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Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly to be recognized as a WSU Distinguished Alumni Award recipient at Wayne Law Commencement Ceremony, May 17

April 29, 2010

DETROIT (April 29, 2010) – Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Marilyn Kelly, a 1971 Wayne State University Law School alumna, will be recognized as a 2010 WSU Distinguished Alumni Award recipient at Wayne Law’s annual Commencement Ceremony on Monday, May 17, 2010. Chief Justice Kelly will be presented with the award at the WSU Alumni Association Spring Awards Gala on May 4, 2010.

"We are proud to call Chief Justice Kelly an alumna of Wayne State University and its Law School," said WSU President Jay Noren. "Through her distinguished career, she has touched the lives of so many at this institution, in the state of Michigan and beyond. We are grateful for her continued commitment to and involvement with Wayne State University.”

Wayne Law previously announced that Legal Adviser to the United States Department of State and former Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh will serve as keynote speaker at the ceremony.

“We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments and successes of our graduates at our 2010 Commencement Ceremony,” said Wayne Law Dean Robert M. Ackerman. “We are honored that Chief Justice Kelly and Dean Koh will be a part of this important day. They are prominent examples of lawyers who have made the most of their law degrees, and they will surely inspire and motivate our students, graduates and guests at the ceremony.”

The Law School Commencement Ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. Admission is by ticket only. For more information, please contact the Law School’s Dean of Students Office at (313) 577-3997 or at lawdso@wayne.edu.

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly has served both the community and the state by contributing numerous professional, personal and civic achievements.

Before taking the bench, Chief Justice Kelly was a courtroom attorney for 17 years in Michigan. In 1988, she was elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals for a six-year term and re-elected in 1994. She was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court for an eight-year term in 1996, and re-elected in 2004 for an eight-year term, which expires January 1, 2013.

Chief Justice Kelly has been active in many national, state and local bar organizations and is a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, which provides grants for civil legal aid to the poor and to improve the administration of justice in Michigan. Chief Justice Kelly is a past president of the Women’s Bar Association and the Women Lawyers’ Association of Michigan, she co-chaired the State Bar of Michigan’s Open Justice Commission and she is a past president and board member of the National Consortium for Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts.

Chief Justice Kelly was named one of Michigan's 95 most powerful women by Corp! magazine. In June 2003, she received the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award from the State of Israel Bonds Attorney Division. Last year, she received the Guardian of Justice Award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in recognition of her outstanding commitment and dedication to upholding civil rights.

She serves on Wayne Law’s Board of Visitors executive committee and was the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the Law School’s 2009 Treasure of Detroit Gala.

Harold Hongju Koh was confirmed by the Senate as Legal Adviser to the United States Department of State on June 25, 2009. Before joining the administration, Koh was dean of Yale Law School, where he continues, while on leave, as Martin R. Flug '55 Professor of International Law.

He began teaching at Yale Law School in 1985 and served from 2004 until 2009 as its 15th dean. From 1998 to 2001, he served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and previously had served on the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Public International Law. Before joining Yale, he practiced law at Covington and Burling from 1982-83 and at the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice from 1983 to 1985.

Dean Koh is a leading expert on public and private international law, national security law and human rights. He has argued before the United States Supreme Court and the International Court of Justice, and he has testified before the U.S. Congress more than 20 times. He has been awarded 11 honorary doctorates and three law school medals and has received more than 30 awards for his human rights work. He is author or co-author of eight books and more than 150 articles on international human rights, international business transactions, national security and foreign affairs law, international trade, international organizations, international law and political science, and procedure. He was also the editor of The Justice Harry A. Blackmun Oral History Project (1994-95).

Dean Koh is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, a former Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and a member of the Council of the American Law Institute. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Century Foundation. He has sat on the Board of Overseers of Harvard University and sits on the Boards of Directors of the Brookings Institution, Human Rights First, the American Arbitration Association, and the National Democratic Institute. He has been named one of America's “45 Leading Public Sector Lawyers Under The Age of 45” by American Lawyer magazine and one of the “100 Most Influential Asian-Americans of the 1990s” by A magazine.

A Korean-American native of Boston, he holds a B.A. from Harvard College and B.A. and M.A. degrees from Magdalen College, Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was Developments Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and served as a law clerk for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court and Judge Malcolm Richard Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.

For more information on Wayne State University Law School, visit law.wayne.edu.

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