Posted by Jean Gordon Cook
(JACKSON, Miss.) – U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves believes that he has learned a few lessons since he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1986 from Jackson State University. Reeves, who was nominated to the federal bench in 2010 by President Barack Obama, plans to share those lessons with some 375 graduates during the university’s summer commencement at 9 a.m. Saturday, August 6, at the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center on the university’s main campus.
“I remember all of us packing up our stuff knowing our last day as students would be that day of graduation, and we would move on to the next chapter of our lives,” Reeves said. “I knew I was going to law school and had aspirations of being where I am now.”
A magna cum laude graduate of Jackson State with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Reeves earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1989. Upon his graduation, he clerked for Justice Reuben Anderson of the Mississippi Supreme Court. He practiced with the Phelps Dunbar law firm before serving in the U. S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Mississippi as assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the Civil Division.
Reeves also served on the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Chiefs Working Group and was awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Immediately prior to his appointment to the federal bench, Reeves was engaged in the private practice of law with Pigott Reeves Johnson, P.A., a law firm he founded in 2001, where the focus of his practice was state and federal litigation. He also served as a special master with the Hinds County Chancery Court.
Reeves is a former president of the Magnolia Bar Association and Magnolia Bar Foundation. He has also served as commissioner of the Mississippi Board of Bar Commissioners.
The Jackson State summer 2011 graduating class includes Brandon K. Dumas, 26, who will become the youngest student to graduate from Jackson State’s Executive Ph.D. Program.
“I’ve been served extremely well by the program,” said Dumas, who works as the deputy chief of staff to the office of the president of Southern University system. “The administration and faculty members demonstrate the commitment to excellence and the nurturing component that is unique to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
A Baton Rouge native, Dumas holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern University and an M.B.A. from Salem University in Salem, W.Va. His ultimate goal is to lead an HBCU as president.
“I’m just thankful to Jackson State for the opportunity,” he said. “I plan to make the university proud.”