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Stetson University College of Law inducts six members into Hall of Fame


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Tampa Bay, Fla. - Stetson University College of Law inducted six new members into its Hall of Fame during a gala ceremony on Sept. 23 at its Gulfport campus. The Hall of Fame now includes 32 members.

“All of these individuals have reached the pinnacle of their professions and have affected a profound, positive influence on Stetson University College of Law,” said Dean Darby Dickerson.

This year’s inductees include:

  • Dorothy “Dotti” Bressi

Dr. Dorothy Bressi worked almost six years at Stetson University College of Law as Associate Vice President of College Relations before she died on July 2, 2006, following complications from leukemia. During her time at Stetson, she led the successful Cornerstone Campaign, which raised more than $30 million in five years. She was instrumental in increasing student scholarships, awards, new faculty chairs, professorships and research programs.

  • Justice Carol W. Hunstein ’76

The Presiding Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia and 1976 graduate of Stetson Law, Carol Hunstein is a compelling role model for those attempting to overcome adversity. By the age of eleven, she had battled cancer and polio and then saw her mother die. At age 23, she was a divorced, single mother who had just lost a leg from returning cancer. In 1984, she was elected the first female Superior Court Judge in DeKalb County, Ga. In 1992, Georgia’s governor nominated her as only the second female Supreme Court Justice in the state. During her years on the bench, she has been a tireless champion of racial, ethnic and gender equality. Her work created Georgia’s state and local domestic violence task forces and countless training programs for judges, lawyers and court personnel.

  • Congressman E. Clay Shaw Jr. ’66

Congressman E. Clay Shaw Jr. has represented South Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1981. After 25 years in Congress, Shaw is the second-most senior Republican on the Committee on Ways and Means, and the next in line to become chair of the full committee. Stetson University awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1984 and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in 2002.

  • J. Ben Watkins ’49

Attorney J. Ben Watkins has actively practiced law since graduating from Stetson University College of Law in 1949. Watkins has been a lifelong supporter of Stetson, graciously donating his resources, expertise and time. He served on the law school’s board of overseers for more than two decades during times of tremendous expansion and academic growth at the Gulfport campus.

  • John R. Wood ’51

A Sarasota lawyer and municipal judge, John Wood practiced law for 55 years before retiring in 2006. He specialized in legal work for financial institutions and volunteered thousands of hours of pro bono service. While serving in World War II he was in the Bataan Death March and was a prisoner of war for 42 months. After the war, Wood attended Stetson University College of Law. A fellow POW, General Jonathon Wainwright, presented Wood with his law degree upon graduating from Stetson in 1951.

  • J. Lamar Woodard

J. Lamar Woodard, professor and law librarian emeritus, joined Stetson University College of Law in 1971. Under his guidance, the library grew from a collection of 61,000 volumes and a small staff to a new facility with over 366,000 volumes, seven full-time librarians and 10 staff members.

To learn more about Stetson’s Hall of Fame, please visit:

http://justice.law.stetson.edu/HallofFame/2006_inductees.asp.