Cameron Welborn doesn't
remember her encounter with what she and University officials
believe to be date rape drugs on the night of Halloween 1997,
but she can recount every step of a two-year fight to rewrite
Georgia's rape law, making it easier to prosecute those accused
of using sedatives such as Gamma Hydroxybutyrate or Rohypnol to
rape a victim.
The 1999 recipient of the Marion Luther Brittain Service Award
was not raped on that fateful evening--thanks to the aid of several
friends who helped her after she collapsed and became ill and
unconscious--but she did find her voice.
After the incident, Welborn worked tirelessly to educate the
Emory community about rape and drug rape as well as rape law reform.
She was named an Unsung Heroine by the Emory Women's Center, and
People magazine featured her in its May 3, 1999, edition.
The University anticipates that the seven-page revised rape law
bill, in which drafters Welborn,
Rachel Brod '99MBA-'99L,
Uiberall '02L elaborate on the current definitions
of force and consent, will become Georgia law before the end of
the 2000 legislative session.
In nominating Welborn for the award, law school Dean Howard O.
Hunter said, "She has chosen to devote her professional life
to public service, despite opportunities for much more lucrative
positions. She has become the epitome of what we hope all Emory
law students will become—a highly qualified servant leader in
the finest tradition of this University."
"Quite frankly I feel awkward receiving so much praise about
the work I’ve done," Welborn says. "I may have come
up with the ideas and done much of the organization, but I did
not stand alone in my endeavors—not once. We were all there for
each other, and I like to think of this award as one representing
the praise that is to be sung for all of the women and men who
were not afraid to rock the boat and push Georgia to address the
issue of rape."