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Fred D. Gray Dinner

Fred D. Gray Dinner 2020 — Women of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Fred D. Gray Dinner - Speaker and audience

The 2020 Fred D. Gray Dinner will be held on February 10, 2020, in the George Shinn Center on Lipscomb University’s campus. 

This event serves to bring together the community for a night of discussion centered around social, political or legal matters impacting our country. Students, alumni, staff, community partners and community leaders engage one another in dialogue over dinner, creating connections that dissolve barriers of partisanship. Proceeds from the event go toward the Fred D. Gray Scholarship, a scholarship that benefits up to four Lipscomb University students who major in Law, Justice and Society. Gray scholars make presentations at the dinner, explaining how the scholarship has aided in the pursuit of their dreams. 
 

Register Online

 

Our Speakers

In honor of 100 years of women’s suffrage in Tennessee, we’ll be joined by the female justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Justice Cornelia A. Clark, Justice Sharon G. Lee, Justice Holly Kirby, Former Justice Janice Holder and Former Justice Penny White.

Justice Cornelia A. Clark

Justice Cornelia A. Clark

Justice Cornelia A. Clark was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in September 2005 and was elected to full eight-year terms in 2006 and 2014. She served as chief justice 2010-2012, becoming the second woman in Tennessee history to serve in that role. A native and current resident of Franklin, Clark is an active member of the community who has served as Franklin City Attorney and as a board member of the Williamson County-Franklin Chamber of Commerce. Clark has received the Tennessee Bar Association Frank F. Drowota Award and  the Vanderbilt Law School Distinguished Service Award,  has been inducted into the Nashville YWCA’s Academy for Women of Achievement,  and was also named Appellate Judge of the Year by the Southeastern Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Clark holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University and a juris doctorate from Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Former Justice Janice Holder

Former Justice Janice Holder

Janice M. Holder served as the first female chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court and retired from the bench in September 2014. She led the Court through its innovative Access to Justice initiative and has presented Tennessee’s model to national and state conferences. One major byproduct of her work is the Janice M. Holder Award. Created by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, the award is conferred annually upon an individual who has made significant contributions to expanding access to justice in Tennessee. Justice Holder currently serves as a dispute resolution neutral. She is listed as a Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil and Family Law Mediator and serves as a Member of the American Arbitration Association Panel. She has also been appointed as a special master in complex cases. Justice Holder is a is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law.

Justice Holly Kirby

Justice Holly Kirby

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Holly Kirby is the first graduate of the University of Memphis ever to sit on Tennessee’s highest court. A lifelong Tennessean, Justice Kirby holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Memphis and also graduated with high honors from the University of Memphis School of Law. Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Kirby practiced with the Memphis law firm Burch, Porter & Johnson and became the firm’s first female partner. When she was appointed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals in 1995, she represented a gender milestone—the first woman ever to sit on that Court. A career jurist, Justice Kirby has authored well over a thousand opinions from appeals all across the state.  

Justice Sharon G. Lee

Justice Sharon G. Lee

Sharon G. Lee was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2008 and retained by the voters in 2010 and 2014. Justice Lee served as Chief Justice from 2014 to 2016. From 2004 to 2008, she served on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, being the first woman to serve on the Eastern Section of the Court in its 79-year history. Before her appointment to the bench, Justice Lee practiced law in her hometown of Madisonville from 1978 until 2004. In addition to representing business entities and individuals in civil and criminal matters, she was the attorney for Monroe County, the City of Madisonville, and the City of Vonore. She also served as the Madisonville municipal judge. She was a Rule 31 listed family mediator with advanced family domestic violence training and is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Lee graduated from the Webb School of Knoxville, attended Vanderbilt University, and received a degree in Business Administration with high honors from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She earned her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Former Justice Penny White

Former Justice Penny White

Penny White, the Elvin E. Overton Distinguished Professor of Law,  serves as the director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution at the University of Tennessee College of Law. She teaches evidence, trial practice, pretrial litigation, and negotiation, and assists with the law school’s various clinical and externship programs. White has not only served as a judge at every level of the court system in Tennessee, but she is also the first female Circuit Judge in the First Judicial District and the second woman to serve on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court. Before beginning her teaching career, White practiced law in a small firm and as a solo practitioner focusing on criminal defense, civil rights, and family law. While a solo practitioner, she successfully argued in the United States Supreme Court. White received her bachelor's degree from East Tennessee State University, a J.D. degree from the University of Tennessee and an LLM degree from Georgetown University.

Sponsor the Fred D. Gray Dinner

Potential stakeholders who are interested in sponsoring the Fred D. Gray Scholarship are welcome to become a sponsor at any of the levels listed below: 

  • Influencer Sponsorship: The Influencer Sponsorship includes 2 VIP seats to the Fred D. Gray Institute Event, one fourth page ad in the event program, on-screen recognition at the event, and funding of the Fred D. Gray Scholarship.
  • Advocate Sponsorship: The Advocate Sponsorship includes 4 VIP seats the Fred D. Gray Institute Event, one half- page ad in the event program, on-screen recognition at the event, and funding of the Fred D. Gray Scholarship.
  • Game Changer Sponsorship: Your Game Changer Sponsorship includes eight VIP seats (reserved table), one full-page ad in event program, recognition on screen at event, funding of Fred D. Gray Scholarship


If you are unable to attend the Fred D. Gray Dinner, but would still like to make a financial contribution, consider donating to the Fred D. Gray Institute.