The Honorable Roderick C. Young, BA Speech Communication ’89, MA English ’94, is a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, who returned to Mason virtually in May to speak to CHSS graduates.
Young’s distinguished legal career has been marked by public service: as an assistant public defender in Portsmouth, Virginia; a prosecutor in Richmond; a senior assistant commonwealth’s attorney; an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; a special assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia; an adjunct professor at William and Mary law school; and a U.S. magistrate judge for the Eastern District of Virginia. Former president Donald Trump nominated him for his current position on the recommendation of Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner. In a rare display of nonpartisanship, the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination on a 93-2 vote in September 2020.
He is the college’s 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.
Young spoke at the college’s mini ceremonies about his experiences at Mason, including his membership in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, his work as a resident advisor, and his role on the Student Court of General Sessions.
“Take a few moments to cherish all that you have experienced during your time at Mason,” he encouraged the graduates. “Give your parents and loved ones a big hug because...all they want is a hug to let them know that you appreciate everything that they’ve done for you.”
Published summer 2021