FAMU Holds MLK Jr. Convocation [SLIDE SHOW]

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FAMU Release: Justice James E. C. Perry to Keynote FAMU's Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Justice E. C. Perry will serve as the keynote speaker for Florida A&M University's (FAMU) 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation on January 15 at 10:10 a.m. in the Gaither Gymnasium.

A native of New Bern, NC, Justice Perry was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by former Governor Charlie Crist and took office on March 11, 2009. Before his appointment, he served as a circuit judge of Florida's Eighteenth Judicial Circuit upon his appointment by former Governor Jeb Bush in March 2000. Justice Perry later served as Chief Judge of the Circuit for a two-year term beginning July 2003. Justice Perry was the first African American appointed to the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit.

As an attorney, Perry was widely recognized for his legal skills and abilities. Prior to his appointment to the trial bench, Justice Perry was senior partner in the law firm of Perry & Hicks, P.A., where he specialized in civil and business law.

Justice Perry has received numerous honors and awards including the Seminole County NAACP Humanitarian Award, the Orange County Chapter NAACP Paul C. Perkins Award, and the 2005 Martin Luther King Drum Major Award for Social Justice. In 2004, Justice Perry was honored by his hometown by receiving the "Key to the City." In 2005, the United Negro College Fund selected Justice Perry as one of four individuals to be profiled during its national broadcast of An Evening of Stars: A Celebration of Educational Excellence. Justice Perry received the prestigious Williams-Johnson Outstanding Jurist of the Year Award for 2006 from the Brevard and Seminole County Bar Associations. He is the recipient of an honorary doctor of law degree from Stetson University College of Law.

Justice Perry has been actively involved in many community activities. A dedicated father, Perry managed his son's AAU basketball team, the SanLando Greyhounds, and played an active role in all their sports activities. Justice Perry's commitment to improving children's lives extends beyond his own family. As founder and president of the Jackie Robinson Sports Association, Perry built a baseball league serving 650 at-risk boys and girls - the largest in the nation. However, the association did more than coach baseball. Volunteers also served as mentors and provided free tutoring. In addition to his work with disadvantaged kids, Justice Perry served as captain of the Heart of Florida United Way Campaign and his firm served as general counsel for the Florida Chapter Branches of the NAACP. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees at Saint Augustine's College.

Justice Perry attended Saint Augustine's College graduating in 1966 with a bachelor of arts in business administration and accounting. After serving in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant, he went on to Columbia Law School where he earned his juris doctorate degree in 1972.

He and his wife, Adrienne M. Perry, a professor at Stetson University, are the parents of three children.

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