Margaret Marshall named Yale Corporation trustee

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(Photo by Michael Marsland)

President Richard C. Levin announced today the appointment of Margaret H. Marshall as a successor trustee to the Yale Corporation.

Marshall was chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts from 1999 until her retirement in 2010. She was the first woman to serve in that position. A 1976 graduate of Yale Law School, Marshall served as an alumni fellow of the Yale Corporation from 2004-2010. She received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Yale in 2012. Her new term on the Corporation will begin immediately.

“We are extremely pleased that Margaret has agreed to serve the University again on the Yale Corporation,” Levin said. “Yale has benefited greatly from her counsel and wisdom, and looks forward to drawing on her talents once more.”

During her 14 years on the Supreme Judicial Court, Marshall wrote more than 300 opinions, many of them landmark decisions. The 2003 decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which she authored, declared that the Massachusetts Constitution prohibits the state from denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage; this decision made Massachusetts the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

A native of South Africa, Marshall earned her B.A. from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard in 1969 and completed four years of doctoral work before studying law.  Following her graduation from Yale, she practiced law for 16 years and became a partner in the Boston firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart. Marshall was vice president and general counsel of Harvard University from 1992 to 1996.

She currently serves as senior counsel at Choate Hall & Stewart and is a senior research fellow and lecturer at Harvard Law School.

Marshall has served as president of the Boston Bar Association, president of the United States Conference of Chief Justices, and chair of the board of the National Center for State Courts. She chaired Yale’s Advisory Committee on Campus Climate, which focused on the University’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct.

Hear her give advice to Yale graduates during her 2012 campus visit to receive her honorary degree.

The Yale Corporation

The Yale Corporation is the governing board and policy-making body for Yale University.  The Corporation has 19 members: the president of the University; 10 successor trustees, who elect their own successors for up to two six-year terms; six alumni fellows, who are elected by the alumni for staggered six-year terms; and the governor and lieutenant governor of the State of Connecticut, who are ex officio members. Brief biographical sketches of the other members of the Corporation are available online.

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