Willamette University Honors Distinguished Law Alumni

Four distinguished College of Law alumni were honored at the Willamette University Alumni Awards Banquet on September 24, 2005, in recognition of their outstanding leadership, professional achievement and service to others. During the banquet, held at the new Salem Conference Center in downtown Salem, Ore., Willamette University President M. Lee Pelton presented the following awards to outstanding law alumni:

Lisa A. Murkowski JD'85 received the 2005 Distinguished Alumni Citation for Public Service for her professional achievement and service to community. Murkowski is only the 33rd female to serve in the U.S. Senate. Her public career began in 1998, when she was elected to the Alaska State House of Representatives. She quickly rose to become U.S. House majority leader before entering the U.S. Senate in 2002. Despite the demands of representing her state, her public service extends well beyond the Senate floor. Murkowski is highly regarded for her community activism with groups like the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, the Mayor's Task Force on the Homeless, and Alaskans for a Drug-Free Youth.

The Honorable Paul J. De Muniz JD'75, an Oregon Supreme Court justice, received the 2005 Distinguished Alumni Citation for Law for reflecting the highest ideals of Willamette University. De Muniz's election to the Oregon Supreme Court in 2000 marked another step in a distinguished legal career that has included 10 years as a presiding judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals and 15 years as both a public and private attorney. In 1998, he was appointed to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services by then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen. In 1997, he was named a Willamette University College of Law Mentor of the Year. He continues to serve Oregon in ways that bring honor and distinction to his high office and alma mater.

The Honorable John A. Jelderks '60, JD'64 received the 2005 Lestle J. Sparks Medallion for his loyalty and service to Willamette University. Jelderks, a U.S. magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court of Oregon, has maintained strong connections with both Willamette's liberal arts college and the law school over the past 40 years. He has been a member of the College of Law Board of Visitors since 1987 and has served as its chair. He was the Alumni Association representative on the Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2002. He also has participated in the Career Network since 1998, as well as a number of other alumni events and programs. Jelderks received the Distinguished Alumni Citation in 1995.

Jennifer L. Miller '97, JD/MBA'01 received the 2005 Young Alumni Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in her vocation. After receiving a triple undergraduate degree and joint law-business degree from Willamette, Miller became a prosecuting attorney with the King County Prosecutors Office in Seattle, Wash. She recently was elected to a three-year term to the Board of Trustees for the King County Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division. She also is serving a two-year term on the Washington State Bar's subcommittee on media relations. At the same time, she has continued to remain deeply involved with Willamette alumni activities, attending many events in Seattle, as well as on the Salem campus.