Boalt alumni, friends and faculty came together for the 2006 Citation Award Dinner on May 5 to honor three of our own. The gala celebration recognized the accomplished careers and extraordinary achievements of Michael Tigar ’66, Professor Emeritus Michael Heyman and Judge Jon Tigar ’89.
Colleagues and former classmates representing the worlds of academia, corporate practice, government service and public interest filled the ballroom at San Francisco’s Ritz-Carlton, where the program included multimedia presentations chronicling the lives and careers of the three awardees.
Michael Tigar, a renowned trial attorney and constitutional law scholar, received the 2006 Citation Award for his exceptional contributions to the legal profession, civil rights and international justice. His classmate Jeff Bleich ’89, a litigation partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson in San Francisco, presented the award to Tigar.
In accepting the award, Tigar reflected that throughout his life, he had “pursued justice like a dog barks at a car….every now and then a car stops, and there you are.” Recalling that tuition was $120 a semester when he attended law school, Tigar added that “every year, the value of our degree goes up” and he encouraged attending alumni to “give back” to Boalt.
Michael Heyman, the Herman F. Selvin Professor of Law, Emeritus and former UC Berkeley chancellor, received the Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award. Professor Sanford Kadish, the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law, Emeritus and a former dean of Boalt Hall, presented the award. Kadish commended Heyman as a “man engaged with his world, a person of commitment and ideals and [with] the courage to act upon them.”
Judge Jon Tigar, a gifted litigator and trial attorney, appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court at the age of 39, was this year’s Young Alumnus Award winner. In presenting the honor to Tigar, Jami Floyd ’89, a former classmate who anchors her own daily program Jami Floyd: Best Defense for Court TV in New York, recognized Tigar for his leadership and commitment to public service. Tigar acknowledged the award by paying tribute to the “great class of ’89” and noting that his life’s work had been “inspired by [Boalt’s] public focus and commitment to public justice.”
“There is something so special about Boalt,” said Heyman in accepting the award. “It is a place of real excellence that belongs to a very wide swath of Californians.”
Dean Christopher Edley concluded the evening by reflecting on Boalt’s unique position as a public institution to make a difference in the years ahead. “We’re about more than just the gloss of excellence,” Edley remarked. “We’re about the substance of service…and about being great because society needs us to be.”
Created in 1961, the Citation Award recognizes outstanding achievements by a Boalt graduate who has made substantial contributions to the bar, the bench, legal scholarship and society overall. The Boalt Hall Alumni Association added the Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award three years ago to honor the lifelong contributions and accomplishments of an exemplary Boalt faculty member. The Young Alumnus Award is given to an alumnus who has graduated in the past 20 years and has made significant contributions to his or her community through professional, charitable or other public service activities, extraordinary service to the law school, and other achievements.