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Wayne State University Law School to Host Commencement Ceremony May 12

April 11, 2008

Robert M. AckermanDETROIT (April 11, 2008) – Dean Robert M. Ackerman, a Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law professor, will speak at the Wayne State University Law School’s annual Commencement ceremony on Monday, May 12.
The ceremony, beginning at 8 p.m. at the Detroit Opera House, will also provide an opportunity to present The Honorable Maura D. Corrigan with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, as well as show appreciation and support to Dean Frank H. Wu as he departs the Law School.

“Wayne State University is honored to have the Law School’s incoming dean joining us to celebrate the achievements of this year’s graduating class,” said President Irvin D. Reid. “Professor Ackerman is a leader in both the legal and higher educational communities and I look forward to what he has to say.

“This also is an appropriate occasion on which to recognize Dean Frank H. Wu for his service to Wayne State and to honor Justice Corrigan for her contributions to the legal profession and society as a whole.”

Professor Ackerman will assume office at Wayne State University Law School on May 13, 2008. He comes to Wayne State Law School from the Dickinson School of Law, where he taught torts, dispute resolution, conflict resolution theory, negotiation and mediation. He also served as chair of several committees and was the director of the Center for Dispute Resolution, the nation’s seventh-ranked law school dispute resolution program.

A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, Ackerman served as dean and professor of law at Willamette University College of Law from July 1996 to May 1999. While dean, the law school experienced a 60 percent increase in financial aid to law students, a revitalization of the alumni organization and annual giving, enhanced visibility of the Center for Dispute Resolution and Law and Government program, and an increase in the diversity of the faculty and student body.

Justice Corrigan serves as an associate justice on the Michigan Supreme Court. She graduated from Marygrove College in 1969 and from the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law in 1973. She has served as a law clerk to Michigan Court of Appeals Judge John Gillis, a Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor, an Assistant United States Attorney, a partner at the Detroit law firm of Plunkett & Cooney, and appointed by Governor John Engler to the Michigan Court of Appeals where she served seven years. 
A widow of Wayne State University Distinguished Professor of Law Joseph D. Grano and mother of recent Wayne State University Law School graduate Daniel Grano, Justice Corrigan has co-taught a course at Wayne State Law School and has lectured frequently at Law School events. She also provides leadership and philanthropic support to a large number of boards, committees and organizations.

Frank H. Wu is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, which was immediately reprinted in its hardcover edition, and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment. In 2004, he returned to his hometown of Detroit to serve as the ninth Dean of Wayne State University Law School. In the 2008-09 academic year, he will be a Visiting Professor at University of Maryland and George Washington University.

Prior to his academic career, Dean Wu held a clerkship with the late U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti in Cleveland and practiced law with the firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. He received a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan. He has also completed the Management Development Program of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Admission to Wayne State University Law School’s Commencement is by ticket only. For more information, please contact the Dean of Students Office at (313) 577-3997.

Wayne State University Law School has served Michigan and beyond since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 30 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized faculty, Wayne State Law School students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, five live-client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit www.law.wayne.edu.

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