2023 Grand Honors Recipients Announced

View Archives


grand honors

Albany Law School will honor four accomplished alumni and one bellowed faculty member at the 2023 Grand Honors Awards on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony is presented by the National Alumni Association. All are welcome to attend in person or tune in virtually to celebrate these dedicated Albany Law School community members.

Registration is required

About the Honorees:

Trustees Gold Medal

Professor Patricia Reyhan

Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita

Patrician Reyhan

Professor Patricia Reyhan joined Albany Law School in 1980 as its third female faculty member. In 2002, she was named Albany Law School’s first Governor George E. Pataki Endowed Professor of International Commercial Law. She is currently a Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita. She serves on the Albany Law School Kate Stoneman Committee and received the namesake award in 2002. She received the 2021 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching and was named Friend of the Class by the Class of 2020. She is a cohost of First Mondays along with Professor Ted De Barbieri, a special discussion program about current business and political events through a legal lens.
Professor Reyhan has authored numerous articles on international law, property, and conflicts of law. Her most noted and cited work, "A Chaotic Palette: Conflict of Laws in Litigation Between Original Owners and Good-Faith Purchasers of Stolen Art," appeared in the Duke Law Journal. Her current scholarly interests are those surrounding the protection of art and cultural property in times of armed conflict.  Professor Reyhan is a graduate of Washington State University (B.A.), Willamette University (J.D.), and Harvard Law School (LL.M.), and served as confidential law clerk for Justice Charles F. Stafford of the high court of the State of Washington.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Robert L. Capers ’96

Chief United States Probation Officer for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY)

Robert L. Capers

Robert L. Capers '96 has enjoyed a long and storied career in public service and exemplifies the principals of service shared by Albany Law.  He is currently the Chief United States Probation Officer for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY).  In that capacity, he is a Court Unit Executive within the United States District Court for the EDNY, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, and is responsible for overseeing a staff of approximately 90 federal probation officers and staff that prepares over 600 presentence reports per year in aid of sentencing for federally convicted criminal defendants and supervises over 2,000 offenders per year.  
From October 2017 to his appointment as Chief Probation Officer in December 2019,  Capers was a partner in the New York City Office of Arent Fox LLP, where he co-chaired the White-Collar Defense and Investigations practice group and was a member of the Business Compliance and Integrity Monitorships practice group.  Capers began his career in the Eastern District in 2003 and served as a trial AUSA in the General Crimes, Narcotics, and the Violent Crimes and Terrorism Sections.  He also served as an Acting Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section, Deputy Chief and Chief of the Narcotics Section and the International Narcotics Strike Force, Deputy Chief of the Litigation Unit within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice's Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section in Washington, D.C., and Senior Litigation Counsel in the Office's Public Integrity Section where he handled complex investigations and prosecutions involving public officials who abused their offices and the public trust.  During his time in the Office, Capers was responsible for investigations and trials involving a wide range of crimes, including racketeering, international narcotics trafficking, murder, and public corruption.  On October 8, 2015, Capers was nominated by Former President Barack Obama to be the United States Attorney for the EDNY. On the same day, Former Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Capers to that position in an interim capacity. As United States Attorney, he was responsible for overseeing all federal criminal and civil investigations and cases in the district and supervised a staff of approximately 180 attorneys and 130 support personnel. Upon his graduation from Albany Law in 1996 until 2003, Capers served as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office under the legendary Robert M. Morgenthau and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City.
He serves on the Albany Law School Board of Trustees and the Government Law Center Advisory Board. In 2021, he delivered the Commencement address at the Class of 2021 Commencement ceremony.

Donald D. DeAngelis '60 Excellence in Alumni Service

William W. Pulos ’80

Managing Partner with Pulos & Rosell, LLP


A trial lawyer by training, Pulos returned to his hometown of Alfred, New York following his graduation from Albany Law School. He is the most senior attorney to have returned to their native Allegany County and start a law practice from scratch. Since 1980, Pulos has achieved the highest Peer Review Professional designation from Martindale-Hubbell, the oldest legal industry information service in the nation since 1868. M-H has certified that his peers rate him as with the highest rating for Legal Ability and Ethical Standards nationwide, achieved by less than 14% of all lawyers in the United States.
In addition to his legal training, experience, and results, perhaps the most defining aspect of Pulos’ career and his ability representing people has been his dedication to community and public service. Pulos has dedicated a large portion of his life to community, college and civic service for the public good. He served as an attorney for local town and village governments for a combined 68 years of service and taught many years as a university professor; all without pension, insurance or benefits. Pulos donated over 4,000 hours of his time to coaching and managing the Alfred Rugby Club, an intercollegiate college club he co-founded at his alma mater of Alfred University in 1985 and for which he coached 16 seasons. It is in this position that Pulos was able to help shape the lives of tomorrow’s leaders while helping them navigate the rigors of college life. In addition, Pulos is a published author and internationally recognized humanitarian.
He spearheaded the effort to launch the John P. DeMatteo Memorial Scholarship and is the lead donor to the fund.


Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Mara D. Afzali ’17

Associate with Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC

Mara Afzali

Mara D. Afzali ’17 represents public and private sector clients in a variety of civil litigation matters in state and federal court and has successfully argued on behalf of clients through motions, at hearings, trials, administrative proceedings and on appeal. She also routinely advises clients in litigation prevention strategies and risk mitigation. Her experience includes: Handling business and commercial disputes (breach of contract, business torts, breach of fiduciary duty, professional liability claims); Defending employers against allegations of discrimination, retaliation, constitutional and civil rights violations, and labor law violations;  Preparing tax assessment challenges and appeals; and Petitioning on behalf of not-for-profit organizations to obtain Attorney General and/or judicial approval for mergers and asset sales. Prior to joining the legal profession Afzali spent more than a decade working at an independent alternative elementary school specializing in self-directed learning and fostering student-led conflict resolution. This experience provides her with a unique perspective on problem-solving and a dynamic ability to negotiate and mediate disputes on behalf of her clients. In addition to her work at Bond, Afzali serves as a Captain in the United States Army (Reserves) Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps.
She is a member of the Albany Law School Dean’s Leadership Council and volunteers regularly with The Anthony V. Cardona '70 Moot Court Program.

Humanitarian Achievement Award

Peter J. Glennon ’04

Litigation Attorney with The Glennon Law Firm, P.C.

Peter Glennon

Prior to launching this boutique litigation law firm, Glennon gained substantial litigation experience as a litigator with Nixon Peabody LLP, practicing in a range of state and federal courts, as well as administrative venues. His legal competence extends to a broad spectrum of complex financial asset litigation, including in areas such as business litigation, employment litigation, trust & estate disputes, and matrimonial divorce matters, among others. Glennon honed his legal skills under the mentorship of prominent legal figures, serving as a law clerk for the Honorable Elizabeth W. Pine, Associate Justice of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, and as an extern law clerk to the Honorable David R. Homer, Federal Magistrate, Northern District of New York. Adding to his list of accomplishments, Mr. Glennon is the author of “Am I Stuck In This Practice? A Guide On Non-Compete Agreements For Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, And Other Health Care Providers,” with additional forthcoming titles in the Glennon Guide series. His insights and expertise have caught the attention of numerous international, national, regional, and local media and publications. He has been featured in prestigious outlets like The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, New York Magazine, CBS Evening News, Bloomberg Law, Fortune Magazine, AARP, Rochester Business Journal, Buffalo Business First, and many others. Supplementing his legal career with over 24 years of military service, Glennon held positions including Deputy Staff Judge Advocate (JAG) and Squadron Commander, managing all operations of a military logistics squadron. He is also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program and the University of Rochester, Simon School MBA Primer program.
As co-founder and board chairman of Honor Flight Rochester, he works with the over 800 volunteers to arranges complimentary trips for World War II, Korea, Cold War, Vietnam, and other veterans to visit their monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C. He is also a long-term member of the Rochester Rotary Club, for which he served as president during 2020-2021 and continues serving on the Rochester Rotary Charitable Trust Board. He is a long-time member of the American Legion (Post 899, Pittsford, New York) and is a former Trustee of the Monroe County Bar Association.

About the Grand Honors Awards

The Trustees Gold Medal, first awarded in 1966, is the highest accolade bestowed by Albany Law School and is given to an individual who has demonstrated a record of exemplary support and dedication to the advancement of Albany Law School. This award is presented by the Board of Trustees from nominations provided by the National Alumni Association Board of Directors. The distinguished list of Trustees Gold Medal honorees includes Warren M. Anderson ’40, Domenick L. Gabrielli ’36, Hon. Robert J. Sise ’49, Prof. David D. Siegel, Donald R. DeAngelis ’60, Hon. Harry J. D’Agostino ’55, Peter M. Pryor ’54, James N. Benedict ’74, E. Stewart Jones Jr. ’66, Edward P. Swyer, Daniel P. Nolan ’78, the Hon. Bernard J. Malone Jr. ’72, and the Hon. Randolph F. Treece ’76, and J.K. Hage III ’78.  James E. Kelly ’83 was awarded the Trustees Gold Medal in 2022.

The Distinguished Alumni Award, created in 1998 to recognize an individual’s continuous record of service to Albany Law School, is the highest honor bestowed by the National Alumni Association Board of Directors. The award criteria include, but are not limited to, outstanding professional accomplishment, sustained engagement, and continual support of Albany Law School. Past recipients include Donna E. Wardlaw ’77, Hon. Randolph F. Treece ’76, Hon. Joseph C. Teresi ’71, Hon. Mary O. Ricci ’83, Hon. Victoria A. Graffeo ’77, VADM Barry M. Costello ’81, Peter C. Kopff ’75, Frank L. Fernandez ’80, Hon. Katherine M. Sheehan ’94, Hon. Thomas J. Vilsack ’75, Lisa A. Whitney ’71, Stephen P. Younger ’82, Hon. Bernard J. Malone Jr. ’72, Hon. Michael J. Garcia ’89, Hon. Leslie E. Stein ’81, and Dale M. Thuillez ’72, and Hon. Ryan T. Donovan ’01. Renee Z. Merges ’83 received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2022.

The Donald D. DeAngelis ’60 Excellence in Alumni Service Award, created in 1989, recognizes outstanding dedication and commitment to alumni, to the National Alumni Association, and to Albany Law School. It was named in honor of Donald D. DeAngelis, Class of 1960, who served as the first president of the National Alumni Association Board of Directors, a member of the Albany Law School Board of Trustees, and an associate editor of the Albany Law Review, among other contributions to the law school. Recipients join a notable list of past honorees, including: Richard D. Parsons ’71, Prof. Francis H. Anderson ’47, Dean Martin H. Belsky, Daniel P. Nolan ’78, Dianne R. Phillips ’88, John J. Yanas ’53, Hon. Erik E. Joh ’70, Prof. Michael J. Hutter Jr., Berta Hernandez-Truyol ’78, Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo ’82, Hon. Bernard J. Malone Jr. ’72, Donna E. Wardlaw ’77, Richard A. Reed ’81, Robert G. Lyman ’69, William E. Redmond ’55, Mary Ann A. Cody ’83, Barbara D. Cottrell ’84, John M. Bagyi ’96, Harold C. Hanson ’66, Larry P. Schiffer ’79, Ruth E. Leistensnider ’88, Keiki-Michael Cabanos ’97, Amy J. Kellogg ’02, and Robert A. Rausch ’94,  Thania F. Fernandez ’85, and Patrick K. Jordan ’02. BJ Costello III ’72 received the DeAngelis Award in 2022.

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award, first presented in 1990, is given to alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years and have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to Albany Law School through consistent volunteerism and engagement. Previous honorees include Louis Cristo ’84, Stephen P. Younger ’82, Richard J. Miller Jr. ’89, Lee H. Wasserman ’83, Barbara D. Cottrell ’84, Gregory V. Serio ’86, Patricia E. Salkin ’88, Hon. John L. Sampson ’91, Christopher R. Lyons ’88, Hon. Glen T. Bruening ’89, Cynthia A. Platt ’89, Gina M. Stevens ’90, Monica L. Kreshik ’94, Hon. Richard M. Platkin ’93, Patricia D. DeAngelis ’94, Molly A. Wilkinson ’96, Hon. Christine M. Clark ’96, Keiki-Michael Cabanos ’97, Hon. Ryan T. Donovan ’01, Laura M. Jordan ’03, David A. Rozen ’10, Javid Afzali ’12, Matthew J. Laroche ’10, Adam W. Silverman ’08, and Samantha G. Howell ’10 and Emily C. Chapman ’13 (Drazan), and Renée L. Behrens ’12. Benjamin P. Pomerance ’13 received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2022.

The Humanitarian Achievement Award, created in 2019, recognizes the extraordinary humanitarian contributions of an individual in the community who dedicates their time and legal expertise to improve quality of life and fight indifference, intolerance, and/or injustice through providing pro bono services, engaging in activism, supporting legal education, improving the delivery of legal services, and beyond. Previous honorees include Hon. Elizabeth A. Garry ’90, M. Sherry Gold and the Gold Family, and Lillian M. Moy. Edward P. Swyer ’18H received the Humanitarian Award in 2022.