Alumni Association President's Column: New Ad Hoc Profile Committee

Press Date
June 28, 2024

Kareem J. Spratling ('06), Alumni Association President

Hello from your Alumni Association Board of Directors! As we have periodically done in the past, we are “taking over” the FSU Law Focus this month in an effort to assist our beloved College of Law, and to more broadly communicate with and connect with our fellow alumni. I would like to take a moment to describe the Board and our purpose. We are a group of volunteer FSU Law alumni from all over the world, working in a wide variety of endeavors. Our class years range from 1970–2024, and we work at firms, courts, companies, government entities and universities. Some of our members are retirees, as well. One of us, our most recent Mores Medal recipient, Roger Mata ('24), is preparing for the bar exam and using our “Spear the Bar” program. Every graduate of the law school is automatically a member of the alumni association, so we represent all graduates. Our mission is to help promote and advance programs and initiatives of the College of Law. As a working board, we do so through the following standing board committees: Alumni Awards, Development, Alumni Outreach, Career Services and Student Recruitment.

As a point of personal privilege, I would like to talk about myself for a moment, which will not shock the members of the Class of 2006. On Juneteenth, it was my honor to take over this esteemed role from our Immediate Past President Lauren V. Purdy ('11), with my official administration beginning on July 1. In this 70th anniversary of the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, it was an unexpectedly emotional moment. It is my understanding that I am one of only three black alumni to serve in this capacity and the first to serve in a decade, following Markenzy Lapointe ('99) and Linda Bond Edwards ('95), who served in 2014–2015 and 2010–2011, respectively. It is not lost on me that not so long ago, I would not have been admitted to our law school based solely upon the color of my skin. In addition, even as a student, like many of you, I attended law school in a building named after a segregationist. Nevertheless, I am ever mindful of Dr. King’s prophetic words, “[t]he arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I am a double-Nole, and I love Florida State University. I love our law school in particular because it was so instrumental to my success and the person that I have become; my life and the College of Law are inextricably linked. My spouse, the lovely Tammy Briant Spratling, Esq.; the Honorable Nikki Clark ('77), who married us; my best friends, and my career--all can be tracked directly back to the Florida State University College of Law. During my administration, in addition to my love for our law school, I hope my optimism will be on full display. As the late, great Colin Powell said, “[p]erpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” The Alumni Association Board and I are going to be coming at you with a great deal of optimism for our law school, including our students, faculty, staff and alumni. One initiative that we are very excited about is our new ad hoc “Profile Committee,” which is discussed below. We hope to prove the Honorable Colin Powell right. If we reach out, please answer the call to service.

Ad Hoc Profile Committee

Ben Crump ('95)

Ron Christaldi ('96)

Judge Julie Sneed ('95)

In late 2023, President Lauren Purdy ('11) proposed the creation of an ad hoc “Profile Committee.” Her motion was properly seconded and unanimously approved by the Board. The purpose of the Profile Committee is to highlight the “star power” of our College of Law alumni through in-person and online events, social media and other mediums. For example, Ben Crump ('95) recently received the Community Award at the 4th Annual Hollywood Unlocked Impact Awards, Ron Christaldi ('96) is the 2024–2025 chair of the Board of Directors of Leadership Florida and the Honorable Julie S. Sneed ('95) has recently become a district judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Yes, these three exceptional humans are graduates of two immediately adjacent classes! We are extremely excited about identifying and celebrating our many alumni who are achieving at the highest levels, thereby changing the State of Florida and beyond. We believe that by honoring them, we honor our law school and show our students, recruits and the world who we are. At last week’s meeting, the board selected Lauren Angulo ('17), Celeste N. Gaines ('15), Roger M. Mata ('24), and Chad E. Revis ('21) as the inaugural members of the Profile Committee. I look forward to working closely with them this year. Please be on the lookout for communications from the Profile Committee. In addition, if you have ideas about a graduate or their achievement that should be highlighted, please reach out to the members of the Profile Committee, Becky Shepherd or me.