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Alexander Appointed Sam Nunn Professor

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Frank S. Alexander

By Grace Kim
06/22/10

CSLR Founding Director Frank S. Alexander has been appointed the Sam Nunn Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law and awarded the Most Outstanding Professor Award by Emory Law’s graduating class of 2010.

Emory Law Dean David F. Partlett and Emory Law’s chaired professors nominated Alexander for the chair because of his work in affordable housing, real estate finance, and law and religion. Alexander directs CSLR’s Affordable Housing and Community Development project, which assists governments and nonprofit organizations to transform abandoned properties to be used productively. He also is the general counsel  of  the Center for Community Progress, a new national not-for-profit organization charged with reforming vacant and abandoned property policies throughout the country.

“Frank’s scholarship, teaching, and service are at the loftiest levels,” Partlett said. “His scholarship in affordable housing and real estate finance have deeply influenced the nation’s policy, and his work in law and theology continues to be of deep resonance. To read Frank’s record in public and university service is to be inspired.”

The class of 2010 selected Alexander for his dedication to his students. One student anonymously submitted that “once in a lifetime, we meet a professor who not only teaches us the substance of law, but also the power of law to do good in the world, how to synthesize matters of conscience with legal education. Professor Alexander’s eye on the bigger picture pushed us to achieve more than law school success but a higher standard of excellence.”

The Sam Nunn chair was established in 1999 with a $2.5 million settlement from DuPont Co., which created an endowment for a professorship devoted to professionalism.  The chair is named in honor of Sam Nunn, ’60C and ’62L, who served as a U.S. senator from 1972 to 1996. While in office, he was recognized as an expert on national security and foreign policy, and advocated for governments to give up their nuclear weapons.

Alexander succeeds CSLR Senior Fellow Anita Bernstein who served from 2000 to 2007 and focused heavily on legal ethics. She is now the Anita and Stuart Subotnick Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School.

Alexander says his own work will focus on “professionalism as public service.” He plans to continue the work he currently is doing but with a greater emphasis on public service with students and alumni.

An investiture ceremony during the coming academic year will celebrate Alexander’s scholarship and new position.

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