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Retired Chief Justice, Michigan Supreme Court

Honorary Doctor of Laws



In your 43-year career as a lawyer, you exemplified the strengths and merits of our judicial system. From your beginnings in private practice through your 10 years on the Michigan Supreme Court, you maintained the highest standards of the profession and a commitment to your basic beliefs that the law should, first of all, make sense, and second, be equally applied to people in all circumstances. Your ability to eliminate the backlog of cases while Chief Justice of the Supreme Court illustrated not only your skill as an organizer and leader, but testified to your willingness to make the high court accessible to more people. You have given support to the very foundation of our society - the family unit - through various efforts, from initiating a community college class for mothers learning how to take care of their children to motivating juvenile justice system reforms while a Probate Judge in Calhoun County. Historians will remember you as accomplishing many firsts: The first woman named a Supreme Court Justice, the first woman to serve as Chief Justice and the first woman to hold one of the highest elective offices in the state. Your friends and peers will remember you as a lawyer of integrity, a judge without bias and a person of great warmth and humility. It is therefore with great pleasure that we confer upon you the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws. Commencement, University of Detroit, School of Law, May 15, 1983.

University of Detroit

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