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April 19, 2005
Dear Editor:

Reference, UVA Lawyer, Spring 2005 Edition, relating to your International Law program. I believe I was awarded the first UVA Master of Law Degree in International Relations in 1948, when they didn’t know where else to put me in the graduation procession down the Lawn from the Rotunda toward Cabell Hall and, therefore, put me in front of all student graduates.

I graduated in Law from UVA in 1942 and went straight to Marines at Quantico and then overseas for 32 months. In late 1945, I returned to the States with duties at Guard Battalion 23rd & Constitution, Washington DC and was there discharged with the rank of Major and showed up at Cabell Hall with my wartime writings. Colonel Dillard and Dean Ribble devised a study program for me in International Law and Relations, and then I went overseas as an Assistant Staff Secretary to General Lucius Clay, U.S. Military Governor of defeated Germany. Upon writing my thesis, I was awarded LL.M. Degree in 1948. I met a graduate coed at the University. Our honeymoon was spent on Cowpasture River in Bath County. A cabin was loaned to us for the purpose by Colonel Dillard and Dean Ribble, Charlie Nash, and Barber Jones of “The Corner.” After about two years in Berlin, Germany, I turned down an offer in the State Department to write treaties pertaining to Fish & Wildlife on the Atlantic Coast and came home to join my father in the practice of country law and have pursued that course through the present—fifty-seven years. I have been a licensed UVA Law graduate (LLB) for 62 years, including War service and awards of the Navy Cross, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. The Navy Cross and Purple Heart were pinned on me by Admiral Nimitz in separate ceremonies.
Three of our four children are lawyer and judge. The fourth is married to a fellow with two degrees from Stanford and one from Harvard. They are all pursuing civilization vigorously. This is the story of your first LL.M. International Law Graduate.

William Sanders ’42, LL.M. ’48
Princeton, WV

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