May 21 , 2006
Larry D. Thompson
Doctor of Laws
As one of the country’s most prominent lawyers in business and government, you, Larry D. Thompson, exemplify the knowledge and values that are necessary to be an effective and ethical leader. As senior vice president, government affairs, general counsel; and secretary for PepsiCo, Inc., you oversee the corporation’s worldwide legal function as well as its government affairs organization and the company’s charitable foundation.
The son of a railroad laborer from Hannibal, Missouri, you graduated cum laude in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Culver-Stockton College. You went on to earn a master’s and a law degree from the University of Michigan.
You have had a long and impressive career in government service. As deputy attorney general of the U.S. Department of Justice, President George W. Bush asked you to head the Corporate Fraud Task Force in 2002, where you were responsible for the investigation and prosecution of a number of high-profile cases, including those involving Enron and WorldCom. You were also named to lead the National Security Coordination Council by Attorney General John Ashcroft. During your confirmation hearing in 2002, Senator Diane Feinstein made the following remark: “First of all, Mr. Thompson, yours was one of the finest opening statements I’ve heard since I’ve been on this committee. I’m really very pleased to cast my vote for you. And I won’t take up any time. If I were to ask you questions, they’d probably be pretty softball.”
You most recently served as a senior fellow with The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Previously, you were a partner in the Atlanta, Georgia, law firm of King & Spalding. From 1982 to 1986, you served as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. In that role, you directed the Southeastern Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and served on the attorney general’s Economic Crime Council. In July 1995, you were appointed independent counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development Investigation by the Special Panel of U.S. Circuit Court Judges appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court. In April 2000, you were selected to chair the bipartisan Judicial Review Commission on Foreign Asset Control.
An elected fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, you are also the recipient of the Outstanding Litigator Award by the Federal Bar Association; the A. T. Walden Award for outstanding accomplishments to the legal profession by the Gate City Bar Association, Atlanta, Georgia; and the Edmund Jennings Randolph Award for outstanding contributions to the accomplishment of the Department of Justice’s mission. In 2004, you added another chapter to your academic career as a visiting professor of law at the University of Georgia Law School.
For your many professional accomplishments and for your dedication to the legal profession, Pace University is honored to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto.