Don Vaughan

Wake Forest Law Dean Jane Aiken gives remarks at the presentation of the Kay Hagan Award to law student Katharine Batchelor (JD ’21), fourth from the right, on Thursday, April 29, 2021. (WFU/Ken Bennett)

Inaugural Kay Hagan Award presented to Wake Forest Law student Katharine Batchelor

Wake Forest Law student Katharine Batchelor (JD ’21) received the first-ever Kay Hagan Award on Thursday in recognition of her achievements in the law school’s State and Local Government course. Established in August 2020, the award honors the late United States Sen. Kay Hagan (JD ’78), who passed away in October 2019.

“Kay Hagan is a model of what we would hope would happen with Wake Forest Law students,” said Wake Forest Law Dean Jane Aiken during the award ceremony. “If you look at all of the things she did, this is a woman who was courageous and took strong positions on issues — and that’s important.”

Sen. Hagan, a Wake Forest Law alumna, served for a decade in the North Carolina General Assembly as a senator representing Guilford County before being elected to one term in Congress as the state’s first Democractic female senator.

During the ceremony, Sen. Hagan’s husband, Chip Hagan (JD ’77), described his wife’s passion for service at both the state and federal level.

“She was very interested in trying to do things to make our state a better place to be,” said Hagan. “For us to be able to recognize the people that do well in state and local government, and recognize the importance of it, and to have Kay be a part of honoring that is to me exactly what she would have wanted.”

Batchelor is the first recipient of the award, which will be given annually to the best student in the law school’s State and Local Government course taught by Adjunct Professor Don Vaughan (JD ’79).

Vaughan is a former North Carolina state senator who was elected to fill Sen. Hagan’s seat when she became the state’s U.S. senator. He also served seven terms as a member of the Greensboro City Council.

“I’m proud that we get to honor our friend Kay Hagan, who meant a lot to this school and meant a lot to me personally,” said Vaughan.

Batchelor’s final paper for the course — “The Echo of Silent Sam: How the Fall of UNC’s Notorious Confederate Monument Illustrates Complex Questions of Authority in North Carolina State and Local Government” — led to her selection for the award.

“I attended UNC-Chapel Hill for undergrad, so I enjoyed examining the various government actors involved in the Silent Sam controversy through a legal lens,” said Batchelor. “Furthermore, as a native North Carolinian and a law student pursuing a public interest career, it is particularly meaningful to receive an award that honors a woman who dedicated her life to serving this state and its citizens.”

During her time at Wake Forest Law, Batchelor has also been managing editor of the Wake Forest Law Review and executive director of the Public Interest Law Organization. In August, she will begin clerking for Judge Darren Jackson on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Members of the award selection committee also attended the ceremony, including Mike Fox, partner at Tuggle Duggins and chairman of the North Carolina Department of Transportation; Paul Mengert, chairman, Piedmont Triad Airport Authority Board of Directors and an alumnus of Harvard Business School; Nancy Vaughan, Mayor of Greensboro; A. Grant Whitney (’76, JD ’79), partner at Parker Poe, et. al., and former chairman, North Carolina State Board of Elections; and Brad Wilson (JD ’78), executive-in-residence at Wake Forest University and former chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

All five members of the selection committee have been lecturers in the course over the past seven years, bringing real-world experiences into the classroom for Wake Forest Law students.

Students in law classroom watch as prof Don Vaughan and Dean Jane Aiken announce the Kay Hagan Award

Kay Hagan Award established

Students in Wake Forest Law’s State and Local Government in a Federal System class face a 20-page paper at the end of the fall semester. But thanks to generous donors, one student will take home the Kay Hagan Award and an honorarium for the best paper in the class.
Continue reading »

Photo of 2018 NCBA Citizen Lawyer Award winners posing and holding their awards

NCBA recognizes four Wake Forest Law alumni with 2018 Citizen Lawyer Awards

Four Wake Forest Law alumni are among the 11th class of Citizen Lawyer Award recipients who were recognized at the 2018 North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) Annual Meeting held June 21-24 at the Wilmington Convention Center. Presentation of the awards took place on Thursday, June 21, at the new Annual Meeting Awards Dinner.

Continue reading »

Photo of Wake Forest Law Adjunct Professor Don Vaughan (JD '79)

Adjunct Professor Don Vaughan (JD ’79) appointed to N.C. Banking Commission

Adjunct Professor Don Vaughan (JD ’79) has been appointed to the North Carolina State Banking Commission.

Continue reading »

Susie’s Hope founder Donna Lawrence and District Attorney Chris Parrish speak to students about animal cruelty law

Students and guests gathered in Adjunct Professor Don Vaughan’s State and Local Government class on Monday, Sept. 14, to hear from Susie’s Hope founder Donna Lawrence and Assistant District Attorney Chris Parrish. Students learned about Susie’s Law, a 2010 North Carolina law that enforced tougher sentences on perpetrators accused of animal cruelty. Susie, the dog that prompted this change, was also in attendance. Continue reading »

Non-profit founder Donna Lawrence to discuss Susie’s Law regarding animal cruelty on Monday, Sept. 14

Susie’s Hope founder Donna Lawrence will address adjunct Professor Don Vaughan’s State and Local government class at 3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, in the Worrell Professional Center, Room 1309. Doors open at 2:30 p.m and the event is free and open to the public. The session will also be recorded for the Wake Forest Law website and Susie, the dog who prompted Susie’s Law, will be present. Continue reading »

Photo of Don Vaughan

Adjunct Professor Don Vaughan (’79) discusses ‘Susie’s Law’ animal abuse law in News & Record

Adjunct Professor Don Vaughan (’79)  was a leading advocate for Susie’s Law, an animal abuse law that went into effect four years ago, and Vaughan has used Susie’s Law at Wake Forest University School of Law and at Elon University School of Law to show students how a bill is made. Previous reports from WRAL cite that Susie’s Law, or House Bill 1609, reclassifies the “malicious abuse, torture or killing” of an animal as a Class H felony. That increases the penalties for animal cruelty to a maximum 10-month jail sentence.

When Donna Lawrence wakes up every day, she rubs her dog’s head, feeling the scars that run from her skull all the way down her back. Hair won’t ever grow there, and Susie, the pit bull mix with the big brown eyes and brindle coat, will always have stubs for ears.

Continue reading »

Winston-Salem Journal: Mayors Allen Joines and Nancy Vaughan present “A Tale of Two Cities” at Wake Forest Law

Winston-Salem and Greensboro are taking steps to improve relations between their police forces and local residents to keep the cities from experiencing the problems of Ferguson, Mo., the cities’ mayors said Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Continue reading »

N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin to speak to law students Monday, Nov. 18, after coming under fire for canceled health insurance policies

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin will speak to the State and Local Government class taught by Adjunct Law Professor Don Vaughan (’79) at 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18. The class, which will be held in Room 1109 of the Worrell Professional Center, is open to the law school community. A reception will follow. Continue reading »