Release Date: March 22, 2011
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 victories.
"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 Law School.
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.