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U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson to deliver UGA School of Law commencement address

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Marc Galvin, 706/542-0335, magalvin@uga.edu

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson to deliver UGA School of Law commencement address

ATHENS, Ga. – U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson will deliver the keynote address at the University of Georgia School of Law’s commencement Saturday, May 20.

Longtime businessman and public servant, Isakson opened an office of the small family-owned real estate business, Northside Realty, after earning his bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia in 1966. He became president of the company in 1979 and, under his leadership, it became the largest independent residential real estate brokerage company in the Southeast and one of the largest in America.

Isakson's political career began in 1976 when he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. From 1983 to 1990, he served as the Republican leader in the House. In 1993, he was elected to the Georgia State Senate. Three years later, he was appointed chair of the Georgia Board of Education, where he served until elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1999. In January 2005, Isakson began his six-year term as a U.S. senator.

At this year’s commencement, approximately 250 students will receive their Juris Doctor for successfully completing three years of legal study. Additionally, five Master of Laws candidates, who have completed one year of graduate legal study, will be recognized.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on the quadrangle in front of the law school on UGA’s North Campus. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved to Stegeman Coliseum.

Graduating Class of 2006 President Michele J. Kim will provide the official welcome, and Vice President Andrew J. Tuck will introduce Isakson. Legacy Gift Chairs Shannon C. Shipley and M. J. Blakely and Kim will present the 2006 class gift to Law School Association President Robert O. Freeman, who will welcome the new graduates to the alumni association.

Other commencement speakers include UGA President Michael F. Adams, Georgia Law Dean Rebecca H. White and Georgia Law Associate Deans Paul M. Kurtz and Gabriel M. Wilner.

Three additional members of the platform party will be UGA Provost Arnett C. Mace Jr., law school Registrar Marc A. Galvin and Athens-Clarke County Sheriff Ira Edwards Jr., who will lead the graduation procession as is tradition. Also, the senior class has chosen Hosch Professors Anne Proffitt Dupre and Thomas A. Eaton to serve as honorary marshals and read the names of the graduates.

Georgia Law is currently ranked as one of the top four public law schools in the Southeast and one of the top 13 public law schools in the nation.

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