Senior Day Speaker & Nichols-Chancellor Award Recipient
The Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal is awarded by Vanderbilt University to those persons who define the 21st century and exemplify the best qualities of the human spirit.
In 2006, Vanderbilt Law School graduate Edward Nichols and his wife, Janice, in honor of Edward Carmack and Lucile Hamby Nichols, created and endowed The Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal. The medal is one of the university’s highest honors.
The Nichols Humanitarian Fund is a companion scholarship fund to the Nichols-Chancellor's Medal.
The individual on whom this prestigious award is bestowed is asked to speak on Senior Day, which is held the day before Vanderbilt’s annual Commencement ceremony. This year, the Nichols-Chancellor's Medal is awarded to Amal Clooney. She will share about her career as an international human rights lawyer and her experience in taking on some of the most challenging cases of the last two decades.
"The Pursuit of Justice and the Road Less Traveled"
May 10, 2018
11 a.m. – Noon (Doors open at 9:30 a.m.)
Amal Clooney is a British human rights lawyer practicing at Doughty Street Chambers in London, where she specializes in international law and human rights. She is also a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School, where she teaches Human Rights.
Her clients have ranged from political prisoners and ousted Heads of State to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the Republic of Armenia. She has appeared before the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights and various courts in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Oxford-educated lawyer is a frequent adviser to governments on international law and has held a number of posts within the United Nations, including senior adviser to Kofi Annan when he served as the UN Envoy on Syria. While in the Hague, she worked on the genocide trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Since then she has challenged the detention of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymonshenko at the European Court of Human Rights. She has advised the Greek government on the return of the Parthenon Marbles, represented the Chagossians on their legal fight to return to their islands, and acted as counsel to the Armenian government in a case on the Armenian genocide.
In the last year, she successfully represented three political prisoners: Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who was convicted in the 'Al Jazeera trial' in Egypt; former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, who was imprisoned on false terrorism charges; and award-winning Azerbaijani journalist 'Khadija', who was arrested in Baku after reporting on corruption by the Azerbaijani President. All have now been released from detention.
She is currently counsel to Nadia Murad and other Yazidi women who have been sexually enslaved by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, working to secure accountability for the genocide committed by ISIS in national and international courts.
Amal Clooney is on the UK Government's list of experts on international law and on the government's panel to prevent sexual violence in conflict. She has also been named a "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum, and she serves on the Forum's Global Council on Human Rights.
In 2016, she co-founded the Clooney Foundation for Justice with her husband. One of their first projects -- aiming to educate hundreds of thousands of refugee children in Lebanon -- was showcased at the 2016 United Nations summit on the refugee crisis.
About Memorial Gym
- The main gym where Senior Day will be held is NOT air conditioned. Wear comfortable clothes in the event of unusually warm weather.
- Holding seats is not permitted inside Memorial Gym as seating is limited.
- Attendees with special needs:
- Those with special needs and requiring the use of a wheelchair will have priority seating on the East side of the gym. Guests with wheelchairs must enter gym at the pickup location (below). The East side entrance is not handicapped-accessible and there is no access to the gym floor.
- Wheelchair pickup will be located on the corner of Jess Neely Drive and 25th Ave. South (same corner as the baseball field and across from 25th Ave. Garage).
- More information available here.