On Friday, May 19, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law will welcome Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar of the California Supreme Court as the featured speaker for the Class of 2017’s commencement ceremony. The ceremony will also include the awarding of an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Wylie A. Aitken, current Chair of the Chapman University Board of Trustees.
Justice Cuéllar has been a justice with the California Supreme Court since 2015 after his nomination by Governor Jerry Brown. He previously worked in public service, university administration, and legal academia. In 2009 and 2010, while on leave from Stanford University where he was the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and Professor (by courtesy) of Political Science, he worked at the White House as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy. From 2010 and 2015, he was a presidential appointee to the Governing Council of the U.S. Administrative Conference; and from 2011 to 2013, he co-chaired the U.S. Department of Education’s National Equity and Excellence Commission. Before that, in 2008 and early 2009, he co-chaired the presidential transition team on immigration, borders, and refugees.
Aitken is the president and founding partner of Aitken, Aitken, Cohn in Santa Ana, which has earned a national reputation in cases involving wrongful death, severe injury, business fraud, and insurance bad faith. He was the youngest president in the history of the California Trial Bar and has served on numerous influential legal committees, including the committee that recommends appointments for federal district judges in California. He is the naming donor for the Wylie A. Aitken Trial Courtroom in Chapman’s Kennedy Hall and former Chairman of Fowler School of Law’s Board of Advisors. He and his wife Bette are naming donors of the law school’s Bette and Wylie Aitken Family Protection Clinic as well as the Aitkens Art Plaza and Bette’s Bistro at Chapman University’s Musco Center for the Arts.
The commencement ceremony will take place on Chapman University’s Holly & David Wilson Field at 4 p.m., with the procession beginning at 3:45 p.m. Commencement is a ticketless event and graduates are welcome to invite as many guests as they choose. A live webcast will be streamed for those who cannot attend. A Twitter ticker will also run on the Jumbotron during the ceremony for anyone to tweet congratulatory messages using #ChapmanU. A reception in Kennedy Hall for graduates and their guests will immediately follow the ceremony.
Above: 2016 Fowler School of Law Commencement Ceremony