Butler receives honorary doctorate from Lawrence University
Madison, Wisconsin - June 12, 2007
The university conferred the honorary doctorate to recognize the achievements of one of its highest-profile graduates. Butler is the great, great grandson of a freed slave and the first African-American to serve on the state Supreme Court. He also was the first attorney from the State Public Defender’s Office in Wisconsin to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In honoring Butler, the university recognized his 30-year career in public service and his national reputation. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Butler was a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge and, before that, a Milwaukee Municipal Court judge. He is a member of the faculty of the National Judicial College, where judges across the country are trained.
A 1973 graduate of Lawrence, Butler earned a standing ovation as he accepted the honorary doctorate. "Use the tools that have been given to you," he told the students. "Set your goals high, and whatever challenges you may face in life, never, never give up on those goals. The future belongs to you."
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