Mississippi College

Former Federal Judge Charles Pickering Addresses MC Graduates

June 30, 2008

A former federal judge, author and longtime Republican Party leader, Jackson attorney Charles W. Pickering, Sr. will deliver the summer commencement address at Mississippi College.

The August 2 graduation is scheduled at the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Clinton campus. The event begins at 10 a.m.

A Jones County native, Pickering has enjoyed a distinguished career in politics, in the legal world and in the faith-based community. A former state senator, he served as president of the Mississippi Baptist Convention in 1984. His service to the state of Mississippi and to the nation dates back to the early 1960s.

Pickering earned his bachelor's degree in 1959 from the University of Mississippi and law degree in 1961 from the Ole Miss School of Law in Oxford.

A former U.S. District Judge, Pickering penned the book "Supreme Chaos," a couple of years ago. The account details his unsuccessful and politically charged national battle to win U.S. Senate confirmation to a judgeship on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The conservative Mississippian later received a recess appointment to the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit from President George Bush. He served for about a year before announcing his retirement from the federal judiciary in December 2004.

Pickering and his wife, Margaret Ann, are the parents of three daughters and a son, outgoing Third District U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Flora. He is active with a number of organizations, including 15-year-old Mission Mississippi that seeks to promote racial reconciliation among members of churches around the state.

Pickering is a member of the Baker Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell& Berkowitz, PC law firm at its Jackson office. A former Democrat, he switched to the Republican Party in 1964. He was chairman of the Mississippi GOP from 1976 to 1978.

It's quite an honor for Pickering to speak to MC's August graduates, said Ron Howard, vice president for academic affairs. "Charles Pickering is a dedicated Christian and distinguished jurist," he said. "His record of service, not only to his state and nation, but also to his church, is peerless."

MC supporters, Howard said, "are especially proud of Judge Pickering for his many efforts to advance racial reconciliation in Mississippi."

PHOTO: Former Federal Judge Charles Pickering

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