Before the members of the Class of 2017 receive their diplomas on May 13, 2017, they will hear from this year’s commencement speaker: the Honorable Wilhelmina M. “Mimi” Wright, a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Minnesota.
This past week, President Brian Rosenberg extended an invitation to Judge Wright, asking if she would speak at the ceremony. She said she was delighted to accept.
A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, Wright started her career in Washington DC, representing school districts across the country. She joined the US attorney’s office in Minnesota in 1995, where she assisted in prosecuting violent crimes and economic fraud.
Since then, she has gone on to shape Minnesota judicial history. She is the winner of numerous awards for her achievements in leadership and her devotion to civil liberties and public service.
She is also the only jurist in Minnesota to serve as a state district court judge, an appellate court judge and a state Supreme Court Justice. Her appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2012 also made her the first African American woman to hold the position.
Wright’s nomination to the US District Court was confirmed after a 58-36 vote on Jan. 19, 2016. She became the first female African American woman to serve as a federal judge in Minnesota. Both Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken recommended and supported Wright’s appointment. She was officially nominated by President Barack Obama in April of last year.The Honorable Wilhelmina M. Wright has been selected to give the Commencement address to the 2017 graduating class. This year’s celebration will take place on Saturday, May 13. Photo courtesy of Wilhelmina M. Wright.