Law Alumni Weekend Promotes New Scholarships; Part of College of Law’s Focus on Diversity

Felicia Collins Ocumarez L’98, G’98—who received the 2020 Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Legacy Award at the Alumni of Color Award Ceremony during Law Alumni Weekend (LAW)—has generously spearheaded an effort to establish a new scholarship to expand diversity at the College of Law.

This scholarship initiative honors William Herbert Johnson L’1903. Johnson was the first African American to graduate from the College of Law. With a steady call for action during LAW, College of Law alumni and friends have reached their first fundraising target of $150,000.

“I thank Felicia Collins Ocumarez for her extraordinary leadership and generosity in spearheading this scholarship at the College of Law. This is a transformative investment in diversity and equity whose benefits will ripple out into the legal profession and society at large,” says Dean Craig M. Boise.

Syracuse University Trustee and College of Law Board of Advisors Member Vincent Cohen Jr. L’95 says, “I am proud of the role my father, Vincent Cohen L’60, played in the diversification of ‘Big Law’ back in the early 1970s and I continue to build on his belief that the legal profession needs to reflect the people it serves,” says Cohen Jr. “With this new scholarship, the College of Law is set to further expand the diversity in the profession by attracting the best and brightest aspiring Black attorneys. I am proud to be a part of this urgent equal access to justice movement.”

“Felicia Collins Ocumarez is the epitome of a trailblazer who advocates for the Black community and does so with tenacity and excellence. I am grateful for her support of the Black Law Student Association,” says 2L Mazaher Kaila, President of the Black Law Student Association.

To support this scholarship, contact Assistant Dean for Advancement and External Affairs
Sophie Dagenais at 315.560.2530 or