On Saturday, May 21, the University of Oregon School of Law will host its 130th annual commencement. U. S. Senator Ron Wyden, (J.D. '74), who was recently recognized with the Frohnmayer Award for Public Service, will provide the commencement address. Professor Howard Arnett, (J.D. '77), an expert in American Indian law and tribal law, will be honored during the ceremony with the Meritorious Service Award.
Dean Michael Moffitt of the School of Law stated, “For more than 130 years, the University of Oregon School of Law has embraced an ethos of service. Senator Wyden and Professor Arnett exemplify these values, and through their work they have empowered new generations of advocates committed to serving our state, our tribal partners, our nation, our world, and the environment we all share.”
Commencement speaker Sen. Wyden is the most recent recipient of the Frohnmayer Award for Public Service. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Stanford University with distinction and earned his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1974. He then taught gerontology and co-founded the Oregon chapter of the Gray Panthers, an advocacy group for the elderly. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 1996, where he currently serves on the Committees on Finance, Budget, Intelligence, and Energy and Natural Resources. Wyden also serves on the advisory board for the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon.
Meritorious Service Award winner Prof. Arnett is an adjunct professor who teaches the survey course on American Indian law and advanced seminars on tribal courts and tribal law, contemporary issues in American Indian law, and comparative law of indigenous peoples. Having graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1977, Armett has practiced law for 35 years in Arizona and Oregon, representing tribal governments, tribal members, and Native American organizations. A partner at Karnopp Petersen, LLP in Bend, his law practice has included work for tribes on treaty rights, tribal sovereignty, tribal law development, government-to-government relations, water rights, and gaming. Arnett holds a bachelor's degree with distinction from Stanford University and earned a master’s degree with distinction in international relations from the London School of Economics.