Law scholar chosen as commencement speaker

Seton Hall’s Commencement Committee has chosen Dr. Hadley P. Arkes of Amherst College to give the commencement address at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on Monday, May 20.

According to an email sent from the Provost’s Office, Arkes is the Edward N. Ney Professor of the Jurisprudence and American Institutions at Amherst and has taught there since 1966.

According to Director of Media Relations Laurie A. Pine, Arkes was chosen as the commencement speaker “for his exemplary scholarship in jurisprudence and particularly for his defense of the role of ethics as the basis for positive law.”

Senior Associate Provost Dr. Joan Guetti said two honorary degree recipients are nominated by the Seton Hall community and from that the commencement speaker is chosen.

“We seek to identify individuals who demonstrate excellence either through their exemplary service to a community, their contributions to the mission of the Church or to social issues,” Guetti said. “Or their contributions to the intellectual life, an academic discipline or culture.”

Arkes graduated from the University of Illinois and later received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Arkes is the founder of the Committee for the American Founding at Amherst. It is a group comprised of alumni and students who look to protect “the doctrines of ‘natural rights’ taught by the American Founders and (Abraham) Lincoln.” He was also an advocate for the Born-Alive Infant’s Protection Act during George H. W. Bush’s presidency in 1988.

Arkes has written several books, essays and articles and has been published by the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard and National Review.

The student speaker will be announced on Friday.

Tiffany Do can be reached at

Author: Tiffany Do

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