News and Events
Pepperdine Celebrated William French Smith
Pepperdine University School of Law hosted A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of William French Smith on Friday, June 29, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. The 74th U.S. attorney general, Smith served on the School of Law's Board of Visitors, and was honored at the school's annual dinner in 1984. Tributes by former members of the Reagan cabinet and William French Smith Justice Department began at 4 p.m., followed by a 6 p.m. reception and gala dinner in Air Force One Pavilion. The dinner included remarks by special honored guests.
Invited speakers included Rudy Giuliani - former U.S. attorney, associate attorney general and mayor of New York; Theodore Olson - former assistant attorney general, solicitor general and currently a senior partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; Edward Schmults - former deputy attorney general and former general counsel, G.T.E. Corporation; Carol Dinkins - former assistant attorney general and former deputy attorney general, currently a partner with Vincent Elkins in Houston, Texas; David Hiller - former special assistant to William French Smith and currently publisher, Los Angeles Times; Ken Starr - former counselor and chief of staff to William French Smith, former federal judge and solicitor general, currently dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law. First Lady Mrs. Nancy Reagan attended the event.
Other attendees included friends, associates, and others who wanted to honor the life and legacy of William French Smith, as well as supporters of President and Mrs. Reagan and the Reagan Library, and friends and supporters of Pepperdine University and the School of Law.
Dean Ken Starr noted that the gala dinner event marked the establishment of the Pepperdine School of Law William French Smith Memorial Lectures on Law and the Judiciary. Named in honor of the former attorney general, the annual lecture series will be an ongoing tribute to Smith. Current and retired judges and justices from around the country as well as prominent attorneys and law professors are expected to participate in the annual program. Says Starr, "The William French Smith Memorial Lectures will bring prominent speakers each year to focus on issues of law, the judiciary, and public policy so as to honor in perpetuity a singularly talented lawyer and public servant who, as President Reagan graciously put it, was 'always honest, always fair, always careful, and always motivated by a desire to do what was indisputably the right thing.'"