MSU Law Alumna Sworn in as Michigan Governor

Gretchen Whitmer, ’98, took office as the 49th Governor of Michigan on January 1, 2019, joining the ranks of elected officials, mayors, and representatives across the country who obtained their JDs from MSU Law.

After graduating magna cum laude from MSU Law, Whitmer did administrative law work in Dickinson Wright’s Lansing office for two years, then ran for state representative. She served five and a half years in the House, then won a special election for state senator in 2006.

Her campaign for governor focused on drinking water safety, support for educators and students, and repairing Michigan’s aging infrastructure.

At her inauguration in Lansing, Whitmer expressed her love for the state of Michigan. “There’s no place in the world like our state and no people in the world like Michiganders, and no question that Michigan has as much God-given potential as any place on Earth.”

While she had immense praise for her home state, she also addressed the work that needs to be done, and how she intends to be a part of the state’s development.

“While potential is universal, we know that opportunity is not, and right now in Michigan too few people have the opportunity they deserve. That’s not an easy thing to admit. But we must be clear eyed about the challenges we face, now is the time to confront our problems head on and say in one voice: ‘Let’s get it done’,” she said.

Whitmer took the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Clement, a fellow MSU Law grad from the class of 2002.

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