EMU regents to award two honorary degrees at Dec. 19 commencement ceremony
YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents approved the awarding of two honorary degrees at the Dec. 19 commencement ceremony during its regular meeting Nov. 30.
Maura D. Corrigan, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan and commencement speaker, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws while Dean Rockwell (’35) will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service.
Corrigan was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1998 for an eight-year term. In January 2001, she was elected by her colleagues to a two-year term as Chief Justice. In January 2003, she was re-elected as Chief Justice and will serve in that position through 2004.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marygrove College in Detroit in 1969, and Cum Laude from the University of Detroit Law School in 1973.
Justice Corrigan served as a law clerk to Judge John Gillis of the Michigan Court of Appeals. She worked as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Wayne County from 1974 to 1979. In 1979, she became Chief of Appeals in the United States Attorney’s Office in Detroit. In 1986, she was promoted to Chief Assistant United States Attorney, the first woman to hold that position. In 1989, Justice Corrigan became a partner in the law firm of Plunkett & Cooney. In 1992, Governor John Engler appointed her to the Michigan Court of Appeals. She was elected to successive terms in 1992 and 1994. After she received the nomination of the judges of the Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court appointed her Chief Judge of that court in 1997. She served two years as Chief Judge before her election to the Supreme Court.
Rockwell is one of Eastern Michigan University’s staunchest supporters and even at the age of 92, regularly attends many sports and academic functions.
He graduated from Michigan State Normal College in 1935. While at MSNC, Rockwell served as president of Phi Sigma Epsilon and the Men’s Union. He also competed in football, track and wrestling. He excelled in wrestling, winning the campus heavyweight wrestling championship, and began what would become a lifelong love of and commitment to the advancement of that sport.
Following his graduation, he taught and coached football, wrestling and track at Elberta High School in Detroit, 1935-36, and Flint Bendle High School, 1936-52.
Rockwell joined the U.S. Navy May 17, 1942 and had a distinguished career. He was the commander of LCT Flotilla #12, a group of 36 LCTs that were assigned to carry the tanks in the first wave of the Normandy invasion June 6, 1944. Sensing that his orders were a “recipe for disaster,” Rockwell broke radio silence, calling his commanding officer and making last minute adjustments in the plan of attack. Of the four LCTs in Rockwell’s group, three were destroyed during the landing.
For his good judgment, Rockwell was awarded the Navy Cross. He is also the recipient of the French Croix de Guerre Avec (Cross of War with Palm).
Among his other achievements: he coached the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team at the 1964 Olympics: served on three Olympic wrestling committees; founded the Michigan Wrestling Club in 1965; and was inducted into the Eastern Michigan University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.