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Judge Dorothy Wright Nelson to serve as keynote speaker at PO College commencement ceremony

March 8, 2014

Categories: News

Published: March 8, 2014

Judge Dorothy W NelsonPASADENA, Calif. – The 54th Commencement Ceremony at Pacific Oaks College will take place on May 3, 2014 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium with a commencement address by the Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson.

“Judge Nelson is a pioneer who has made a great impact on the legal system as well as professional opportunities for women. We are honored that she will be speaking at the Pacific Oaks commencement ceremony,” said Pacific Oaks College President Dr. Ezat Parnia.

Pacific Oaks College anticipates graduating 456 students, receiving the following degrees: B.A. in Human Development and B.A. in Education; M.A. in Human Development, M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy, and M.A. in Education.

Judge Nelson is senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a U.S. federal court covering the nine western states. She holds the honor of becoming the first woman dean of a major American law school, the University of Southern California Law, in 1969. She worked in private practice during her career and also formed two major corporations, Woolstone Inc. and California Limestone. She is the author of several books, including Judicial Administration and the Administration of Justice.

Along with a group of attorneys and judges who believed in finding innovative ways to handle conflicts and disputes, Judge Nelson established the Western Justice Center Foundation in 1985, whose programs are designed to teach peaceful conflict resolution to children, youth, parents, teachers, administrators and community members and to displace the power violence has in our societies. Judge Nelson has also worked to popularize mediation in U.S. Courts.

Judge Nelson has been honored for her work with awards such as The American Bar Association D’ Alemberte/Raven Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dispute Resolution, the Los Angeles and Pasadena Bar Association’s Judge of the Year, the Thurgood Marshall Career Achievement Award, the United Nations World Citizen of the Year Award in 2009 and the Pax Orbis ex Jure Medallion award for world peace through law, 1979, New York Law Centre.

Founded nearly 70 years ago by a small group of Quaker families, Pacific Oaks College is dedicated to the fundamental Quaker principles of inclusion, social justice, and the valuing of every human being. Pacific Oaks College is a nonprofit, accredited higher education institution offering bachelor’s-completion, master’s and certificate programs in human development, marriage and family therapy, education, early childhood education, and teacher credentialing. It offers classes at its main campus in Pasadena and at a number of instructional sites throughout California, as well as online. Since 1959, Pacific Oaks has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  For more information, visit

Categories: News