News and Events
Dean Ken Starr Honored with Portrait at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
In a fitting tribute to one of America's preeminent legal figures, the portrait of Pepperdine University School of Law dean Kenneth W. Starr was unveiled during a ceremony at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Thursday, Oct. 11. Starr's portrait will remain on view permanently on the fifth floor, joining the images of acclaimed judges who have served on that same court.
Dean Starr served on the court 1983 to 1989, before accepting the appointment of solicitor general of the United States. His tenure on the court was the focus of the portrait presentation and subsequent "hanging" celebration attended by his family, close friends, former clerks, colleagues, and many luminaries. The Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, presided over the event held in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as well as justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Antonin Scalia attended the ceremony. Other honored guests included Paul Clement, solicitor general of the United States; Fred Fielding, White House counsel; all judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; and friends and associates from the justice department, Kirkland & Ellis, and other law prestigious firms. Pepperdine vice chancellor and School of Law Dean Emeritus Ronald Phillips and Pepperdine provost Darryl Tippens and his wife Anne also attended.
In his remarks, Starr spoke of his time on the court with a touch of light-hearted humor. "We were blessed by those years of service on this great court—years that began exactly 24 years ago today, by virtue of an uncharacteristic lapse in judgment by the revered President who appointed me, Ronald Reagan."
Tippens said he was moved by the distinguished federal judges, friends, and former law clerks who honored Starr. "I was struck by the sincere warmth and deep affection the legal community feels for Ken and Alice. In their testimonials, friends commented on the dean's professionalism, diligence, intelligence, hospitality, and uncommon kindness."
The portrait, painted by artist Chas Fagan, was generously funded through Starr's former law clerks and legal colleagues, many of whom attended the event and subsequent dinner celebration.