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Alumnus and Judge to Address Graduates

Virginia Court of Appeals Judge and Averett graduate the Hon. Rossie Alston Jr. will deliver the university's Spring Commencement address May 1 during a 10:30 a.m. ceremony in Averett's E. Stuart James Grant Center. More than 330 graduates are expected to receive diplomas.

Alston graduated from Averett in 1979 with a degree in history and later graduated fifth in his class from North Carolina Central University School of Law with a juris doctorate. After a distinguished career as a trial attorney, Alston was elected as a judge of the Prince William Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in 1998. In January 2001, Governor James Gilmore appointed Judge Alston as a judge of the Circuit Court of Prince William County. With this appointment Alston became the first African-American to sit as judge in Prince William's Circuit Court. Alston was chosen by his peers to be chief judge of the circuit court in 2007. In 2009, he was unanimously elected to the Virginia Court of Appeals, where he now serves.

"Judge Alston is an example of someone who came to Averett and was able to solidify his dreams and career plans while he was a student here," said Dr. Tiffany Franks. "He has a very inspiring story to share with the Class of 2010, and we are honored to welcome him back home to Averett."

Alston is a former member of Averett's Board of Trustees and was named the university's outstanding alumnus in 2000. He has also served many civic organizations including the American Heart Association, Didlake, and the Virginia United Methodist Church Foundation. He also served for eight years as lay leader at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Dale City. He is the commissioner of the Christian Fellowship Softball League and a past president of the Northern Virginia Football Officials Association. Judge Alston is also an adjunct professor at George Mason University and a distinguished adjunct professor at the George Mason University Law School.

Alston lives in Manassas with his wife Carol, a 1981 graduate of Averett.

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