BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand will be the
keynote speaker at this year's University at Buffalo Law School
commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. May 21 in the Center for the Arts
on UB's North Campus.
Gillibrand was appointed U.S. senator in January 2009 to replace
Hillary Rodham Clinton and was elected in November of 2010. In the
Senate, Gillibrand helped lead the fight to repeal "Don't Ask Don't
Tell," the policy that bans gays from serving openly in the
military. She also fought to provide health care and compensation
to the 9/11 first responders and community survivors sick with
diseases caused by toxins at Ground Zero. Gillibrand worked to
bring Democrats and Republicans together to win both legislative
"I am thrilled and honored that Sen. Gillibrand will headline
the UB Law commencement," said Law School Dean Makau W. Mutua. "Her
exemplary work as a great public servant, successful lawyer and
accessible representative of the people of the great state of New
York are truly inspirational. Her speech and presence will be a
memorable experience for our graduates."
Gillibrand's scheduled appearance also was praised by Francis M.
Letro, vice chair of the UB Law School's Dean's Advisory Council.
"Beyond Sen. Gillibrand's distinguished career as a public servant
and an accomplished attorney, she possesses values and attributes
important to me – she has a positive outlook, contagious
enthusiasm, a gracious sense of civility, good humor and a grounded
commitment to her family and friends," Letro said.
This year's law school commencement will be led by Satish
K.Tripathi, PhD, UB's officer-in-charge who has been recommended by
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher to be the university's next
president, and Mutua. In addition to recognizing 233 graduating law
students, the UB Law School will award its Dean's Medal to Hon.
Hugh B. Scott, magistrate judge, U.S. District Court, Western
District of New York. The Dean's Medal is given to an individual
who is distinguished by his or her commitment to justice and the
rule of law. The Ken Joyce Excellence in Teaching Award will be
presented to Hon. Kevin M. Dillon, justice, Supreme Court, Erie
County. The Joyce Award is presented to a member of the adjunct
faculty for excellent teaching and longstanding service to the UB
Since its founding in 1887, the University at Buffalo Law
School -- the State University of New York system's only law school
-- has established an excellent reputation and is widely regarded
as a leader in legal education. Its cutting-edge curriculum
provides both a strong theoretical foundation and the practical
tools graduates need to succeed in a competitive marketplace,
wherever they choose to practice. A special emphasis on
interdisciplinary studies, public service and opportunities for
hands-on clinical education makes UB Law unique among the nation's
premier public law schools.