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Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award

Elma Gates

Washington College of Law

Elma Gates, Manager of the Faculty Administrative and Support Services (FASS), has helped make Washington College of Law the school it is today. She is a leader and a mentor and has supported community members, including students, prospective students, alumni, faculty, visiting faculty, visiting dignitaries, Supreme Court Justices, staff and administrators, clinical clients, and neighbors since 1988.

A colleague refers to Elma as the “backbone of the school.” She and her staff provide administrative support to more than 60 faculty including ordering educational materials, creating case packets, editing content, scheduling meetings, drafting correspondence, mailing, shipping, and copying. Her reception staff manage the flow of all visitors, ensuring a safe and secure environment for all.

As a mentor, Elma helps staff with their professional development. There are more than a dozen staff who have accepted other positions at WCL and AU. She meets weekly with her staff and addresses problems head-on. Her transparent style informs customers about any issues that arise and of the status of their requests.

Elma sets the standard for delivering services at WCL and creates an environment where all are welcome.

Congratulations to Elma Gates, the 2021 Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and thank you for all that you do for American University.

Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award Nominee

Congratulations to Donna Chapman, a 2021 Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award nominee!

Although Donna was not selected for this year's award, her outstanding service did not go unnoticed. Thank you for all you do!