Thompson Coburn recently presented its Thomas F. Eagleton Scholarship to Virginia “Ginny” Woodfork, a first-year law student at Washington University School of Law. As the winner of the scholarship, she will receive $10,000 for tuition, a paid summer internship at Thompson Coburn in 2013 and mentoring from a firm partner for one year.
Woodfork earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Denver in 2010. Before entering law school, she served as a Fellow for the El Pomar Foundation in Colorado Springs, a grant-making organization that funds nonprofit groups and charitable endeavors across Colorado. There, Woodfork established herself as one of the strongest and most accomplished leaders in the program. She led the Regional Partnerships and Emerging Leaders Development programs and served as director of the foundation’s Forum for Civic Advancement.
“I am honored to receive the Eagleton Scholarship,” Woodfork said at the Sept. 17 scholarship presentation at Washington University School of Law. “Senator Eagleton's legacy is palpable in the political, legal and academic fields. I understand why Thompson Coburn created the scholarship to honor his legacy.
“The Senator was dedicated to helping others, and this scholarship is the ultimate gift. The scholarship, mentorship and internship will help me establish a solid foundation as I begin my legal education and career.”
Eagleton’s widow Barbara and Thompson Coburn Chairman Tom Minogue presented the scholarship to Woodfork.
“Tom would be glad to see that this scholarship is in his honor,” Mrs. Eagleton said. “He enjoyed helping others, and to see this young lady would make him proud.”
“Senator Eagleton was as close to a Renaissance man as anyone I’ve met,” Minogue said. “There are many things he cared deeply about. Among them were the importance of diversity in our profession, his insistence on supporting people early in their careers, and his belief that the legal profession is a higher calling. The Eagleton Scholarship embodies each of these values.”
The Thomas F. Eagleton Scholarship aligns well with Washington University’s emphasis on educating diverse attorneys, the dean said. “Currently, the law school has the largest minority enrollment of law students of any law school in the country,” Syverud said. “We’re delighted that the Eagleton Scholarship again is being awarded to a Washington University law student.”
Minogue was joined at the scholarship presentation by other representatives of Thompson Coburn, including partner Roman Wuller, chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee; partner and former Appellate Court Judge Booker Shaw; Chief Operating Officer Steve Blackwell; and Michelle Martin, the firm’s Professional Development & Diversity Manager. Also present were members of the law school and Woodfork’s friends.
Thompson Coburn established the annual scholarship in 2007 in memory of former U.S. Senator and firm partner, Thomas F. Eagleton. The scholarship is awarded to a diverse first-year law student attending Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Saint Louis University or the University of Illinois-Champaign.