May 04, 2012

University Counsel William E. Thro Receives Distinguished Fellow Award

(Newport News, Va.) - University Counsel and Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies William E. Thro received the National Education Finance Conference (NEFC) Distinguished Fellow Award on May 3 in San Antonio, Texas. Each year, the NEFC Distinguished Research & Practice Fellow Awards Committee presents this lifetime award to 10 individuals who have gained national visibility by their exemplary research and / or practice in the field of public education finance.

Thro was selected for the award because of his extensive scholarship on state constitutional challenges to school finance systems. His student note in the Virginia Law Review in 1989 offered the first comprehensive review of judicial analysis in school finance litigation. Additionally, he was the first scholar to develop the wave analogy to describe the development of school finance litigation and the first to emphasize the textual differences among the education clauses. His recent work focuses on the development of an interpretative theory for state constitutional provisions in school finance litigation.

Thro is an accomplished education lawyer, constitutional scholar and appellate advocate. In addition to being CNU’s in-house counsel, he serves as associate professor of constitutional studies and the University pre-law advisor. He teaches constitutional law, constitutional theory, a freshman seminar on landmark Supreme Court cases and a study abroad course on constitutional transformation in South Africa.

Prior to becoming university counsel, he served as solicitor general of Virginia (2004-2008) and was responsible for the Virginia State Government’s U.S. Supreme Court litigation (except capital cases) as well as lower court appeals involving the constitutionality of statutes or politically sensitive issues. He argued two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and 33 cases in lower appellate courts. He was on brief for seven U.S. Supreme Court cases and 70 cases in lower appellate courts.

Thro earned his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Hanover College and a graduate degree with honors from the University of Melbourne. His law degree is from the University of Virginia, where he was a published member of the Virginia Law Review.

National Education Finance Conference
The mission of the NEFC is to provide a forum focused on school finance to enhance education for both young and adult learners. The conference provides a venue for collaboration among legislators, postsecondary education, school district and state agency personnel, professional organizations, and researchers concerned with the importance of equity, adequacy and efficiency concepts that affect state, local and federal revenue generation, distribution and expenditures.

A four-year public university in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences, including the Luter School of Business. CNU offers great teaching and small class sizes with an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor.

Media Contact:
Lori Jacobs
Director of Public Relations

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