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University Regents Honor Contributions
of Judge Diana E. Murphy ('74)

NOVEMBER 20, 2008—The Honorable Diana E. Murphy (’74) of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals was honored November 12, 2008, with a University of Minnesota Regents Award, presented by Patricia Simmons, chair of the Board of Regents. Judge Murphy told the Regents and the audience who gathered to share in her acceptance of the award: "It has been a joy and privilege to have watched from a ringside seat as the University moves on to an even more distinguished future made possible by its able leadership and the spectacular achievements in funding it.”

The Regents present the award to a select few who have contributed to the building and development of the University through exceptionally valuable and noteworthy service. Judge Murphy’s service has been abundant and long-lived.

She served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Minnesota Foundation for 16 years: as treasurer for six years, as vice-chair for one year, and as chair from 2003-05. Much of her time as chair, she said, was devoted to revising the Memorandum of Understanding between the University and its Foundation, “which I believe has already borne fruit in facilitating productive and cooperative efforts toward advancing the interests of the University of Minnesota.”

Among Judge Murphy’s many other contributions are years of service on the board of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, the Law School Board of Governors, and the Advisory Board of the Minnesota Law Review. She credited the University for her skills in teamwork, saying it “broadened my horizons and taught me much about learning and the life of the mind, about how to work with others toward common goals, and literally opened the world to me.”

She also was recently honored with the Diana Murphy Legacy Award, newly established by the Infinity Project in recognition of her extraordinary achievements, commitment to equal justice, and support of women lawyers and judges. Appointed to the Eighth Circuit in 1994, Judge Murphy remains the only woman to serve on that bench. Her namesake award will honor individuals and organizations that support the progress of women in law and her legacy of excellence.

Judge Murphy and several other University of Minnesota Foundation trustees leave the board in November, “giving life to the bylaw changes we made not so long ago,” she said, that allow for “new blood” on the board. “The University of Minnesota has been my educator, my enabler, my employer, my matchmaker, my inspiration, and my guide,” she said.