College of Law celebrates 40th anniversary

May 10, 2010

Law school tuition was a bargain back in 1967, when the first students at the ASU College of Law paid $175 (in-state; $407.50 out-of-state) per semester to attend classes. The students "weren't much to look at," and they had no building, according to alumnus Michael Gallagher, but they did have "the most gifted and greatest law school faculty in the country in those days."

As emcee of a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Class of 1970 and of longtime professor Michael">">Michael Berch, on April 9 at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Gallagher entertained 300 guests with stories of the old days: Download Full Image

Olivia Birchett's official title was admissions officer and registrar, but she more played the "house mother." U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren attended convocation in 1968. People like Jon">">Jon Rose, John Morris, Milt">">Milt Schroeder and Berch joined the faculty.

"Berch used to tell us with regularity, 'Don't set your sights too high. You can't all be heroes. We need someone to sit on the curb and clap when the heroes go by,'" Gallagher said.

All kidding aside, Gallagher described Berch, who turned 75 on April 1, as a "one-of-a-kind" caring, considerate and enthusiastic teacher.

In 1986, Berch and his wife, Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch established the Rebecca and Michael Berch Scholarship Fund that has awarded $50,000 to students over the years. This year, the couple issued a challenge to alumni that the Berch family would match dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000 in support of the scholarship fund. The alumni answered the call and exceeded the goal.

The celebration was punctuated with remarks by Dean Paul">">Paul Schiff Berman, Curt Clausen – Berch's son, and Berch himself. A poignant video of Willard H. Pedrick, the founding Dean of the College of Law, was broadcast, as was a touching – and hilarious – tribute to Berch.

To watch a video of the evening, click here.">here. />
Janie Magruder, Jane.Magruder">">
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

New College students to celebrate graduation May 13

May 10, 2010

Spring 2010 graduates from ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences will celebrate their accomplishments during a convocation ceremony at 7:30 p.m., May 13, on the Fletcher Library lawn at the university’s West campus.

A total of 352 students earned bachelor’s degrees from New College, with another 36 completing their master’s degrees. Download Full Image

“We are proud of the achievements of our new graduates and wish them well in their future endeavors,” said Elizabeth Langland, ASU vice president and dean of New College. “The event on Thursday evening will be a wonderful opportunity for New College students to gather with friends and family members, as well as ASU faculty and staff, and be recognized for reaching a significant milestone in their lives.”

New College, the core college on the West campus, offers bachelor’s degree programs in a wide range of fields including life sciences, history, psychology, applied computing, interdisciplinary arts and performance, and political science. Programs in the college are known for crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries and giving undergraduate students the opportunity to work side by side with professors on cutting-edge research projects. New College students are eligible to participate in ASU’s honors programs offered through Barrett, the Honors College.

New College also offers master’s degree programs in applied ethics and the professions, communication studies, interdisciplinary studies, psychology, and social justice and human rights.

The Thursday evening convocation at the West campus will follow university commencement ceremonies at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. The commencement for graduate students is set for 4 p.m., May 12; undergraduate students will graduate at 8:30 a.m., May 13. ASU is awarding more than 10,000 degrees this spring, the largest number in the university’s history.

New College students are encouraged to participate in both commencement at Tempe and convocation at the West campus. (Commencement is the official graduation ceremony during which degrees are conferred. A convocation ceremony recognizes graduates who share a particular affiliation within the university – in this case, those graduating from New College programs.)

The college offers academic programs within three divisions: Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies; Mathematical and Natural Sciences; and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Information about New College degree programs may be found at">">