James C. Hamilton '60
James C. Hamilton has led an exemplary life of achievement, excellence, and service. Distinguishing himself in the practice of law, he has brought great honor and recognition to Davidson College.
Arriving at Davidson in 1956 from Chester, S.C., Jim was active in a variety of campus activities, including ROTC, Chapel Choir, the YMCA, and Beta Theta Pi. He served as an editor for The Davidsonian and was also a member of the 1960 Southern Conference champion tennis team. After Davidson, Jim completed advanced degrees at Yale Law School and the London School of Economics.
Jim has been a tireless volunteer for Davidson, serving as Annual Fund class chair, reunion committee member, and lifetime member of the Board of Visitors. His leadership was instrumental in the establishment of the George Abernethy Endowment Fund.
Jim has practiced law in Washington, D.C. for 40 years. He has had a brilliant career marked by significant cases, public service, and numerous publications and public appearances. He has a varied legal practice but focuses on professional and governmental ethics. In 2004, Jim was named by the Washingtonian magazine as one of Washington’s top attorneys.
His professional career includes many highlights. He served as a counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee and later as a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board during the Clinton Administration. He acted as Clinton/Gore Transition Counsel for Nominations. He has successfully argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Jim was responsible for screening vice presidential candidates during the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry. His clients have included such leading political figures as Sen. Phil Gramm, former Democratic National Committee chair Don Fowler, columnist Bob Novak, and President Bill and Sen. Hillary Clinton, and the "Keating Five."
Jim has been married to Kristina Hamilton for 27 years and they have three children including William ’04 and Kathryn ’08. Jim proudly reports that he is the oldest alumni parent in both William’s and Kathryn’s classes.
For your distinguished career in which you have courageously represented your clients, for the high standard of ethics you have brought to your profession, for the recognition given to you by your peers in the legal community, and for the distinction you reflect upon Davidson through your achievements, we honor you, James C. Hamilton, with the Distinguished Alumnus Award on the occasion of the 45th Reunion of the Class of 1961, this 29th day of April, 2006.