Justice Recognized for Service to New York State – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Justice Recognized for Service to New York State

Independent College Commission recognizes Supreme Court Justice Laura Douglas, a 1979 William Smith graduate

(March 17, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.–The Honorable Laura G. Douglas has been named to the Alumni Hall of Distinction for The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. The Commission bestows the honor in recognition of the extraordinary contributions of graduates of independent colleges and universities in New York State. Douglas, a 1979 graduate of William Smith College, became a judge, initially Judge of the Civil Court in Bronx County-Civil Court, then Supervising Judge of the same court, and today presides as Justice of the Supreme Court in Bronx County-Civil Court.

In the past four years, the Hall has inducted nearly 70 business and government leaders, including Governor Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Bruno, Speaker Silver and 39 sitting members of the U.S. Congress.

This year, the Hall saluted Douglas and 13 others who benefited from the state Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) or the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) during their undergraduate careers and have made remarkable contributions to New York State.

Douglas was a TAP recipient while attending Hobart and William Smith Colleges. “State aid assistance was important to my personal success, because without it I might not have been able to receive the kind of education that I received at William Smith College. My parents were not in the financial position to afford the cost of college on their own. It gave me the flexibility I needed to focus on my studies.”

While at HWS, Douglas was a member of William Smith Congress, president of the Third World Coalition, resident adviser, peer counselor for the Office of Minority Affairs, peer tutor adviser, a member of Hai Timiai honor society and is the first recipient of the Gloria Lowry '52 Prize, given in honor of the first woman of color to graduate from William Smith.

Currently, Douglas serves as chairperson for the Black Bar Association of Bronx County and is director of The Church of the Abiding Presence Chorus. She also holds a J.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh Law School.

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