During Class Day exercises on June 3, Professor Elizabeth Warren received the Class of 2009’s Sacks-Freund Teaching Award in honor of her teaching ability, openness to student concerns and contributions to student life at HLS.
Warren, chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, was introduced by Class Marshal Bridgette Hylton ‘09, who said she was “more than an academic celebrity.”
In her speech, Warren spoke to the graduating class “straight from the heart” and offered her last lesson for them: “Find work that you love. It’s that simple. … The work will shape who you become.” She urged graduates to “find the problems that you believe are worth solving, and then solve them,” and ended by saying that she had loved her time over the last three years with them.
Watch the video of her speech.
Warren is a leading expert in bankruptcy, consumer debt and commercial law. She has chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel since Nov. 2008, and in May she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
She joined the HLS faculty in 1992 as the Robert Braucher Visiting Professor of Law and was named Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law in 1995. She is also a co-founder, guest lecturer and board member for HLS’s new Semester in Washington, the school’s first semester-away program for academic and clinical credit.
Warren has written more than a hundred scholarly articles and eight books, including recent bestsellers “The Two-Income Trap” and “All Your Worth,” both co-written with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi. She has been principal investigator on studies funded by the National Science Foundation as well as private organizations. She was chief adviser to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission and was named to the Federal Judicial Education Committee as its first academic member. Currently, she serves on the FDIC’s Commission on Economic Inclusion and on the steering committees of the Tobin Project and the National Bankruptcy Conference. She received her J.D. from Rutgers Law–Newark and her B.S. from the University of Houston.
The Sacks-Freund award was created in 1992, in honor of the late Harvard Law School Professors Albert Sacks and Paul Freund. Recent winners include Robert Bordone, Richard Fallon, Martha Minow, William Stuntz, Laurence Tribe and Lani Guinier.