Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

College of Law News

Symeonides Named Inaugural Holder of Alex L. Parks Distinguished Chair

In early March, the College of Law hosted a public lecture and private dinner with Dean Symeon C. Symeonides, the first holder of the Alex L. Parks Distinguished Chair in Law. More than 120 members of the legal community gathered to hear Symeonides present "The Grand Dilemmas of Private International Law," the inaugural Parks Distinguished Chair lecture.

Introducing Symeonides to the audience, University President M. Lee Pelton thanked Penelope Parks Knight and Philip H. Knight, who donated $5 million to the College of Law to endow the chair named for Mrs. Knight's father. "As exceptional as the Knights are, so is the first holder of this chair," Pelton said. "It is an understatement to describe Symeonides as an outstanding scholar; he may in fact be the world's top scholar in his field."

Pelton officially presented the Parks Distinguished Chair to Symeonides following dinner. In his acceptance speech, the dean recounted his unlikely journey from a small village in Cyprus with no electricity or running water to being named the Alex L. Parks Distinguished Chair in Law. "Just as I was supported by countless selfless acts of others throughout my life, future generations of Willamette students will benefit from the generosity of Penny and Phil Knight," he said. "I thank these two noble philanthropists from the bottom of my heart."

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Conflict of Laws Expert Lectures on Nontraditional Families

The College of Law was pleased to welcome Professor Ana Grammaticaki-Alexiou to campus to present the final lecture in the law school's 14th Annual Speaker Series. "New Challenges of Family Law in Europe: Same-Sex Marriage and Surrogate Motherhood" addressed issues related to nontraditional families.

Grammaticaki-Alexiou believes that despite changing attitudes, same-sex unions and surrogate motherhood continue to be contentious issues, even within a single country. In the multiethnic European Union, the change of attitudes has proceeded at different speeds. The uneven degree by which European countries have embraced change and the increased mobility of people across European borders pose formidable challenges to certain basic principles of European Union law and human rights law. Her lecture explored these and related challenges.

To read more or download the recorded lecture, go here.