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Hawkins discusses Constitutional Convention at alumni luncheon

February 04, 2011

The Arizona Constitutional Convention, and its 100-year anniversary in December, was the subject of a talk by Judge Michael Daly Hawkins (Class of 1970) at the annual luncheon of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Alumni Association, held Thursday, Feb. 3, at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

Rebecca Tsosie, Executive Director of the College’s Indian Legal Program, received the association’s 2011 Outstanding Faculty Award, and scholarships were presented to three students. Dean Paul Schiff Berman, who was at a New America Foundation function in Washington, D.C., addressed the guests in a video, outlining new initiatives of the College of Law and thanking them for their support.

Hawkins, senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, addressing the more than 100 people attending, highlighted some of the key players among the Constitutional Convention’s 52 delegates, including George W. P. Hunt, who served as the convention’s president, and later as Arizona’s first governor.

“George Hunt was the George Washington of the convention,” Hawkins said, adding that
Hunt was a strong advocate of direct democracy and staunch supporter of a woman’s right to vote.

Hawkins said his favorite member of the convention was Patrick Connelly, a railroad engineer who went before the convention nearly every day to seek its support of women’s franchise.

The Outstanding Faculty Award is given each year, and Tsosie said she was touched to receive it.

“The real joy of teaching at ASU is the ability to work with the students,” Tsosie said. “In all of my classes, people have brought their perspective of where they come from and what they have to contribute. And to me, that is the beauty of the law school.”

Mary Shirley (Class of 1992) sang a traditional Navajo song to honor Tsosie, who is leaving at the end for the academic year to go to the University of New Mexico. Tsosie teaches Indian law, property, bioethics and critical race theory, as well as seminars in international indigenous rights and in the College’s Tribal Policy, Law, and Government Master of Laws program.

The scholarships were give to second-year student David Jackson, who received the association’s full-year tuition scholarship, and Krystle Fernandez and Emily Gildar, who each received book scholarships in honor of Kevin M. Kane (Class of 1971), a founding member of the association. Kane, an association president for three years and a director for two decades, died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1999.

Judy Nichols,
Office of Communications, College of Law