U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Priscilla Owen to Speak at Baylor Law School Commencement Nov. 10

Nov. 5, 2007

by Julie Carlson, director of communications, Baylor Law School, (254) 710-6681

Priscilla Owen, judge on the United State Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, will deliver the keynote address at Baylor Law School's commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, in Waco Hall. Additionally, Ashley Irwin Franklin, the highest ranking student in the graduating class, will deliver student remarks. Baylor President John M. Lilley also will participate in the program and will award juris doctor degrees to the graduates.

Owen, who was selected to speak by the graduating class, was raised in Waco and still has family in the city. She received her bachelor of arts degree cum laude from Baylor in 1976 and graduated top in her class from Baylor Law School in 1977. She was a member of the Baylor Law Review and scored the top score on the Texas bar examination when she took the exam.

Judge Owen has been honored as a Baylor Young Lawyer of the Year and as a Baylor Outstanding Young Alumna. In 2006, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Baylor Alumni Association, the organization's highest honor.

Elected to the Supreme Court of Texas in 1994, and re-elected in 2000, Judge Owen previously served as a partner in the Houston law firm of Andrews & Kurth L.L.P., where she practiced commercial litigation for 17 years.

Nominated by President Bush for the United State Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and took the oath of office for her new seat on June 6, 2005. Her formal investiture took place Feb. 3, 2006. She is currently the highest ranking Baylor member of the judiciary.

Assisting Lilley in awarding degrees during the commencement program will be Dean Brad Toben, The M.C. and Mattie Caston Professor of Law, and Leah W. Jackson, professor of law and associate dean.

Hooding the graduates will be David M. Guinn, who serves as The Lyndon L. Olson and William A. Olson Professor of Local Government and Constitutional Law and Master Teacher, and James E. Wren, assistant professor of law. Noley R. Bice Jr., adjunct professor of law and retired General Counsel for Baylor, will deliver the invocation.

After the ceremony, a reception for the graduates and their guests will be hosted by the Baylor Law Alumni Association at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center.

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