefferson Award: Paul Marcus, R. Hugh and Nolie Haynes Professor of Law
Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award: Christopher J. Hein, associate professor of marine science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Thomas Jefferson Prize in Natural Philosophy: Mikayla Huffman ’22
James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership: Cameron Lynch ’23
These award winners, along with the 2021 award winners and 2022 Plumeri Faculty Award recipients, were celebrated during a ceremony in Miller Hall, Brinkley Commons on Feb. 4.

This year’s Charter Day ceremony, which begins at 4 p.m., will mark the university’s 329th “birthday.”

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin will speak at the ceremony and will receive an honorary degree from the university, along with U.S. Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott and Howard Busbee ’65, J.D. ’67, M.L.T. ’68, an emeritus clinical professor in the Mason School of Business, former president of the W&M Alumni Association and chair of the W&M Foundation.

A recent trip to California to visit family presented an opportunity for Paul Marcus to meet up with a couple of his former William & Mary students.

“My wife and I had a lovely conversation with them about William & Mary, about higher education, about what their goals are, and truly nothing gives me greater satisfaction than to remain connected to those students,” Marcus said.

Paul Marcus has been a mainstay in the William & Mary School of Law for almost three decades, and his career as a law professor and academic leader spans more than 45 years. Throughout that time, he has stayed in touch with many of his former students, including those he met at the University of Illinois where he began his teaching career and those he taught as Dean of the University of Arizona law school. Recently, he has spoken with former students serving as state and federal judges, private and public lawyers, law professors and one recently inaugurated as a University President.

“Truly nothing gives me greater satisfaction than to remain connected to former students and to offer to give some guidance,” Marcus said. “Most of these individuals do not need much guidance but they often want to share with me and I get so much pleasure to learn of their personal and professional lives.”

As Marcus nears retirement at the end of this academic year, his colleagues and students alike are quick to mention the sense of community he has worked to instill throughout his time at William & Mary.

“I enjoyed bringing people together, and I think people responded very well to it,” he said.

Marcus is the recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award, which is given annually to a member of the William & Mary faculty for “significant service through their personal activities, influence and leadership. It is the highest honor given by the university to a faculty member.”

“It is such a great honor,” Marcus said. “I know what the award symbolizes, and I know several of the people who have received the award in the past. It feels so good at the end of my career at William & Mary to be recognized in this way and to be in the company of such outstanding people who’ve come before me.”

Marcus is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of criminal law and criminal procedure, having authored or co-authored a dozen books in the field. Moreover, he has lectured on criminal law to U.S. state and federal judges, at law schools throughout the United States and in over 20 foreign countries.

In addition to his work in academia, Marcus has served as advisor or consultant to many federal and state bodies in all branches of government. In 2010, the Commonwealth of Virginia recognized him with the Outstanding Faculty Award. He has three times been selected by graduating law students as the Teacher of the Year. In 2017-2018 he served a term as President of the Association of American Law Schools.

In retirement, he plans to continue his research in the areas of criminal conspiracy and access to justice.

“I have loved this career from the very beginning,” Marcus said. “It’s been wonderful.”

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