Commencement took place on May 20, 2023 to recognize Juris Doctor, Master of Laws and Master in the Study of Law graduates in the University of Georgia School of Law ceremony. The School of Law will held its commencement for the Class of 2023 in the Classic Center Grand Hall. The Honorable Steve C. Jones, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, former Georgia Superior Court judge, 1987 alumni, delivered the keynote address.
A longer set of biographical information related to the speaker was shared alongside other Commencement 2023 details via email, and is duplicated below:
"The Honorable Steve C. Jones is a District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. On January 5, 2011, Judge Jones was nominated by President Barack Obama to become a United States District Judge. Judge Jones was sworn in as a district judge on March 4, 2011. In this role, Judge Jones presides over cases that involve the United States government, the United States Constitution, federal laws, controversies between citizens of different states, and other matters.
Prior to his nomination to the district court, Judge Jones served as a Superior Court Judge in the Western Judicial Circuit (Athens-Clarke and Oconee Counties, Georgia). Judge Jones was appointed to the Superior Court in 1995. In this role, Judge Jones presided over civil and criminal cases. In addition to his regular caseload, Judge Jones also presided over the Western Judicial Circuit Felony Drug Court Program, a program that integrates alcohol and substance abuse treatment with court supervision. Prior to his Superior Court judicial appointment, Judge Jones served as an Athens-Clarke County Municipal Court Judge (1992–1995), Assistant District Attorney for the Western Judicial Circuit (1987–1991), and Director of the Athens Child Support Recovery Unit (1978–1985).
Judge Jones has offered his time and leadership to numerous academic, community, legal, and social organizations. At his alma mater, he is an emeritus trustee for the University of Georgia Foundation, a member of the University of Georgia Athletic Association Board, and vice-president of the Russell Foundation. In addition, he is a past president of the University of Georgia’s Alumni Association and the UGA Chapter of the National Football Foundation, College Hall of Fame.
Judge Jones is a member and secretary of the Old War Horse Lawyer’s Club, a member of the Lawyer’s Club of Atlanta, and a member of the Advocates Club.
Judge Jones is also President of the Clarke-Carley American Inn of Court and a trustee for the Frances Wilson Wood Foundation.
Judge Jones is a former chair of the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission (2002–2006), the University of Georgia School of Law’s Board of Visitors (2003), and the Athens Area Community Foundation (2007–2010). Judge Jones has also served on Piedmont College’s Board of Trustees (2003–2011) and the Georgia Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism (2013–2019), as well as the Georgia Supreme Court’s Commission on Equality (2006–2008) and Domestic Violence Committee (2001–2004).
Judge Jones has won many awards for his judicial and community service. For example, in 2018, he received the Chief Justice Thomas O. Marshall Professionalism Award, presented by the State Bar of Georgia and in 2015, he received the Blue Key Service Award, presented by the Georgia Chapter of the Blue Key National Honor Society. In 1998, he was the recipient of the Chief Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service. In 2007, he received the Volunteer of the Year Award, presented by the Junior League of Athens and Athens First Bank & Trust. Also in 2007, he was named Omega Citizen of the Year by the Zeta Beta Beta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Judge Jones has also received the Gate City Bar Association’s Outstanding Jurist Award (2009); the University of Georgia’s Alumni Merit Award (2018); the University of Georgia School of Law’s Distinguished Service Scroll Award (2013); and the University of Georgia’s Fulfilling the Dream Award (2007). Other awards and honors received: Leadership Georgia’s E. Dale Threadgill Community Service Award (2011); the Association of Legal Professional’s Legal Professional of the Year Award (2003); and the State Bar/YLD Judicial Service Award (2002). Judge Jones has also been named an Honorary Member of the Blue Key Honor Society (2014), an honorary member of Sphinx, a fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, Inc. (1998), and a Rotary Club Paul Harris fellow (1997).
Judge Jones attended The University of Georgia and received his B.B.A. in 1978 and J.D. in 1987.
Judge Jones is married to Lillian Kincey."
Jones, Steve C., "Class of 2023 Commencement" (2023). Graduation Addresses. 46.