Nashville School of Law

This Year’s NSL Recognition Dinner Paid Tribute to Bill Harbison and the Class of 1974

This Year’s NSL Recognition Dinner Paid Tribute to Bill Harbison and the Class of 1974

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Every year, the Nashville School of Law holds its annual Recognition Dinner to honor the accomplishments of distinguished faculty members and alumni.

On Friday, June 7, at the Downtown Nashville Renaissance Hotel, Bill Harbison was recognized for his community service and 15 years as an NSL Professor of Contracts. 

NSL Board Chairman Aubrey Harwell Jr. congratulates Bill Harbison as our Faculty Award Recipient. (All photos captured by Peyton Hoge.)

“I am honored and humbled by the recognition from the Nashville School of Law, and I am truly grateful to Dean Koch and the Board.   It was a wonderful evening with so many colleagues and friends.   I am particularly honored by the presence of many former students. It has truly been the privilege of a lifetime to teach at Nashville School of Law,” said Bill Harbison.

The crowd, filled with NSL alumni, faculty, colleagues, and family members, was quick to give Mr. Harbison a standing ovation.

“Bill Harbison exemplifies professionalism in the practice of law. In addition to the superb advice and representation he provides his clients, Bill devotes many hours to public service, including teaching decades of students at NSL,” said NSL Dean William C. Koch Jr.

Teaching all of us what it takes to achieve and sustain a successful legal career was the Class of 1974.  The group was acknowledged as our alumni honorees, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of their law school graduation.

Nashville YMCA Night Law School (NSL) Class of 1974 - Alumni Honorees

Ten members of the class attended the dinner.  They were individually recognized and each one of them talked about their law school experiences.

NSL alumni Billy Leslie ’17, Kelley Moody ’24, John Murphy ’20, and Savannah Reynolds ’24 posed questions to these honorees.

NSL alumni John Murphy '20, Billy Leslie' 17, Savannah Reynolds '24, and Kelley Moody '24 pose questions to our honorees.

John McLemore ’74, who still practices law in Nashville, provided lots of laughter when he shared his favorite memory from law school. 

“I remember the YWCA was across 7th Avenue from the YMCA and a bunch of girls lived there.  Between classes, a few members of the legendary Class of 1974 would walk over to visit. Some did attempt to convince the ladies that we were in night brain surgery school,” said McLemore.

Honoree John McLemore '74 shares funny stories from his law school days.

Ron Buchanan ’74, who graduated first in his class, shared why our law school is so special to him.

“I lived a life that many people could only dream about. I loved being an attorney. I started my career as a way to support my family, but the longer I practiced, the more I realized what a noble profession it is.  It allowed me to help hundreds of clients with their problems, which provided me with a great deal of personal satisfaction.  It also afforded me with the income and flexibility of schedule to visit more than 50 foreign countries, to own homes that I never knew existed as a child, pay for my son’s college education, and retire at age 70. It (attending NSL) is the second most important decision of my life, second only to marrying my wife. None of this would have been possible were it not for the Nashville School of Law, as I could not afford to pursue a legal career at any other school,” said Buchanan.

Honoree Ron Buchanan '24 talks about how law school changed his life.

“The members of the Class of 1974 have been successful in their law and business careers. They are a particularly cohesive class. For over fifty years, they have nurtured and cultivated deep personal and professional relationships,” said Dean Koch.

For decades, the Class of 1974 has held annual reunions in Nashville and they have plans to continue that tradition.

Class of 1974 members who attended this year’s dinner include: Ron Buchanan, Jim Barr, Ralph DeMarco, Joe Dughman, Jim Lackey, John McLemore, Sara Pettit, John Rochford, Ed Silva, and Larry Williams.

Mr. Kirk Scobey ’74 was honored posthumously. NSL alumna, Cindy Jones ’96, a friend, and colleague of Mr. Scobey’s, talked about his love of our law school and announced a new scholarship in his name that will benefit current and future law school students.

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