UDC President Ronald Mason, Jr. with UDC Law award winner 3L Francesca Bryce

UDC Law staff member William Thomas and student Francesca Bryce took home awards at the 2022 University of the District of Columbia Founders’ Day convocation. Thomas, Library Technician at the Charles N. and Hilda H. M. Mason Law Library received the Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke Lifetime Achievement Award, and Bryce was the law school’s recipient of the Student Humanitarian and Civic Engagement Award.  

3L Bryce received the Student Humanitarian and Civic Engagement Award for the law school for her commitment to activism, social responsibility, civic participation and advocacy for the welfare and betterment of UDC and the greater community.

On receiving the Founders’ Day award, Bryce said, “It was an honor. It was my first in-person Founders’ Day celebration and it was so wonderful getting to know my colleagues from other campuses and experience their talents firsthand. UDC Law has given me access to so many service and academic opportunities and I will use all that was instilled in me to serve my community. My family is a UDC family, and I am happy I can continue the legacy.” 

Bryce externs with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Magistrate Civil Division and previously interned at the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings. She was selected for the D.C. Bar Student Community Leadership Fellowship during her second year, where she served in the Government Contracts Community. She is vice president of the UDC Black Law Students Association (BLSA) after having served as the BLSA Negotiations Director, and she has worked as a teaching and legal research assistant across a number of courses. A native Washingtonian, Bryce graduated from La Salle University with a bachelor’s in political science and a minor in theology.  

The Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke Lifetime Achievement Award recipient exemplifies exceptional service to the advancement, goals and objectives of UDC through loyalty and extraordinary commitment, dedication and service to their role at the University. Thomas has done just that since 2003 as a member of the law library team.

Today, Thomas manages the library’s Circulation Desk, Alma/Primo database and student worker program. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, an entrepreneur and has a passion for mentoring youth. To that end, Thomas has worked toward his degree is Youth Service at UDC. Outside work, Thomas enjoys traveling, biking and boating, and he is a member of the Seafarers, a historically Black yachting club in Washington. 

“Never imagined in my wildest dreams that an award of this nature would come my way,” he said. “If you’re doing what you love, anything is possible.”

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