Mark G. Yudof, LL.B. Receives Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), awarded Mark G. Yudof, LL.B., with the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, on Monday, May 20, 2013 at the Graduation Ceremonies of HUC-JIR’s Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles.  Graduation took place at the University of Southern California (3551 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles).  Mr. Yudof also served as the Graduation Speaker. Click here to read his address.

Rabbi Ellenson stated, "Mark G. Yudof's extraordinary career reflects his passionate devotion to the premier public university system in the world, his exemplary scholarship and expertise in constitutional law, and his inspiring vision for civic outreach.  He has displayed moral leadership as a public intellectual and as a proud Jew." 

Mark G. Yudof was named the 19th president of the University of California on March 27, 2008, and took office June 16, 2008. He leads a university system with 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program. The UC system has more than 234,000 students, about 208,000 faculty and staff, more than 1.6 million alumni, and a $22.7 billion annual operating budget.

Yudof served as chancellor of the University of Texas System from August 2002 to May 2008 and as president of the four-campus University of Minnesota from 1997 to 2002. Before that, he was a faculty member and administrator at the University of Texas at Austin for 26 years, serving as dean of the law school from 1984 to 1994 and as the university's executive vice president and provost from 1994 to 1997. His career at UT Austin began in 1971, when he was appointed an assistant professor of law.

While on the UT law faculty, he also was a visiting professor at the law schools at the University of Michigan and UC Berkeley, and conducted research as a visiting fellow at the University of Warwick in England.

Yudof is a distinguished authority on constitutional law, freedom of expression and education law who has written and edited numerous publications on free speech and gender discrimination, including "Educational Policy and the Law." He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Law Institute. He served a two-year term on the U.S. Department of Education's Advisory Board of the National Institute for Literacy and has served on the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.

A Philadelphia native, he earned an LL.B. degree (cum laude) in 1968 from the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he also earned a B.A. degree (cum laude with honors in political science) in 1965. He was awarded the Alumni Award of Merit (2001) and the prestigious James Wilson Award (2004) by the University of Pennsylvania Law School for his many years of service and contributions to the legal community.

His wife, Judy, is the immediate past international president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. She also serves on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council and the international board of Hillel. In 1993, Mark and Judy Yudof were co-recipients of the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award. The Yudofs have two grown children — a son, Seth, and a daughter, Samara.

Click here to view the National Graduation and Ordination press release.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu