Sam Waterston, Odessa Woolfolk Are New Sewanee Alumni


Actor Sam Waterston, who portrays District Attorney Jack McCoy on the television series Law and Order, and Odessa Woolfolk, founding president of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute are among the newest alumni of the University of the South. The pair, along with the Right Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida, and Kenneth Jackson, former director of the New York Historical Society were awarded honorary degrees during the Founders’ Day Convocation at the University Oct. 12. Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte, a graduate of the University and retired president of Florida State University, was the Founders’ Day orator and encouraged those present to use the knowledge they acquire in Sewanee to help open their eyes to the injustices in the world. Sam Waterston has starred in film, television and on stage, earning critical acclaim and a host of awards. He joined the cast of Wolf Films/Universal Network Television’s Law & Order in 1994 as “Jack McCoy”, a charismatic and tough Assistant District Attorney. A three-time Emmy nominee for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, Waterston previously received the 1999 Screen Actors Guild Award, a Screen Actors Guild nomination in 1998, and a Golden Globe nomination in 1995. Odessa Woolfolk is a founder and President Emerita of the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Woolfolk was a teacher at Ullman High School during the 1960s and active in the civil rights movement. Samuel Johnson Howard, was consecrated the 8th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida in January of 2004. Bishop Howard served as vicar of Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York City, from 1997 until he was called to the Diocese of Florida. Kenneth T. Jackson is the Jacques Barzun Professor of history and the social sciences and director of the Herbert H. Lehman Center for the Study of American History at Columbia University, where he has also been chair of the department of history.

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