The Catholic University of America


CUA Law Advantage In Action Series Concludes
with Distinguished Achievement Award Presented to Mary Anne Gibbons ’80

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On November 18, 2015 more than fifty CUA Law students, alumni, and faculty gathered together for the semester’s final installment of the CUA Law Advantage In Action Series, this time with a focus on labor and employment law and co-hosted by the Law School’s John Fanning Center for Labor Studies. The CUA Law Advantage In Action Series was designed with the goal of connecting students and alumni around a particular area of the law to network and provide students with practical career advice and tips for breaking in to a specific field.

The labor and employment segment did just that, and even more. The evening began with Professor and Director of the John Fanning Center for Labor Studies Roger Hartley’s presentation of the Center’s first-ever Distinguished Achievement Award to CUA Law alumna, Mary Anne Gibbons (pictured on left holding her award with Professor Roger Hartley).

Mary Anne Gibbons graduated from the Law School in 1980 and retired in 2013 as the General Counsel and Executive Vice President of the United States Postal Service. When Gibbons retired in 2013, after 14 years as General Counsel, she was the longest-serving General Counsel in the history of the United States Postal Service. Upon receipt of her award, Gibbons provided insightful remarks about her long and illustrious career as a labor lawyer and eventual head of the postal service’s legal department. During the time that she was General Counsel, the United States Postal Service was the second largest employer in the country with more than 900,000 employees. Gibbons’ passion for the practice of labor and employment law was evident as she described the more than forty sub-specialties that are available within the labor and employment law arena and when she provided students with advice about how to navigate those options and determine which to pursue. Gibbons concluded her remarks by expressing her gratitude for the education and training she received at CUA Law, remarking that it was “second to none.”

Following Gibbons’ presentation, CUA Law alumni who practice labor and employment law joined current students for a networking reception. This provided alumni an opportunity to connect with others in their field and also introduced students to alumni in an area that is of interest to them. Introductions were made, business cards were exchanged, and professional relationships were established.

This event was a joint initiative of the Offices of Alumni Relations and Career & Professional Development and the John Fanning Center for Labor Studies. The Columbus School of Law authorized the creation of the John Fanning Center for Labor Studies in the fall of 1985, and over the past thirty years, the Center has sponsored a wide variety of labor programs at CUA. Beginning next year, The John Fanning Center will extend invitations to all of its stakeholders – current students and labor and employment law alums – to become members of the Center and help govern it by proposing programs and other activities to support the growing number of CUA Law students interested in a career in labor and employment law.