Former Wayne Law dean honored at reception - The South End: News

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Former Wayne Law dean honored at reception

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Posted: Thursday, January 12, 2017 7:00 am

On Jan. 11, a reception was held in honor and recognition of Jocelyn Benson’s accomplishments during her time as dean of the Wayne State Law School. 

Benson was dean of Wayne Law from 2012 to 2016, and she was the youngest woman to lead an accredited law school in the United States at the time of her acquirement of the position, according to Benson's biography.

Benson is currently the director of Wayne Law's Levin Center, which was formed in 2015 in honor of former U.S. Senator Carl Levin’s career in public service.

Benson said her experience at WSU was extraordinary due to the tremendous students and great staff.

“The greatest thing was being able to work with this president. President Wilson has a strong vision for the university, within the city, and I was really proud to be able to help further that vision,” Benson said.

Distinguished guests of the reception included President M. Roy Wilson and Board of Governors member Kim Trent.

“A sign of a good leader is not necessarily what happens when they’re in the position they’re in, but the impact they make even after they’re gone,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the recent success of the law school is a testament to the foundation that Benson has built during her career. 

“The applications are coming in at a greater rate than last year, and for the past few years, the first year classes have had an increase in enrollment,” President Wilson said. “The bar passage rate of the law school has, yet again, surpassed the Michigan mean.”

Trent said she thinks Benson is extremely focused and very bright. Benson began with a clear vision for success and accomplished the goals she set, Trent said.

“She was very successful in making [Wayne Law] into an attractive place for students looking for a law education,” Trent said.

Benson said she believes the law school is in a great position, which shows promise for a bright future.

“I’m confident that we’re on a good trajectory moving forward to attract great students. We are well positioned to continue to ascend in the rankings and to be a leading law school for many years to come,” Benson said. 

Benson is now the CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, which, she said, is a collaboration of every sports league to use the unifying power of sports to improve race relations.

“I’m really excited to continue to see how the seeds that were planted over the four years that I served as the leader of the law school will continue to bear fruit in the years to come,” Benson said.

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