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Moot Court Team Honored by Virginia General Assembly

April 26th, 2012

By David Halbrook

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722
OfficeOfCommunications@phc.edu

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Delegates J. Randall Minchew and Joe May (L) and the Patrick Henry College 2012 national moot court team

Winning a fourth consecutive ACMA National Moot Court Championship this past winter had already afforded PHC’s moot court team special recognition by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and the Town of Purcellville. Each of those bodies has, since the College’s first ACMA championship in 2005, repeatedly and graciously hosted PHC’s moot competitors in plenary sessions for official commendations and certificates.

But this past Wednesday marked an unanticipated honorary salutation, as two members of the Virginia House of Delegates traveled to Patrick Henry College to hand deliver a special commendation by the Virginia General Assembly.

Entitled House Joint Resolution No. 488, the commendation was presented during morning chapel by Virginia House of Delegate members J. Randall Minchew (R -Tenth District), and Joe May (R -32nd District).

Delegates May (L) and Minchew present the commendation from the Virginia General Assembly

“We had an honor bestowed upon us this past session to recognize an outstanding and gifted group of oral advocates who won the national championship representing this College, the national moot court championship,” began Delegate Minchew. “I’ve got to say that we were lifted up by their spirit and were so immensely proud of what they did. Oral advocacy is probably one of the most important acquired arts of any advocate for liberty.

 “The power of this piece of oral advocacy, represented by this College and the championship that these students brought home is worthy of a commendation,” Minchew continued, referencing a long tradition of great orators that included the College’s namesake, Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, and Jesus Christ with the Sermon on the Mount.  “Delegate May, Senator Richard Black (R - District 13), and I were honored to put this in a bill that we’re proud to say passed without a dissenting vote in the Virginia General Assembly.”

Most of this year’s moot team, including national champions J.C. Cartee and Andrew Ferguson, along with moot court coach Dr. Frank Guliuzza, appeared on the dais with delegates Minchew and May to receive the commendation. The  student body stood in ovation.

Official commendation

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the entire State of Virginia for this accomplishment,” said Chancellor Michael Farris, the College’s founder and moot court coach. “That our state representatives took the time to travel to our campus to bestow this honor on our students is something we should be very grateful for, and I am.”

The commendation reads, in part: “Whereas, the Patrick Henry College moot court program has had a proud tradition of outstanding performance since the team’s founding in 2001; and Whereas the Patrick Henry College moot court team, from Loudoun County, has won six of the last eight national championships…” the resolution is “an expression of the General Assembly’s congratulations and appreciation of the Patrick Henry College moot court program’s growing legacy of bringing leadership and excellence in collegiate moot court competition to the Commonwealth.”

The Virginia General Assembly dates from the establishment of the House of Burgesses at Jamestown in 1619. It is heralded by Virginians as the "oldest continuous law-making body in the New World." The PHC moot court team has won six of the past eight ACMA Moot Court Championships, and is the only college to have won more than one national ACMA championship.

View a video of the presentation below!