Welcome Alumni

OCTOBER 31, 2013—More than 500 people gathered at McNamara Alumni Center on October 4 for a gala celebration of the 125th anniversary of the University of Minnesota Law School.

Board of Advisors chair Jeannine Lee (’81) welcomed the crowd of alumni, faculty, staff and friends and introduced Dean David Wippman, whom she credited for managing the "Sisyphean task of recruiting the best students, retaining the best faculty, maintaining a top ranking and ensuring jobs for graduates."

In reflecting on the Law School's 125 years, Dean Wippman noted, "The Law School achieved its present status as one of the country's great public law schools the old fashioned way: We earned it."

Dean Wippman recognized the more than 18,000 students who have earned law degrees at the University of Minnesota. "Individually and collectively, they have shaped Minnesota and the nation, in countless ways large and small, as lawyers, managing partners, prosecutors and public defenders, entrepreneurs, governors, members of Congress, ambassadors, leaders of companies like DuPont and Honeywell, president of the World Bank, nonprofit heads, justices and judges, and even a vice president of the United States."

The dean concluded his remarks with a reminder that "the Law School has achieved its success not by looking backward, but by always looking forward."

The Honorable Walter F. Mondale (’56), the evening's guest speaker, toasted the Law School's graduates for what they have done "for justice and decency across the world." The evening's emcee, the Honorable Kathleen Blatz (’84), welcomed current students Anna Mazig (’14) and Jake Vandelist (’14) to recognize alumni who have made a major contribution in shaping the rule of law.

The following alumni were recognized:

  • Hon. Charles Flinn (’65), Hon. Edward Cleary (’77), Michael Cromett (’78), Allen Saeks (’56) and Thomas Foley (’72) for their leading role in arguing the U.S. Supreme Court case R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, a landmark First Amendment case.
  • Hon. Orville Freeman (’46) and Michael Freeman (’74) for their leadership roles at the local, state and national levels.
  • Cathy Haukedahl (’79) for her decades-long work toward providing high-quality legal services to low-income clients.
  • Professor Joyce Ann Hughes (’65), the first African-American female to graduate from the University of Minnesota Law School and the first African-American tenure track professor at a major law school (U of MN).
  • Arne Sorenson (’83), president and CEO of Marriott International, for his leadership in the realm of corporate responsibility.
  • Minnesota Justice Foundation for connecting volunteer law students and attorneys with low-income people in need of legal services since 1982. Of special note: founders Robert Long (’85), Richard Plunkett (’84), Michael Christenson (’84), Ardys Korstad (’84) and Michael Krause (’84).
  • Jeannette Bazis (’92) and Michael Ponto (’89) for their leadership in reaching a positive mutual solution to the Anoka-Hennepin School District's lawsuit on the bullying of LGBT students.
  • Michael Ciresi (’71), Roberta Walburn (’83) and Hubert H. Humphrey III (’69) for their steadfast work in reaching a favorable and record-setting settlement in State of Minnesota v. Philip Morris.
  • James Hale (’65) for his role as general counsel at Target and the key role he played in drafting the majority opinion in Miranda v. Arizona.
  • Michael Hurley (’80) for his many leadership positions with the U.S. State Department, National Security Council and the CIA.
  • Constance Berry Newman (’59) for her service with the World Bank and as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler concluded the evening, remarking that there is "no reasonable doubt and plenty of expert witnesses that this is a world-class law school."

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