February 17, 2016
BLSA Honors Former Dean of Students Nyree Gray ’99 as Outstanding Alum of the Year
Nyree Gray ‘99, Chief Civil Rights Officer/Title IX Coordinator at Claremont McKenna College, was honored as the 2016 Outstanding Alumna of the Year by Southwestern’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) on February 11, 2016.
After graduating from Southwestern in 1999, Ms. Gray practiced law in the area of employment discrimination for several years before being appointed as the law school’s first Director of Diversity Affairs in 2007. In that role, she quickly commenced to dramatically increase the number of minority students at Southwestern, and implemented successful programs and initiatives that had an immediate positive impact in bolstering the retention and success of all students. She was promoted to Associate Dean/Dean of Students and Diversity Affairs in 2010. To further promote a campus environment that values and celebrates diversity, Dean Gray created several new programs including the Dean’s Fellows, who provide individual upper division student advisors for first-year students. She worked closely with the student leaders and faculty advisors of the various minority student groups, including BLSA, and facilitated networking with minority bar associations and individual members of the bench and bar. She also taught Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating among other courses, and was the co-founder and co-director of Southwestern’s award-winning Negotiation Honors Program.
At the event held at the Southwestern campus, a large crowd of students, faculty and alumni celebrated Ms. Gray’s many contributions to the law school community. In presenting the award to Ms. Gray on behalf of the BLSA Board, Kennita Fortune said, “While Ms. Gray began a new role as the Chief Civil Rights Officer at Claremont McKenna College in 2014, she continues to serve as an inspiring role model and loyal alumna of the law school. Southwestern students and graduates continue to benefit greatly from her energy, enthusiasm, creativity, empathy, warmth and intelligence.”
A photo album from the event is available on the law school’s Flickr page.