The College of Law will be hosting the annual Honors Banquet on April 7, 2017 at the UW Conference Center at the Hilton Garden Inn in Laramie. The festivities will commence at 6:00 pm with a reception and cocktail hour, where visitors will have the opportunity to mingle with current law students. The Banquet will begin at 7:00 pm and will recognize named scholarship recipients in the current law school classes, the Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, the Thurman Arnold Distinguished Supporter of the Law School Award recipient, as well as the inductees of the Order of the Coif, Honorary Order of the Coif, and the announcement of the prestigious Clarence A. Brimmer Scholarship recipient.
Each year, the Advisory Board is tasked with selecting the recipients for our Distinguished Alumni and Supporter Awards. This year, the Board has selected The Honorable William U. Hill, W. Perry Dray, and Bob C. Sigler as the Distinguished Alumni recipients, and former Dean and Law Professor Jerry R. Parkinson as the recipient of the Thurman Arnold Distinguished Supporter of the Law School Award.
Appointed by Governor Jim Geringer on November 3, 1998, Hill is a Justice on the Wyoming Supreme Court. He served as Chief Justice from 2002 through 2006.
Justice Hill was born in Montgomery, Alabama and raised and educated in Riverton, Wyoming. He received his B.A. from the University of Wyoming in 1970 and graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1974. Prior to serving on the bench, He served as the Wyoming Attorney General from 1995 up to his judicial appointment.
Earlier in his career, Justice Hill served as both an Assistant United States Attorney and an Assistant Attorney General for Wyoming, and was engaged in private practice in Riverton, Wyoming, Seattle, Washington, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. He also served as Chief of Staff-Chief Counsel for Senator Malcolm Wallop in Washington, D.C.
Hill has been an avid supporter of the College of Law throughout his career and regularly volunteers at the College. He was inducted into the Order of the Coif as an honorary member in 2011.
Perry Dray is a co-recipient of the Distinguished Alumni award this year. He is the founding partner of the Cheyenne law firm Dray, Dyekman, Reed & Healey, P.C. He started the firm in 1975 and developed a solo practice into one of Cheyenne’s most experienced, continuous law firms. His areas of expertise include transactional and litigation work, and he is one of a handful of lawyers in Wyoming who has negotiated and litigated with foreign governments on behalf of business clients.
Dray graduated from the University of Wyoming with an engineering degree in 1962 and again from the College of Law in 1964. Following law school, he served as a Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Army.
This year will recognize the life and career of Bob C. Sigler as a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, posthumously.
Sigler was raised and educated in various small towns in Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming; and graduated from Upton High School in 1943. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the U.S.S. Berrien (APA-62) in 1944, serving until the end of World War II. Following his military career, he attended the University of Wyoming and received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Business in 1949 and his J.D. from the College of Law in 1952.
For a short time thereafter, he worked for the Department of Highways in Cheyenne before establishing his private law practice in Torrington, at one point practicing with his good friend, former Gov. Stan Hathaway. He remained in private practice for more than 50 years to serve the legal needs of residents in Wyoming, Nebraska, and surrounding states, earning a reputation of an accomplished country lawyer. In honor of his legacy as a small town lawyer, a scholarship was created in his name for College of Law students that demonstrate a desire to practice law in rural Wyoming.
The Thurman Arnold Distinguished Supporter of the Law School Award is awarded annually to a non-alumnus that has gone above and beyond the norm to promote and develop the UW College of Law. This year we are pleased to bestow this honor on one of our own, Jerry R. Parkinson.
Parkinson devoted eighteen years of service to the College of Law as a law professor since 1998 and served as Dean 1998 to 2009, one of the longest serving Deans in the College of Law’s history. He retired from the law school in the spring of 2016 and was granted Emeritus status on the faculty. Over the years he taught Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Sports Law, and an Education Law seminar. From 2000 to 2010 he served in a volunteer capacity as Coordinator of Appeals for the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, and handled 28 appeals, including 22 oral arguments, on behalf of the NCAA.
Before joining the College of Law at the University of Wyoming, Parkinson was a law professor and associate dean at the University of Oklahoma, where he was a three-time recipient of the Outstanding Teacher award. Prior to teaching law, he practiced law in Portland, Oregon, for the law firm of Miller, Nash, Wiener, Hager & Carlsen LLP, and served as a law clerk for the Honorable John F. Kilkenny of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to his legal career, he also served as a Deputy United States Marshal from 1978-1981.
Parkinson graduated from Northern State College with a B.S. in 1976. He earned his M.P.A. from the University of South Dakota in 1981, and his degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1985.
With the majority of his career devoted to Wyoming, Parkinson was voted Outstanding Law Professor for 2015-2016, and has been invited as the upcoming graduation speaker for the Class of 2017. The College of Law is excited to honor such a close friend and colleague with the Thurman Arnold Distinguished Supporter of the Law School Award.
In addition to the Distinguished Alumni and Supporter Awards, the Honors Banquet recognizes an induction of an honorary member into the Order of the Coif. The Order of the Coif is a national honorary society that recognizes excellence in legal education. Membership is limited to students who graduated in the top 10% of their class, and to honorary members selected by schools with a Coif chapter. The University of Wyoming became a Coif chapter in 1985, however, the faculty selects one honorary member each year to induct into the society that graduated prior to the Wyoming chapter’s creation.
This year’s recipient is Catherine L. MacPherson. MacPherson graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1978. She is a founding partner of the Rawlins, Wyo. law firm MacPherson, Kelly & Thompson, LLC, and continues to serve the firm of Counsel. Her career has been focused on private practice, but she has been an active member of the Wyoming State Bar Association. She has served in various capacities for the Wyoming State Bar including serving as President in 2000-01.
In addition to her practice, MacPherson has been a dedicated advocate of the College of Law. She has often served as an adjunct faculty member for the College, teaching Law Office Management, Local Government and Legal Writing. In addition, she served for several years on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Law.
The College of Law is excited to recognize the achievements of these deserving honorees. The Honors Banquet is an open event and we invite anyone wishing to help celebrate the accomplishments of their friends and colleagues to attend. We ask that guests please RSVP to the event by filling out our online RSVP.