People — St. Thomas
President Hall Receives Honorary Degree at New England Law Boston
University of the Virgin Islands President David Hall was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at New England Law | Boston’s 99th Commencement on May 28. The ceremony at the Citi Performing Arts Center celebrated the graduation of 292 juris doctor recipients.
President Hall, Chairman Martin C. Foster
Kathleen Pfeifer Spurling, a member of the New England Law Board of Trustees, introduced President Hall before the honorary degree was conferred. “I am pleased to introduce David Hall, president of the University of the Virgin Islands and the distinguished university professor of spirituality and professionalism,” she said in her introduction. “We are pleased to bestow an honorary degree on this renowned legal scholar and educational administrator.”
A preeminent scholar in the field of law, Dr. Hall is a former dean of Northeastern University School of Law and was the first African-American to hold that position. He later was appointed provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern, where he oversaw significant growth in the university’s external research funding, retention rate and overall academic standing. He was instrumental in establishing Northeastern’s Urban Law and Public Policy Institute, which brought together community activists, government officials and academicians.
Dr. Hall holds both a doctorate of juridical science and an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School and received his juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, where he also earned a master’s degree in human relations. His tenure as the fifth president of UVI began on Aug. 1, 2009
Other honorary degree recipients were Chief Justice John T. Broderick Jr. of the New Hampshire Supreme Court (doctor of laws), who delivered the commencement address; Frances Chiplovitz Katz ‘37 (doctor of laws); David J. Sargent, president of Suffolk University (doctor of laws); Dr. John Silber, president emeritus, university professor, and professor of philosophy and law, Boston University (doctor of humanities); and Rev. Dr. Nancy S. Taylor, senior minister and CEO, Old South Church, Boston (doctor of humanities).
New England Law Boston was founded in 1908 as Portia Law School, the nation’s only law school devoted exclusively to the legal education of women. Coeducational since 1938, the law school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.