Esteemed Alumni Alpha Brady and William Panici to Receive Honorary Doctorates

May 6, 2024 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications


At Elmhurst University’s 153rd commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 18, honorary doctoral degrees will be awarded to alumni Alpha Brady ’83, executive director and chief operating officer of the American Bar Association; and William Panici ’61, an award-winning real estate agent in Washington, D.C., and a former professor of foreign languages.

Brady will receive an honorary Doctor of Law degree and will give the commencement address at the ceremony for Elmhurst University’s graduate students. Panici will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, and will deliver the commencement address at the graduation ceremonies for Elmhurst University’s undergraduate students.

About Alpha Brady

As the executive director and chief operating officer of the American Bar Association (ABA), Brady is the executive staff leader of more than 1,000 staff members in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Texas and California. She is responsible for a $220 million budget, including significant grant funding and 501(c)(3) contributions.

Brady joined the ABA in 1988. Before becoming executive director in 2023, she had executive management responsibilities for ABA entities that provide management, national leadership, legal policy development and strategic planning, including the Division of Policy and Planning Administration, the Division for Legal Services, the Center for Professional Responsibility, the Center for Innovation and others. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration and history from Elmhurst University and her J.D. from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

About William Panici

A real estate agent with Weichert Realtors in Washington, D.C., since 1995, Panici is a winner of Weichert’s Chairman’s Club award and annual Top Producer awards. Before joining the real estate industry, he taught French and Italian for more than 20 years at several colleges and universities, including Vanderbilt University and Dickinson College.

Committed to historic preservation, he has served on the Historic Mount Pleasant Commission and also led the Historic Real Estate Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A generous supporter of his alma mater, Panici is a longtime member of Elmhurst University’s President’s Circle giving society. Besides his bachelor’s degree in French from Elmhurst, he holds a master’s in French language and literature from The Ohio State University, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in French literature from Yale University.

As alumni, this year’s honorary degree recipients exemplify the impact of an Elmhurst education, where personalized paths for development enable students to thrive as adaptive leaders throughout their careers and lives.

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