Judge William Sessions of the U.S. District Court in Vermont has served in his current position since 1995, when he was nominated for the post by then-President Clinton. A member of the Middlebury College class of 1969, he participated in the ROTC program at the College and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army immediately upon graduation. Sessions earned his law degree at George Washington University in 1972. He served as a public defender for Addison County from 1974-78, took up private practice and then joined with others to form the Middlebury law firm eventually known as Sessions, Keiner, Dumont & Barnes, where he remained a partner until assuming his job as a federal judge. Sessions has also taught at Vermont Law School, where he served as a member of the board of trustees from 1999 to 2001. In 1999, President Clinton appointed him co-chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Shawn Ryan is the creator, executive producer and head writer of the award-winning television series "The Shield," now in its third season on Fox's cable channel FX. He knew he wanted to create a gritty police drama where the hero did not always do the right thing, and his instincts have paid off. In its first year, "The Shield," Ryan's first show, earned three 2002 primetime Emmy Award nominations, including his nomination for Outstanding Writer in a Drama Series. The star of the series went on to win an Emmy for best actor. "The Shield" also won a 2003 Golden Globe Award for Best Drama Series. A native of Rockford, Illinois, Ryan was a joint economics and theatre major at Middlebury, where he developed a passion for writing. His senior project, a full-length play, won honors as the country's best student-written comedy at the American College Theatre Festival.