Wednesday, March 6, 2002

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: David Shipley, 706/542-7140, shipley@uga.edu Marc Galvin, 706/542-0335, magalvin@uga.edu


ATHENS, Ga. - "Public Service is a privilege to those who believe in it. Believe in this country and serve it well through these tough and frightening times, and then let your grandchildren call yours, 'the greatest generation,'" was the call to action provided by the former Regional Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Atlanta John Copenhaver, who also played a key role in the Sept. 11 emergency management team in New York City this past fall.

Copenhaver provided the keynote address at the School of Law's Family and Friends Visitation Day luncheon on Friday (March 1) which was attended by over 240 people.

He also stated that current students are at a critical point in American history, similar to that faced by their grandparents at the time of Pearl Harbor and their parents at the time of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. "Now you are called upon, as they were, to build your future in a landscape made less familiar and more foreboding by the impact of acts of violence against American icons. It's your turn, but your turn to do what?" he asked.

In answering the question he said, "You will be asked to participate in the weighing of public safety and the public's right to know against the rights of privacy and freedom of movement, and the outcome will most assuredly not be clear in advance. You may well be on the forefront of the promulgation of international 'cyberlaws' addressing Internet access and usage. Whatever it is you will become a part of, or take a leadership role in, your future practice will be conducted within an American society that has come to realize how truly vulnerable we are to the acts of hatred and violence."

School of Law Dean David Shipley said having someone the caliber of Copenhaver speak to law school students and their families about such a timely subject was fantastic. "It was the highlight of a very successful day of events at the school."

Family and Friends Visitation Day is targeted to first year students, their parents and friends to share the challenges and experiences law students face during their time at the school. The day was attended by over 200 guests of 95 students. The program for the day started with a registration coffee, classes open to visitors, a panel discussion of the first-year student experience, the luncheon at which Copenhaver spoke, tours of the school, an afternoon ice cream social and a panel discussion with six female judges before closing with the law school's annual Student Bar Association/Equal Justice Foundation Auction.

Shipley gave credit for the success of the day to the school's Director of Student Affairs and Registrar Marc Galvin and his staff, Linda Dudley and Resa Anderson. "I heard nothing but rave reviews of the program including the performance of our faculty who were 'on stage' during the first-year classes open to our visitors," he said.

Copenhaver is currently senior vice president of Marsh Crisis Consulting and is a 1979 graduate of the law school.