Former Section Chair Ivan Fong Receives Spirit of Excellence Award for Stellar Contributions to Diversity

Vol. 8 No. 4

Ruth Hill Bro chairs the Section’s Membership and Diversity Committee and was the 2008–2009 Section Chair. She can be reached at

In accepting the 2012 Spirit of Excellence Award on February 4th at the ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans, Ivan K. Fong recalled Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s observation of nearly 50 years ago that “human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability.” Instead, Ivan emphasized, progress takes hard work and long struggles, involving people from across society, making us all stronger and more resilient.

It was a fitting observation for a recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award, whose motto is “Ad Astra per Aspera—To the Stars through Difficulty.”  The award, which was launched in 1996 by the ABA’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, recognizes a handful of lawyers each year who: excel in their professional settings; personify excellence on the national, state, or local level; and have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. Ivan is the second SciTech Chair to be recognized by the Commission, following in the footsteps of 2001–02 SciTech Chair Raymond L. Ocampo Jr., who received the award in 2010.

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