Voting-Themed School Meeting Features Two Alumni
Mercersburg welcomed alumni Nancy Abudu ’92, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Voting Rights Practice Group, and Sam Rodgers ’11, a candidate for the New York State Senate, as speakers for a virtual school meeting on “Making a Difference: Voting” October 14.
Abudu and Rodgers shared how they journeyed from the Mercersburg campus to roles as leaders in their communities. In a year full of political agendas, the goal of the event was envisioned to cultivate an environment of civil discourse and inspire one another to embrace the great liberties of our country. History faculty member David Bell served as moderator.
About Nancy Abudu ’92
Abudu is the deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Voting Rights Practice Group. In that role, she leads a team of lawyers, community organizers, and technical experts in protecting and strengthening the voting rights of minority communities and other politically vulnerable populations.
Prior to joining SPLC, Abudu was the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. She has litigated a variety of civil rights and civil liberties issues in federal and state courts, including legal challenges to state felon disenfranchisement, proof of citizenship, and voter photo ID laws, and has pushed for greater enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act, Help America Vote Act, and other federal laws. Her practice areas also have included prison conditions, free speech, reproductive rights, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ+ rights, privacy and government surveillance, and education issues.
In addition, Abudu has worked as a staff attorney with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta and as an associate with the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York. She served as an international election observer in Albania, is a member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Election Law, and is a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program based in Washington, D.C. She also has published numerous articles and two book chapters, including in the most recent fourth edition of the ABA’s America Votes.
Abudu received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a law degree from Tulane Law School, and has won several awards and honors for her civil rights work. She is admitted to practice in Florida, Georgia, and New York as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court and several other federal and state courts.
About Sam Rodgers ’11
After graduation from Mercersburg, Rodgers attended Syracuse University on a football scholarship. In addition to playing football (and serving as a team co-captain for the Orange), Rodgers took his role as a Syracuse community member seriously. He launched a brain-cancer research initiative with his teammates, regularly spoke to schools in the region, served as the student president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, served as a class marshal for his graduating class (he was a class marshal at Mercersburg as well), and was a Remembrance Scholar.
Rodgers followed his college graduation by spending a year working in the Syracuse athletic department’s equipment room, and went through minicamps and tryouts for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, and Atlanta Falcons.
Rodgers graduated from Cornell Law School in 2019. He saw law school as a way to further enhance his ability to serve the community; while a law student, he worked for two federal judges, Syracuse University’s General Counsel Office, and Simpson Thacher, a top New York City law firm. Rodgers currently serves as an assistant district attorney in Madison County, NY, while he campaigns as the Republican nominee for the November election that decides the representative for the New York State Senate’s District 53 (which includes parts of the Syracuse metro area).