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Barker to speak at summer commencement

BarkerChief Justice William M. “Mickey” Barker will address graduates at summer commencement on Sunday, August 13, 2 p.m. at McKenzie Arena. 

Barker was honored with the 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award. A native of Chattanooga, Barker graduated from Chattanooga High School. In 1964, he received his Bachelor’s degree from the University. He is a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, serving as social chairman, rush chairman, and pledge trainer for the fraternity during his undergraduate tenure. He joined Westminister Fellowship, IFC, and he served on the Circle K Board of Directors. Barker was selected Distinguished Military Student.

He attended the Cincinnati School of Law on a Benwood Foundation Scholarship, and received his law degree in 1967. There, he was elected vice president of his class for three years. He was a member of the Board of Editors of the Cincinnati Law Review.

Following graduation, Barker served from 1967-1969 in The United States Army, as Captain of the Medical Service Corps. After serving in the Army, Barker entered practice with the law firm of Dietzen, Dietzen & Dietzen.

In 1983, he was appointed by Governor Lamar Alexander to become a judge of the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial District of Tennessee. He was later elected to that position by the voters of Hamilton County in 1984.

He was consistently rated the highest circuit court judge by the Chattanooga Bar Association in its bi-annual polls.

In 1995, Barker was appointed by Governor Sundquist to become a member of the Tennessee Court of Appeals, and was elected to that position in 1996. In 1998, he was appointed by Sundquist to the Tennessee Supreme Court. He was elected to a full eight-year term to the Supreme Court in 1998.
Barker was unanimously chosen by his colleagues to become Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2005. He serves as chair of the Tennessee Judicial Council, Chair of the Tennessee Code Commission, Chair of the Supreme Court Building Commissions, Chair of the State Law Library Commission. Previously, Barker served as president of the Chattanooga Trial Lawyers Association.

In the community, Barker served as a board member of the Joseph Johnson Mental Health Center, Valley Psychiatric Hospital and Team Evaluation Center, and at the Signal Mountain Playhouse, where he was featured in The Odd Couple, South Pacific, and Annie, Get Your Gun. Barker also served on a UTC Alumni Strategic Planning Committee and as a member of the UTC Alumni Board of Directors. He currently serves as vice-president of the Chattanooga Rotary Club.

July 31, 2006

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