This year’s speaker for the University of Washington Bothell commencement is Washington Supreme Court Associate Justice Mary I. Yu.
She will address graduates at the ceremony June 10 at Safeco Field in Seattle.
“Justice Yu has a compelling personal story as well as a passion for social justice and public service,” said chancellor Wolf Yeigh in a press release. “This is something she has in common with many at the University of Washington Bothell.”
Yu was appointed to the high court in 2014 by Gov. Jay Inslee who noted she distinguished herself throughout her career as someone of great intellect, dedication and compassion. Voters confirmed his choice, then Yu was re-elected in 2016 to a full six-year term.
Yu was raised in Chicago by immigrant parents. Her mother came from Mexico and her father from China. She was the first in her family to graduate from college and received her law degree from Notre Dame.
Yu served as deputy chief of staff for King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng and in 2000 was appointed to the superior court bench by Gov. Gary Locke. As a judge in 2012, Yu performed the first same-sex marriage in Washington on the day same-sex marriages became legal in the state. She is the first member of the LGBTQ community to serve on the state Supreme Court.
A mentor and role model, Yu has served as co-chair of the Leadership Institute of the University of Washington Law School and Washington State Bar Association. Yu has won awards from the Washington State Bar Association, King County Women Lawyers, and the Municipal League Foundation.