CHARLESTON - Kanawha Circuit Judge Irene Berger will deliver the keynote address at West Virginia University's December Convocation.
Berger was recently named the 2006 outstanding alumna by the WVU Alumni Association and was honored during Homecoming weekend in October, and the McDowell County native will now turn her attention toward her speech at the Dec. 10 ceremony.
"It was an unexpected honor to be asked," she said. "I'm very excited about having an opportunity to speak to the graduates. As the years have passed, our expectations of the graduates have grown. I believe students get an excellent education at WVU. I'm excited to have the opportunity to talk to a group of people with that much potential."
Berger received her mathematics degree from WVU in 1976 and her law degree from the College of Law in 1979.
She has stayed close to the school, serving as the 102nd president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, a member of the Student Affairs Visiting Committee, a member of the College of Law and Social Justice Visiting Committee and a member of the former Institutional Board of Advisors.
"Judge Irene Berger has displayed unselfish dedication to the state, to the country and to West Virginia University across her professional career and throughout her life," said Chris Martin, vice president for university advancement and marketing. "I can not think of a person who better exemplifies the wisdom, work ethic, compassion and a passion for public service -- all hallmarks of this state, this university -- better than Judge Berger."
Berger has received numerous awards and honors. In 2004, then Gov. Bob Wise presented her with the Distinguished West Virginia award, and she received the Community Champion Award from the Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action.
In 2003, Berger was named a fellow of the American Bar Association and was given the Mountain State Bar Association Merit Award. She received the Distinguished Woman in Law Award by the WVU College of Law Women's
Law Caucus, the West Virginia African-American Woman of Distinction by the West Virginia Woman's Commission and was named a Foundation Fellow by the West Virginia State Bar.
She was also honored with the 2000 Outstanding Woman of Achievement Award by the Charleston YWCA.
In 1997, Berger was honored with the Celebrate Woman Award for the West Virginia Woman's Commission. She also received the 1996 Woman of the Year Award by the Charleston Area Business and Professional Women's Club and ranked first in overall qualifications in the 1996 Judicial Evaluation Poll conducted by the West Virginia State Bar.