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Bill Jentes, ’56, and Bill Bogaard, ’65, Named 2017 Distinguished Alumni

By Jordan Poll
September 22, 2017

Michigan Law has named William Jentes, ’56, and William Bogaard, ’65, recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award, the Law School’s highest honor. “To receive the Distinguished Alumni Award at a place like Michigan Law, which is full of talented alumni, is a remarkable accomplishment,” said Dean Mark West. “There is no doubt that this year’s honorees earned their place among the Law School’s list of Distinguished Alumni Award winners.”

For close to 40 years, Jentes was a principal litigating partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, acting as lead trial and appellate counsel in many of the firm's most significant business, commercial, competition, and corporate cases. He retired from Kirkland in 2004 to establish an independent practice as an arbitrator and mediator of 

significant disputes, both in the United States and abroad.

Jentes, a civic leader and philanthropist in Chicago, has long been an active supporter of the Law School. He has been an adviser to numerous deans of the Law School, and taught at Michigan Law from 1991 to 2008. Jentes has served on fundraising committees during capital campaigns and championed the establishment of the Kirkland & Ellis Professorship, as well as a collective gift from Michigan Law partners at Kirkland & Ellis toward the recent campus expansion and renovation project. For nearly two decades, he funded the William Jentes Scholarship Fund, providing merit scholarship support to nine outstanding law students each year.

“Bill is deeply proud of and committed to his alma mater,” said Dean West. “In almost every way you can possibly give back to a school, he has done it—strengthening Michigan Law throughout the decades.”

Jentes was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award at a ceremony in Chicago in August. Among those in attendance were former recipients of the Jentes Scholarship. “‘Gratitude—is not the mention of a tenderness, but its still appreciation out of plumb of speech,’” quoted Jentes from a poem by his favorite poet, Emily Dickinson. “I’m not going to attempt to plumb my speech. I am merely going to recite my gratitude. Thank you.”

Bogaard received the Distinguished Alumni Award during a ceremony held in Ann Arbor as part of the Law School’s Reunion Weekend. “This is a great privilege, particularly because I know that persons who are from Michigan Law are persons of great accomplishment, dedication, and personal and social value,” said Bogaard. “To be honored in this way, it is something that I will not forget.”

After law school, Bogaard joined O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles and pursued a corporate securities law practice. He served as deputy commissioner of corporations for the State of California in 1966 and then returned to private law practice until the early 1980s. At the time, he joined First Interstate Bancorp, a financial services holding company, as executive vice president and general counsel.

Bogaard served as a visiting professor at Michigan Law from 1996 to 1997, where he taught Banking Law and Securities Regulation. He then taught Securities Regulation and Corporations as an adjunct law professor at the University of Southern California, while also pursuing an arbitration practice. In 1999, he became the mayor of Pasadena, California—the city’s first directly elected mayor. Bogaard went on to serve four four-year terms.

“For decades, Bill has been a truly admirable and indispensable partner to the Law School,” said Evan Caminker, the Branch Rickey Collegiate Professor of Law and former dean of Michigan Law, who introduced Bogaard during the ceremony.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes extraordinary alumni whose achievements exemplify the values and ethos of the University of Michigan Law School. “We honor Bill Jentes and Bill Bogaard for their dedication to law, the numerous contributions they have made to the profession and society, and their leadership among Michigan Law alumni,” said Dean West. “We are so proud to call them our own."

For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Award, visit the Alumni and Friends website.

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