Roanoke lawyer G. Michael Pace Jr. has been selected to receive the Patrick Henry Award, given by the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest at Hampden-Sydney College.
Pace, a 1979 graduate of Hampden-Sydney, is being recognized for career as a dedicated public servant. The award is named for the patriot Patrick Henry, an early trustee of the college.
Pace founded the Rule of Law Project in 2008, during his year as president of the Virginia Bar Association. Pace, the VBA and the Virginia Law Foundation have partnered with judges, lawyers, and teachers to provide students with an enriching, interactive experience about the importance of the rule of law in their daily lives and to give them a better understanding of the need to preserve and protect due process of law as the foundation for the rights and freedoms we enjoy.
The project has become a full-fledged nationally and internationally recognized multi-faceted rule of law education program. The Rule of Law Project includes public and private, elementary, middle, and high schools in approximately one-third of the 136 school districts in Virginia. In November 2009, the World Justice Project selected the Rule of Law Project as one of five international programs featured at the World Justice Forum II in Vienna, Austria. This year, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond introduced the project in each of its 29 schools.
Pace said in a release, “There has never been a more important time to teach our children and remind adults why our uniquely republican democratic form of government has endured for over 200 years, and that the rule of law must be preserved and protected in order for it to continue.”
In addition to his work with the Rule of Law Project, Pace serves on a number of local and state civic and charitable boards. He is a trustee of Hampden-Sydney College and a past president of the school’s alumni association.