Congresswoman to deliver law school graduation address


U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici will deliver the commencement address to the UO School of Law’s Class of 2014 this weekend.

Commencement begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Eugene. No tickets are required for the ceremony, and students have no limit on the number of guests they invite.

Bonamici, a Democrat representing Oregon’s First Congressional District, is a “double Duck,” having earned both a bachelor’s degree and law degree at the UO. She graduated with a degree in journalism in 1980 and received her law degree in 1983.

“It’s an honor to return to my alma mater to speak with students as they graduate from law school,” Bonamici said. “My years at the University of Oregon were some of the best of my life, and I credit the law school with helping me find my passion.”

Bonamici was elected to Congress in 2012, and prior to that she served in both the Oregon House of Representatives and the Oregon Senate. In Congress, she serves on the Committee on Education and Workforce and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology and is Democratic leader of the Subcommittee on the Environment.

Before attending the UO, Bonamici earned an associate’s degree at Lane Community College. She said she is excited to return to the UO to speak to this year’s law graduates.

“It’s been more than 30 years since I graduated, but I still have vivid memories of some of my challenges and accomplishments as a law student. I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting time in the lives of the graduates, and I look forward to congratulating them at the start of their careers in law,” she said.

During the ceremony, the school will honor U.S. District Judge John Acosta with its Meritorious Service Award, and Dean Emeritus Eugene Scoles will receive the award posthumously. Assistant professor Michael Fakhri will receive the Orlando J. Hollis Teaching Award.

The class speaker for the law program is Frank Lin, and the speaker for the master of laws program is Benjamin Parsalaw.