Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger will deliver the commencement address to Cameron University's Class of 2010. The annual graduation ceremony is slated for Friday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Cameron Stadium. Following Kauger's address, CU's 2010 graduates will receive their diplomas. A gala fireworks display will cap off the occasion. The public is invited to attend.
"We are honored that Justice Kauger will address our 2010 graduates," says Cameron President Cindy Ross. "Her distinguished record of service and commitment to strengthening the administration of justice throughout Oklahoma's judicial system are extraordinary. Commencement is the culmination of a college student's academic experience, and I know this year's graduates and their friends and families will find inspiration and motivation from such an accomplished and celebrated Oklahoman."
Justice Kauger, a fourth-generation Oklahoman from Colony, was appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court by Governor George Nigh in 1984 and was retained to six-year terms in 1988, 1994, 2000 and 2006. She served as Chief Justice from January 1997 through December 1998 and is the only woman to serve as the court's chief justice and vice chief justice.
A graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma City University School of Law, Kauger is a member of the District State-Federal Judicial Council. She also served as presiding judge for the Court on the Judiciary, and on the Law School and Bench and Bar Committees of the Oklahoma Bar Association.
She is the founder of the Gallery of the Plains Indian in Colony, a co-founder of Red Earth, and has served as coordinator for the Oklahoma Supreme Court's Sovereignty Symposium since its inception in 1987. The symposium is a seminar on Indian law sponsored by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Justice Kauger has received numerous awards throughout her career, ranging from first in her class at Oklahoma City University School of Law, an honorary doctorate from Oklahoma City University, distinguished alumnus awards from Oklahoma City University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma Bar Association's Judicial Excellence Award. She is one of only four Oklahomans to receive the Herbert Harley Award for the effective administration of justice by the American Judicature Society. Kauger is a member of the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame and the Washita County Hall of Fame.
In 2005, she was honored by Gov. Brad Henry with The Governor's Award, recognizing her longtime leadership and significant contributions to the arts across Oklahoma during the Governor's Arts Award ceremony. Her commitment to the arts includes serving as past president of Lyric Theatre and board membership of the Civic Music Association, Oklahoma Theatre Center, Canterbury Choral Society and the State Capitol Preservation Commission. In July 2004, she gave Main Street in Colony, which was built by her great grandfather, to Southwestern Oklahoma State University to be used to promote the arts in western Oklahoma. She is also the author of a children's book, "Visited by the Bottle Bunny."
March 9, 2010