Florida Supreme Court Retired Justice James E.C. Perry to Keynote Thirteenth FAMU College of Law Hooding Ceremony

The Honorable Florida Supreme Court Retired Justice James E. C. Perry will keynote the Thirteenth Annual Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) College of Law Hooding Ceremony on Saturday, May 20, 2017.  The event will take place at 10 a.m., at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, Florida.

“I’m delighted that Justice Perry will address this year’s graduating law class at their Hooding Ceremony.  We are honored to have someone with his professionalism, depth of knowledge and experiences as our keynote speaker,” said Dean A. Felecia Epps.

Justice Perry will address the spring 2017 candidates, who will have the juris doctor degree conferred by FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., April 29, 2017, at the University’s Commencement Exercises in Tallahassee, Florida. The Hooding Ceremony will recognize more than 100 candidates, including the fall 2016, spring 2017, and summer 2017 graduating classes.  The candidates will be hooded by a faculty member elected “Faculty of the Year” by the student body.  In addition to Justice Perry, the candidates will also be addressed by the University President or Provost, a member of the Board of Trustees, the Graduation Chair, and a J.D. graduate chosen by the graduating class.

A native of New Bern, North Carolina, Perry was appointed as the 85th Justice to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Charlie Crist and took office there on March 11, 2009. Before his appointment, he served as a Circuit Judge of Florida’s Eighteenth Judicial Circuit upon his appointment by Governor Jeb Bush in March 2000. Justice Perry later served as Chief Judge of the Circuit for a two-year term beginning July 2003.

He attended Saint Augustine’s University, graduating in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Accounting. After serving in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant, he went on to Columbia Law School where he earned his Juris Doctorate degree in 1972.

Justice Perry met his future bride, Adrienne M. Perry, Ph.D., while at Columbia Law School. They have three children, two attorneys and a Human Resource Manager.

Justice Perry has been actively involved in many community activities. A dedicated father, Perry managed his son’s AAU basketball team, the SanLando Greyhounds and played an active role in all their sports activities. Justice Perry’s commitment to improving children’s lives extends beyond his own family. As founder and president of the Jackie Robinson Sports Association, Perry built a baseball league serving 650 at-risk boys and girls – the largest in the nation. However, the Association did more than coach baseball. Volunteers also served as mentors and provided free tutoring. In addition to his work with disadvantaged kids, Justice Perry served as captain of the Heart of Florida United Way Campaign and his firm served as general counsel for the Florida Chapter Branches of the NAACP. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees at Saint Augustine’s University. Justice Perry has been a member of the Carter CME Tabernacle Church of Orlando for more than 30 plus years. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees.

Justice Perry was the first African-American appointed to the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit. Following his appointment to the circuit court bench, Justice Perry ran unopposed to retain his seat. He retired from the Florida Supreme Court on December 30, 2016.

The FAMU College of Law’s Hooding Ceremony is a public event; however, seating is limited, and there is a parking fee at most lots in Downtown Orlando.