Monday, April 30, 2001

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172, pharr@arches.uga.edu

CONTACT: Marc Galvin, (706) 542-0335, magalvin@arches.uga.edu


ATHENS, Ga. -- Senior Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit will deliver the address at the University of Georgia School of Law's commencement exercises on Saturday, May 19. Ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. in front of the law school on North Campus or, in the case of rain, in Stegeman Coliseum.

The University of Georgia School of Law will confer Juris Doctor degrees upon approximately 187 students who have successfully completed three years of legal study. Eighteen Master of Laws students, who have finished a one-year course of graduate legal studies, will be recognized.

Kravitch was the first woman to be appointed as a federal judge in the Southeast and the third woman appointed as a U.S. circuit court judge in the country. President Jimmy Carter appointed Kravitch to the federal bench in 1979, following her election as the state's first female superior court judge. She had previously maintained a distinguished career as an attorney in her hometown of Savannah and was elected in 1975 as the first woman president of the Savannah Bar Association.

Kravitch earned a bachelor's degree from Goucher College and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she served on the editorial board for the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. She received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Emory University and Goucher College. Kravitch was the recipient of the American Bar Association's First Annual Margaret Brent Award in 1991, the Council of Jewish Women Hannah G. Solomon Award in 1978, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School's James Wilson Award in Appreciation of Service to the Legal Profession in 1992. She was also instrumental in establishing a shelter for battered women and a rape crisis center in Savannah, and was named as Savannah's Most Influential Woman in 1978.

Joshua Moore of Statesboro and Michael Kohler of Marietta, president and vice president of the 2000 graduating class, will speak on behalf of the students. Graduates have elected Carter Professor Perry Sentell and Hosch Professor Dan Coenen to serve as honorary marshals and read the names of the graduates. Jim Smith of Macon, president of the Law School Alumni Association, will welcome graduates into the organization's membership. Other speakers include UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Karen Holbrook and School of Law Associate Deans Paul Kurtz and Gabriel Wilner.

Music will be provided by The Athens Brass. Athens-Clarke County Sheriff Ira Edwards, Jr. will lead the graduation procession, in keeping with the ceremonial role of the local sheriff in University commencements since the early 1800s.