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DuPont Senior Vice President and General Counsel Thomas Sager (’76) to speak at the WFU School of Law Hooding Ceremony on May 19

Thomas Sager (’76), Senior Vice President and General Counsel for DuPont Legal, will be the speaker for the Wake Forest University School of Law Hooding Ceremony on Sunday, May 19.

The ceremony will be Sager’s third recent appearance at the law school, as he also took part in the Journal Business and Intellectual Property Law’s Spring Colloquium, “The Role of Corporate Counsels in the New Reality,” as the keynote speaker and in the recent alumni inaugural General Counsel Summit.

The number of Juris Doctorate candidates expected to receive their hoods are 153 along with 19 Master of Laws (LL.M.) candidates, nine Masters of Studies in Law (MSL) candidates and the law school’s first two SJD (Scientiae Juridicae Doctor) candidates for a total of 183 graduates, according to Registrar LeAnn Steele.

The ceremony will be held at 1:45 p.m. in Wait Chapel, followed by the Dean’s Hooding Reception at 3 p.m. at the Forsyth Country Club.

Graduation exercises are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday, May 20, at Hearn Plaza (weather permitting). Tickets are required for guests. Learn more about hooding and graduation here.

Sager serves as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for DuPont, overseeing all legal matters for a $34 billion company that requires counsel from Delaware to Hong Kong. He is the recipient of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution’s 2009 Corporate Leadership Award. During his professional ascent, Sager’s major efforts at DuPont have been both noteworthy and noble. He has made DuPont a leader in introducing sound business practices into law, and established the company as a model for diversity.

In 1997, Sager helped found the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), an organization that advocates hiring, retaining and promoting minorities in the law field. In 2001, the MCCA established the Thomas L. Sager Award, to be given each year to law firms for their commitment to diversity. Sager’s dedication to diversity stems not only from his own core beliefs, but also that of DuPont.  He has been driven to ensure that DuPont Legal lead by example and reflect the diversity of its customers, suppliers, employees and those external audiences that his attorneys interact with daily.

“The increasingly global dynamic marketplace poses significant challenges to DuPont, Sager said.” “In representing DuPont, we want to mirror the very audiences that we need to engage.  By necessity, our message must be both creative and credible which only a diverse energized team of legal professionals can provide.  

Sager is viewed in law circles as a visionary in transforming DuPont Legal into a valued business partner and “profit center” within the Company. He was instrumental in developing DuPont’s Convergence and Law Firm Partnering program, which recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary.  

Entering into his 37th year with DuPont,  he now focuses upon positioning DuPont for the 21st century. Sager became Senior Vice President and General Counsel in July 2008 after more than 10 years as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, and Chief Litigation Counsel where he was responsible for managing a docket in excess of between 3,000 and 4,000 cases.

Sager, who grew up in Rhode Island earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His father was an executive with the Company. So after law school in 1976, he started as an attorney in the Labor, Benefits and Securities group at DuPont.  And he never left.

“My interest in labor law stemmed entirely from a few classes I experienced at Wake Forest,” Sager said. “That led me to DuPont where  representing a market driven science company with high ethical standards was a perfect match for me then and now.”