Todd L. Cranford '85: Dartmouth Alumni Award Recipient, 2012--13

Doug Wise

Todd L. Cranford '85 (left) was presented the
Dartmouth Alumni Award by Marty Lempres '84,
president of the Alumni Council, at the Black
Alumni of Dartmouth Association 40th Anniversary
on October 27, 2012.

A high achiever at St. Peter's Boys High School in Staten Island, you wanted nothing less than everything Dartmouth had to offer. You applied, were accepted, and soon left the city for Greener pastures.

When it comes to your undergraduate years at Dartmouth, it might be easier to list the things you did not do. You thrived in the classroom as government major, and far beyond the classroom in a Foreign Study Program in Granada, Spain, as well as in the Government Department's off-campus program in Washington, D.C. You were a positive influence on campus life and your leadership was valued in the Afro-American Society, Green Key Society, Palaeopitus and the Student Assembly--making you a finalist for the Dean's Prize. A true Renaissance man, you were a photographer for the Aegis, actively participated in intramural sports, DJ'd for WDCR, and sang for the Gospel Choir. All these activities reflect your determination, talent and compassion; and shaped your own special Dartmouth Experience.

Always knowing you wanted to be a lawyer, you wasted no time and immediately attended Columbia Law School to obtain your J.D. What followed was the start of a successful law career that spanned local and large firms, as well as private and public sectors. From a federal judge clerkship to commercial litigation at a major international law firm; from the national advance staff for the Clinton-Gore '92 presidential campaign to senior counsel to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; from Democratic Staff of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services to your current position as counsel for Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C.--your diversified legal experience brings a unique perspective to your profession.

Fortunately for us, your breadth of volunteerism for Dartmouth is just as impressive. Following in the footsteps of those alumni you greatly admire, you tirelessly give back to your alma mater. You have held leadership roles for the Dartmouth College Fund and the New York and Washington, D.C. Clubs. You have served on the Alumni Council and the Association of Alumni Executive Committee. For your class, you have been on every reunion committee, serving as co-chair of your 15th and 25th reunions. We are deeply grateful for your long and meritorious service to the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association (BADA), including president from 2000 to 2003. You are an active member of the Dartmouth Lawyers Association, and currently serve on the Rockefeller Center Board of Visitors and the Alumni Council's Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Clearly, your dedication to making Dartmouth a better place has been impossible to go unnoticed. As a result, today you become only the ninth person among your 73,000 fellow alumni to receive both the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award and the Dartmouth Alumni Award.

Another priority for you is helping children and teens in your community. In New York you served on the board of the Manhattan Teen Pregnancy Network and spearheaded an effort to start UrbanLink, an affiliate of the New York Urban League that recruits young professionals to volunteer in various capacities throughout the city. In the Washington area you founded the Young Lawyers Division of the Washington Bar Association, which provides professional development and promotes community service; and served on the board of directors of the Unique Learning Center, an after-school program for children in D.C.'s Shaw community. For your church you serve as trustee, as a mentor for young boys in its Rites of Passage program and sing in the choir. You focus your pro bono volunteer work on serving as a guardian ad litem in the District of Columbia Superior Court, representing the interests of minor children in custody disputes--recognized with the Children's Law Center Pro Bono Excellence Award in 2011 for your commitment to children.

But among the many passions in your life, nothing comes before your wife Jacqueline, daughter Sydney and son Sean; who all fully support your Dartmouth-centric undertakings.

George Washington once said, "Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected." In your case, as evidenced by your warm smile and the endless ways in which you devote yourself to the things you care about most, this statement is highly appropriate. In appreciation of your extraordinary contributions to your career, community and alma mater, it is our great honor to present you with the Dartmouth Alumni Award.