School of Law News
School of Law to Hold Commencement May 21
Posted April 26, 2011
Western New England College School of Law will hold its 2011 Commencement on Saturday, May 21 at 9:30 a.m. in Springfield Symphony Hall in downtown Springfield. The ceremonies will include the awarding of approximately 200 Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees.
United States District Court Judge Michael A. Ponsor will serve as keynote speaker and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Ponsor has served on the federal bench for more than 25 years, currently sitting in the District Court in Springfield. He was appointed a District Judge by President Bill Clinton in 1994 after ten years as a U.S. Magistrate Judge. Ponsor has taught Civil Pretrial Litigation as an adjunct professor at Yale Law School and at Western New England College School of Law.
A native of Chicago, Ponsor received his B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1969. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Pembroke College, Oxford, from which he obtained an M.A. in 1971. He received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1975.
Following a clerkship for the Hon. Joseph L. Tauro in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Ponsor practiced primarily criminal defense for the law firm Homans, Hamilton & Lamson in Boston, and general civil and criminal litigation in his own firm, Brown, Hart & Ponsor in Amherst. As a judge, he has served on three Judicial Conference Committees: the Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judge System, the Committee on the Budget, and currently chairs the Committee on Space and Facilities.