UVA LGBT Group Honors Two Alumni
Two University of Virginia School of Law alumni were recently recognized by The Serpentine Society for their efforts on behalf of the LGBT community at UVA and beyond.
Cordel Faulk ’01, UVA Law’s assistant dean and chief admissions officer, received the 2018 Serpentine Society Outstanding Service Award, while U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney ’92 garnered the group’s Bernard D. Mayes Award.
The Serpentine Society is an alumni association dedicated to connecting and advocating for LGBT alumni, faculty and students. The organization established its Outstanding Service Award in 2005 to recognize individuals contributing to a more positive and supportive culture at the University for LGBT students and significant improvement in the lives of the LGBT community on Grounds. The Mayes Award, established in 1999, recognizes notable alumni and faculty “who have contributed positively to advancing LGBTQ causes with within the University community and beyond.”
In his acceptance speech at a ceremony Nov. 30, Faulk touted the Law School community’s efforts to attract LGBT applicants and applauded students who helped make that possible. Today, more than 10 percent of all classes at UVA Law are openly LGBT on Grounds.
“This many years later, everything about LGBT life at the University of Virginia School of Law has changed,” said Faulk, who came out as gay eight years ago.
However, he said, more must be done nationally and globally to protect the gay community from discrimination and persecution.
“The arc of history does, in fact, bend toward justice. But it doesn’t do that naturally, and it doesn’t do it by mistake,” he said. “The arc of history bends toward justice because good people like the ones in our community break their backs pulling it in a moral and compassionate direction.”
Faulk joined the Law School in 2009 as a director of admissions and was elevated to chief admissions officer in 2014. Before joining the Office of Admissions, he served as director of communications, media and research for UVA’s Center for Politics.
He also has worked as an adjunct professor and pre-law adviser in the Virginia Tech Honors College, and as an editor and columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. As a lawyer, he practiced with Baker Botts in Dallas and at Hunton & Williams in Washington, D.C.
He previously served as a member of the Board of Visitors of Virginia Tech, on the Virginia Historical Society Board of Trustees, and was a founding board member of the Virginia Equality Bar Association.
Maloney, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness, has served New York’s 18th District in Congress since 2013. He previously was a senior adviser in the White House during the Clinton administration and served as a senior staff member to two governors of New York.
Today, he is a member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Prior to becoming a representative, he helped found a software startup business. In 2018, he ran for New York state attorney general. He is New York’s first openly gay member of Congress.
Jennifer Hulvey, UVA Law’s director of financial aid, received the Serpentine Society Outstanding Service Award for 2017.