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Hon. Randall T. Eng ’72 to Speak at School of Law’s 2016 Commencement Exercises

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dean Michael A. Simons is pleased to announce that Hon. Randall T. Eng, presiding justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, will be the Law School’s commencement speaker on Sunday, June 5, 2016.

As the Second Department’s presiding justice and chief administrator, Justice Eng oversees one of the busiest appellate courts in the country, helps to guide New York’s judicial policy, and supervises the operation of the court’s ancillary agencies, including the Office of Attorneys for Children, the Committee on Character and Fitness, and Mental Hygiene Legal Services.

Born in Canton, China, Justice Eng was raised in New York City and attended public school there before going to college at SUNY Buffalo and onto law school at St. John’s. From 1970 to 2004, he proudly served his country as a member of the New York Army National Guard, retiring as State Judge Advocate with the rank of colonel.

Justice Eng began his long and esteemed career in public service as an assistant district attorney in Queens and continued in top leadership positions at the New York City Department of Corrections.

He first took the bench in the Criminal Court of the City of New York in 1983. Starting in 1991, he presided in Supreme Court, Queens County courts until he was elevated to the Appellate Division in 2008. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo appointed him to lead the Second Department in 2012. 

Throughout his career, Justice Eng has been a trailblazer. In 2012, he became the first Asian American to serve as presiding justice of an Appellate Division. Indeed, in almost every position he has held in his legal career, he has opened doors by being the first Asian American. 

“We’re delighted that Justice Eng will be our commencement speaker,” says Dean Simons. “He has served our city, state, and country with great honor, integrity, and humility, and he continues to champion diversity in the legal profession. Justice Eng contributes to the life of St. John’s Law in immeasurable ways as an educator, as a leader of our Alumni Association, and as an ever-present resource for our students. We’re truly fortunate to welcome him home to alma mater as he ushers the Class of 2016 into our alumni family.”