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Political Insider Talks Elections

David Simas ’95 keynotes Alumni Assembly.

Photograph by Christopher Soldt, MTS, BC

Bringing with him colorful anecdotes about working to get President Obama elected and sizing up the current electorate, David Simas ’95, director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, gave an animated keynote at the Alumni Assembly’s November 6 meeting. The event was part of a packed day of activities that included an Alumni Board meeting and the election of new officers.

Simas has relished the task of polling and researching voters during the presidential campaigns, finding it an essential means of understanding what he called “a demographic transformation in the US that is unprecedented.” Together with the cultural shifts that have occurred because of economic dislocation—resulting in some of the pushback against immigrants and the “silo-ing” of certain populations during the lead-up to the current election season—the nation needs good lawyers more than ever.

“We have a responsibility, given our training and commitment to service, to bridge that divide,” Simas said. “If there’s ever a time to engage…in civic life, it is now.”

In his introduction of Simas, outgoing Alumni Board President Kevin Curtin ’88 anticipated Simas’ call to action, saying that when asked to serve, the BC Law community responds in the affirmative. “We say, yes, I will serve. That’s what we do, that’s who we are,” Curtin noted.

The assembly meeting was among the last official events of Curtin’s presidency. Earlier in the day, the Alumni Board convened to elect new officers and conduct other business. Tom Burton ’96 became the new president.

“My vision is to help BC Law to realize its full potential,” Burton said of his new role. “I hope to do that by engaging more of our alumni through Law Day and the recognition of our many successes, through BC LawNet and fortifying our national network of prominent alumni who want to help our students and alumni thrive, and through connecting alumni with the school’s groundbreaking Center for Experiential Learning. My hope is that we can continue to make the BC Law community an even more robust center for growth, accomplishment, and service to our broader communities.”

Those who moved up in executive rank are Earl Adams ’02 to President-Elect, Ingrid Schroffner ’95 to Vice President, Mark Warner ’89 to Secretary, and Steve Riden ’99 to Treasurer. New board members and their specializations are Lurleen Gannon ’02 (Student Programs), Robert Raskopf ’76 (Career Services), and Edward Hanley ’86 and Philip Privitera ’95 (Reunions and Classes co-chairs). Outgoing board members are Margie Palladino ’85, Barbara Cusumano ’08, and Kelly Reardon ’09.