U.S. Secretary of Labor keynotes UDM Law commencement ceremony


University of Detroit Mercy School of Law held its 102nd annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 8, at 6 p.m. at Calihan Hall on the University’s McNichols Campus. This year’s keynote speaker was United States Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.

Nominated by President Barack Obama and sworn in on July 23, 2013, Secretary Perez is the nation’s 26th Secretary of Labor. He has committed to making good on the promise of opportunity for all, giving every working family a chance to get ahead, and putting a middle-class life within reach of everyone willing to work for it.

Secretary Perez’s priorities for the department include ensuring a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work; connecting ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs, through skills programs such as Registered Apprenticeship and on-the-job training; promoting gender equality in the workplace; ensuring that people with disabilities and veterans have access to equal employment opportunity; and insisting on a safe and level playing field for all American workers.

Secretary Perez was a law professor for six years at the University of Maryland School of Law and was a part-time professor at the George Washington School of Public Health. He received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1983. In 1987 he received both a master’s of public policy and a law degree from Harvard University.

“We are honored to have Secretary Perez speak at commencement,” said Detroit Mercy School of Law Dean Phyllis L. Crocker. “It is especially fitting that he addresses our graduates this year, as the School will celebrate 50 years of serving the people of Detroit through its clinical program:  a program dedicated to the principles Secretary Perez has extolled throughout his career of providing equal representation and fair treatment to all people in the United States.”