Golden Grads return

Ruth McGregor and Mark Kerrigan came back to campus with other Golden Grads for commencement events

Two people posing in gold and maroon graduation robes

“It’s been wonderful seeing my grandniece going through classes and talking with her and listening to her," says Ruth McGregor, ’74 JD and former chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. "It’s really brought back a lot of memories for me." McGregor is pictured with her grandniece, Jacqueline Cochrane, above at the Tempe campus. Photo by Sabira Madady

Editor's note: This story originally appeared in the summer 2024 issue of ASU Thrive magazine.

Fifty years ago, ASU alumni Ruth McGregor and Mark Kerrigan completed their degrees. Celebrating this achievement with ASU, they share the university’s impact on their lives and how their programs set them up for their career milestones, including McGregor serving as Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court and Kerrigan working in the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Ruth McGregor

Older photo of woman in graduation gown


’74 JD from the ASU College of Law

Major career milestone

Justice on the Arizona Supreme Court from 1998 until 2009; chief justice, 2005–09

Favorite ASU memory

“I think my fondest memory might be studying for our first semester exams,” McGregor says. “We all felt so much that we were in it together.”

McGregor was in the fifth class of the ASU College of Law. Being part of the law school in its beginning stages meant she was helping create a path for future students.

McGregor’s grandniece, Jacqueline Cochrane, graduates in May 2024 with her Juris Doctor, exactly 50 years after her grandaunt. Afterward, Cochrane will be moving to Dallas to pursue a career in personal injury law.

Mark Kerrigan

Older photo of man with brown hair and mustache wearing button up white shirt


’74 BS in political science

Major career milestones

Worked at the White House Office of Management and Budget, appointee to the Department of Energy

Favorite ASU memory

“When I had the opportunity to be president of the student body, that was really a tremendous year for me,” Kerrigan says. “We testified before the state legislature, traveled and raised money for the university. And it was just a fantastic experience.” 

Kerrigan has fond memories of his time at ASU, calling it his happy place and says today, ASU stands better than ever.

Learn more about the Golden Grads program and other opportunities at

Older man wearing glasses and gold graduation gown
“I really enjoyed my whole time here," says Mark Kerrigan, ’74 BS in political science. "This is one of my happy places. I love this campus. I love everything about the university. They’re doing phenomenally well.”  Kerrigan was student body president at ASU and worked at the White House Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Department of Energy. Photo by Sabira Madady

Story by Damian Goacher, a junior majoring in journalism and mass communication.

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