Angelo State University alumna Melody M. Wilkinson, judge of the 17th District Court of Texas, will deliver the commencement address during ASU’s spring graduation ceremonies this Saturday, May 10, in the Junell Center/Stephens Arena.
Wilkinson will address graduates of the College of Education and the College of Health and Human Services during a 10 a.m. ceremony.  She will speak to graduates of the College Business and the College of Arts and Sciences in a 2 p.m. ceremony.  More than 850 ASU graduates are expected to walk across the stage during the two graduation exercises.

A 1985 ASU graduate, Wilkinson was elected 17th District judge in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012 to a second term that runs through 2016.  The 17th District Court is based in the Tim Curry Justice Center in Fort Worth.

Prior to her election, Wilkinson was a Fort Worth-based practicing civil attorney, first at Cantey & Hanger LLP, then Cooley Manion Jones LLP and then Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee LLP.  She has been an active litigator since 1998 in commercial cases, product liability, labor law and professional malpractice.  She has also handled pro bono cases as a volunteer attorney with West Texas Legal Services and is active in numerous professional organizations.  She has served as both president and chair of the board for the Texas Young Lawyers Association and is a fellow of the Tarrant County, Texas and American Bar Foundations.

After graduating summa cum laude from ASU with her bachelor’s degree in government and English, Wilkinson earned her law degree from Texas Tech University in 1988.  While at ASU, she was active in the Delta Zeta sorority and served as president of the Panhellenic Council.  She received several Delta Zeta scholarships and awards as both an undergraduate and graduate student.

Wilkinson’s many professional honors and awards include being named a “Top Attorney” by Fort Worth, Texas magazine in 2007 and 2008, as well as a “Texas Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly in 2006 and 2008.  She was also named a “Great Woman of Texas” by the Fort Worth Business Press and one of “40 Under 40” by Texas Lawyer in 2001.  That same year, she was named “Outstanding Young Lawyer of Tarrant County” by the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association.  She was named Delta Zeta’s “Woman of the Year” in 2003, and she was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by the ASU Alumni Association in 2010.

Also active in the community, Wilkinson serves on the board of Easter Seals North Texas and has served on the Fort Worth Parks and Recreation Department’s Sports Advisory Council since 1993.