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June 2, 2014

Long-serving politicians to receive Jaqua Distinguished Alumnus Award

Wis. Senator Fred Risser and former Ore. Attorney General Hardy Myers to be recognized by Oregon Law

The University of Oregon School of Law will honor Wisconsin Senator Fred Risser ’52 and former Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers '64 with the school's John E. Jaqua Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The Jaqua Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented by the Law School Alumni Association and is given to individuals who exemplify the highest quality and ethical standards of the school. The award recognizes personal and professional achievements and loyalty to Oregon Law. 

Risser was first elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1956, representing part of the City of Madison. In 1962 he was elected to the State Senate and is the longest serving state legislator in the nation. He was elected Wisconsin State Senate President 15 times, serving more than 25 years in that position. Risser helped pass bills to promote women’s rights, protect the environment, and reduce smoking and to allow public employees to form unions. He was the leading architect of Wisconsin's recycling program and has been repeatedly named one of the "Clean Legislators" by Wisconsin Environmental Decade. Risser is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy and, in August 2013, was honored by the National Conference of State Legislatures as one of six World War II veterans currently serving in state legislatures. Risser is a "double duck," having earned his bachelor's degree in 1950 and law degree in 1952 from the UO.

Myers, raised in Central Oregon, spent more than 30 years with Portland's Stoel Rives LLP, one of the nation's leading law firms, or Stoel Rives' predecessor firms. He began his political career as president of the Portland City Planning Commission, where he served from 1973 through 1974. Myers served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1975 through 1985 and was Speaker of the House from 1979 to 1983. The Oregonian rated him as the most outstanding member of the Oregon Legislature in 1979 and 1981. In 1981, as speaker of the Oregon House, he spearheaded the effort for a state takeover of trial-court operations in all of the state’s counties. Myers served as attorney general for the State of Oregon from 1997 until 2009. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Mississippi prior to attending law school at the UO.

The John E. Jaqua Distinguished Alumnus Awards will be bestowed during the Oregon Law Alumni and Reunion Weekend dinner at on Friday, Sept. 12, at the Ford Alumni Center located at 1720 East 13th St. in Eugene.

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