Georgia Law honors distinguished grads during annual Alumni/Alumnae Weekend


Georgia Law honors distinguished grads during annual Alumni/Alumnae Weekend

Friday, February 24, 2017

Athens, Ga. – Several University of Georgia School of Law graduates will be recognized for their service during the school’s annual Alumni/Alumnae Weekend to be held March 17-18.

Ertharin Cousin, William J. “Bill” Stembler and Audrey Boone Tillman will receive the law school alumni/alumnae association’s highest honor – the Distinguished Service Scroll Award – for their outstanding dedication and service to the legal profession and the law school.

Cousin, a 1982 Georgia Law graduate, serves as the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme. Drawing on her more than 25 years of national and international nonprofit, government and corporate leadership experience, she leads the world’s largest humanitarian organization in meeting urgent food needs while championing longer-term solutions to food insecurity and hunger. Cousin ranked 48th on Forbes magazine’s 2016 list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women and was listed as one of TIME magazine’s Most Influential People in 2014. Her award will be presented by Georgia Law 1982 alumna Janice L. Mathis, the executive director of the National Council of Negro Women.

Stembler, a 1971 Georgia Law graduate, began his legal career with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as an enforcement attorney. Two years later, he joined his family’s business, the original Georgia Theatre Company, and became the organization’s president 10 years later. In 1986, he sold the company and later created Georgia Theatre Company-II (GTC) in 1991. Presently serving as chair, Stembler operates approximately 260 screens in four southeastern states and oversees almost 1,000 employees. He is a past recipient of the highest award given by the National Association of Theatre Owners. His award will be presented by former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Tillman, a 1989 Georgia Law graduate, serves as executive vice president and general counsel at Aflac Incorporated. She directs Aflac’s legal division and its office of the corporate secretary. Her responsibilities also include oversight functions of the general counsel and compliance offices of Aflac Japan. Previously, she was an associate law professor at North Carolina Central University. She was named to the National Law Journal’s 2016 50 Outstanding General Counsel list and was presented with the Diamond Award, the highest honor given by the Corporate Counsel Women of Color Association. Her award will be presented by Georgia Law graduate Kathelen V. Amos, who is president of the Aflac Foundation.

Additionally, the inaugural Young Alumni/Alumnae of Excellence Award will be presented to 2012 Georgia Law alumna Amanda Seals Bersinger. She is an associate at Bondurant Mixson & Elmore, where she represents plaintiffs and defendants in complex trial and appellate litigation. Previously, she served as a judicial clerk to Judge Joel F. Dubina of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and Chief Judge W. Keith Watkins of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

Other highlights of Alumni/Alumnae Weekend include: a keynote address by Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham, who is also a 1970 graduate of Georgia Law; additional award presentations; an alumni/alumnae panel moderated by Georgia Law Hosch Professor Emeritus Thomas A. “Tom” Eaton; an ethics and professionalism continuing legal education credit course; a student and alumni/alumnae speed networking event; a student and alumni/alumnae trivia tournament; the annual Equal Justice Foundation auction and a picnic hosted by the law firm Blasingame, Burch, Garrard, & Ashley, P.C.

For more information about Georgia Law’s Alumni/Alumnae Weekend and to register, please visit https://www.law.uga.edu/alumni-alumnae-weekend.


Writer: Heidi M. Murphy, 706-583-5487, hmurphy@uga.edu Contact: Kate L. O’Reilly, 706-542-5190, krl@uga.edu

Editors: Photos are available of each of the award winners:





UGA School of Law Consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top public law schools, Georgia Law was established in 1859. Its accomplished faculty includes authors of some of the country’s leading legal scholarship. The school offers three degrees – the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law – and is home to the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Georgia Law is proud of its long-standing commitment to providing first-rate legal training for future leaders who will serve state and nation in both the public and private sectors. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.