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COMMENCEMENT

Speaker

John W. NormanJohn W. Norman is a founding partner of Oklahoma City law firm Norman and Edem, PLLC. He was born in Duncan, Okla., in 1944 and was raised in the small town of Temple, Okla., just north of the Red River.

Norman completed his undergraduate and law study at the University of Oklahoma where he obtained a B.A. in 1966 and an LL.B., cum laude in 1968. While in law school, he served as editor of the Oklahoma Law Review and was inducted to the Order of the Coif.

A longtime friend of RSU, Norman was recognized in 2001 with the creation of the John W. Norman Endowed Chair in Business Information Technology at RSU. The endowed faculty chair – the first in RSU’s history – was established through the generous gifts of his friends and colleagues; the chair is currently held by Dr. Peter Macpherson.

Additionally, Norman and his wife Cecelia are no strangers to the RSU campus, including a 2010 visit where they announced a scholarship endowment to benefit students majoring in Game Development in RSU’s School of Business and Technology as well as purchase of several advanced computer systems to serve the program. The Normans also were primary contributors toward establishing the Stratton Taylor Endowed Scholarship, which assists RSU students selected to participate in the Washington Center Internship Program that provides opportunity to engage in life-changing internships in the nation’s capital.

Norman has been active throughout his legal career in practicing, writing, and speaking in the field of tort law. He has maintained an active trial and appellate practice since 1967 when he was admitted to limited practice as a member of Oklahoma’s first class of Legal Interns. Norman’s law practice includes aviation law, general civil, trial and appellate practice, plaintiff tort litigation, product liability, automotive law, class action, and tobacco and medical negligence litigation. He has served as trial and appellate counsel in a number of cases of first impression, including product liability, crash worthiness, and governmental immunity.

Norman has been admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the 10th and 5th Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the Western, Northern, and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma; and he has been admitted pro-hac-vice to practice in various other state and federal courts.

He has served as president of prestigious professional organizations such as the Inner Circle of Advocates and the Oklahoma Association for Justice. He also has taken leadership roles with county, state, federal and national bar associations, the American Association for Justice, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the American College of Trial Lawyers.

He has been recognized for professional excellence by numerous publications, has numerous selections as an Oklahoma Super Lawyer, and is the recipient of an AV rating – the highest rating issued by the Martindale peer review system.

The Normans, who were high school sweethearts, have three sons. Since 1995, they have funded and operated the John W. and Cecelia A. Norman Family Foundation, a charitable trust supporting universities, churches, and other charitable organizations.