The Catholic University of America






2014 Christmas Party Brings Record Turnout


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The Columbus School of Law’s Annual Alumni and Friends Christmas Party continues to draw the law school community warmly together each December, and its luster shows no sign of dimming after 32 years. 

Two hundred and sixty-four alumni and guests attended the gala on Dec. 11, held in the aptly named Columbus Room, a private function area at Washington D.C.’s Union Station. The size of the crowd is believed to be the largest ever for the event. It was the 68th alumni-related function of the calendar year, a series of occasions that has drawn in aggregate approximately 2,200 people.
The annual holiday party is among the mostly highly anticipated and well-attended alumni events of the year, providing an opportunity for the extended CUA Law community to reconnect with each other for a night of good cheer, as well as with the law school.
Surrounded by tables heaped with delicious food and accompanied by a trio of musicians playing in the background, guests mingled with old friends and classmates, former professors, and friends from the law school’s staff.
Traditionally, the occasion also provides an opportunity for alumni get up-to-speed on law school news and issues.
After offering a special welcome to the newest alumni in the crowd—members of the Class of 2014—Dean Daniel F. Attridge covered a number of key points during a short address to the assembled guests.
He discussed the vital need to maintain enrollment and urged alumni to seize any opportunity to steer a prospective applicant toward CUA Law. “We can use any and all of your referrals,” said the dean.
Attridge encouraged continued giving to support crucial scholarships, saying, “No gift is too large, no gift is too small.” He also covered curricular changes, such as the addition of new clinical opportunities and the debut of the Master of Legal Studies program at the start of the 2014-15 academic year.
The dean briefly summarized some of the honors and distinctions the law school has garnered during the past year, including its Top 15 rank nationally in a midlevel associates survey conducted by The American Lawyer magazine that documented high levels of satisfaction reported by CUA Law alumni about the preparation for real life practice they received as students.
On a related note, the dean complimented the alumni body in general for its strong representation on the peer-generated Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. More than 600 CUA Law alumni have earned these distinctions so far.
After urging any alumnus who is not already involved in mentoring current students to consider doing so, Dean Attridge closed his welcome remarks with a traditional Irish blessing.
May you always have work for your hands to do
May your pockets hold always a coin or two
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain
May the hand of a friend always be near you
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you

The Annual Alumni and Friends Christmas Party was scheduled for two hours but at its end the room was still full, with few people showing signs of heading for the doors.