E. Gordon Gee, president of West Virginia University, will confer the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree on the 118 graduates expected to participate in the ceremony. Gee served as dean of the College of Law from 1979-1981.
Professor emeritus Forest Bowman ‘63 and Judge O.C. Spaulding ‘73 will receive the Justitia Officium Award in recognition of their contribution and service to the legal profession. It is the highest honor bestowed by the College of Law.Elaine Waterhouse Wilson, associate professor of law, will deliver the Commencement address. She has been named Professor-of-the-Year by the Class of 2014.
“It’s an honor to celebrate with the Class of 2014 and I wish them all the best,” said Joyce E. McConnell, the William Maier Jr. Dean and Thomas R. Goodwin Professor of Law. “It’s also a privilege to recognize Forest Bowman and Judge Spaulding for their impact on the legal profession. Their work has truly made a difference.”
Bowman taught at WVU Law for 23 years, retiring in 2002. He is a seven-time College of Law Professor-of-the-Year, a former WVU Professor-of-the-Year, and a past recipient of the West Virginia Professor-of-the-Year award. A fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Bowman continues to work in the law as special ethics counsel to the Pittsburgh-based law firm of Burns White. He earned a J.D. from WVU in 1963.
Spaulding served the 29th Judicial Circuit for Putnam and Mason counties for 19 years, retiring at the end of 2011 due to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. Over the course of his career on the bench, Spaulding was appointed 14 times to fill in as a justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. More recently, Spaulding has been assisting law students in the West Virginia Innocence Project to draft legislation to mandate recording of the police interrogation process. He is a 1973 graduate of the WVU College of Law.
Wilson, the law professor-of-the-year, joined the College of Law faculty in 2012. An expert in tax law and charity law, she was formerly a partner practicing in the Tax-Exempt Organizations Group of the Chicago office of Quarles & Brady LLP. Wilson earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.