Two political leaders to receive law school's Jaqua Award

Former Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers
Former Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers

The University of Oregon School of Law will honor former Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers and Wisconsin Sen. Fred Risser with the school's John E. Jaqua Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The Jaqua Award is presented by the Law School Alumni Association and is given to individuals who exemplify the highest quality and ethical standards of the school. The awards will be given during the Oregon Law Alumni and Reunion Weekend dinner Sept. 12 at the Ford Alumni Center.

Myers, who was raised in Central Oregon, attended law school at the UO and earned his degree in 1964. He spent more than 30 years with Portland's Stoel Rives LLP, a leading law firm.

Myers began his political career as president of the Portland City Planning Commission, where he served from 1973 through 1974. He served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1975 through 1985 and was speaker of the house from 1979 to 1983.

In 1981, while serving as speaker, Myers spearheaded a state takeover of trial court operations in all of the state's counties. Myers served as Oregon attorney general from 1997 until 2009.

Wisconsin Sen. Fred RisserRisser earned both his bachelor's degree and law degree from the UO, graduating from law school in 1952. He was first elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1956, representing part of the city of Madison.

In 1962 he was elected to the state senate and is the longest-serving state legislator in the nation. He was elected Wisconsin Senate president 15 times, serving more than 25 years in that position.

Risser helped pass bills to promote women’s rights, protect the environment, reduce smoking and allow public employees to form unions. Risser also is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and was honored by the National Conference of State Legislatures as one of six World War II veterans currently serving in state legislatures.

―By Katherine Cook, UO Public Affairs Communications intern