Alumni Spotlight: Elaine Marshall ’81 receives North Carolina Bar Association Public Service Award

Photo of Elaine Marshall

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, a 1981 Campbell Law School graduate, has been awarded the Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. Public Service Award. She is the first woman to receive this honor from the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) and the 15th recipient of this prestigious award that honors lawyers in North Carolina with distinct public service records.

Marshall, the first woman elected to an executive branch position in North Carolina when she took office as Secretary of State in 1997, has been a long-standing leader in the public service arena.

“Service defines us as a nation and a society, and it’s a tremendous honor to be recognized for this work,” Marshall told the NCBA. The full article about her award can be read at the following clickable link.

In addition to serving as a member of both the Campbell Law School Board of Visitors and Campbell University Board of Trustees, the list of organizations and causes Marshall has devoted time to throughout her extensive career is an indication of her fitness for this distinction and award. The NCBA in its announcement noted the following positions:

  • North Carolina Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Committee (21 years)
  • Former legislative chairman of the N.C. Association of Women’s Attorney’s
  • President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS)
  • NASS Uniform Law Commission Advisory Committee Chair and Securities Committee Co-Chair
  • North Carolina Board of Economic Development
  • N.C. Rural Economic Development Fund
  • North Carolina-Moldova Bilateral Partnership Co-Chair
  • C. 4-H Development Fund Board of Directors

Other awards and recognition Marshall has received include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award for a  State Government Official and the International Trade Lifetime Achievement Award from the Charlotte Business Journal.

The Lake Award is named for Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. who served on the state supreme court for 12 years. The award is traditionally presented at the NCBA Annual Meeting, which was held online this year due to the coronavirus restrictions. Presentation of the award will take place at a later date, according to NCBA organizers.

Prior to graduating from Campbell Law, Marshall earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. She holds honorary doctorates from Meredith College, Lees-McRae College and Campbell University.  Before being elected Secretary of State, she taught in the North Carolina public school system and community colleges. Marshall has also been a small business owner, a lawyer in private practice  and served as a member of the N.C. State Senate, her bio states.



Grant Simpkins '19

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