Investiture of Justice Chandler is January 23 in Starkville

January 12, 2009

An investiture ceremony for Mississippi Supreme Court Justice David A. Chandler is scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 23, 2009, in Lee Hall Auditorium on the Mississippi State University campus in Starkville.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice William L. Waller Jr. will serve as master of ceremonies. Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum will welcome guests. Speakers will include former Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman of Ridgeland, Mississippi Bar President Rodger Wilder of Gulfport, and retired Choctaw County Extension Agent Billy Walton.

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Leslie D. King of Greenville will administer the judicial oath to Justice Chandler during the investiture.

Justice Chandler took the oath of office Jan. 5 before members of the Supreme Court in Jackson. It is traditional to have a formal investiture ceremony, including a ceremonial administering of the oath, at a later time.

Sister Mary Dorothea Sondgeroth, President of St. Dominic Health Services, will give the opening prayer. Members of the Mississippi State University ROTC Unit will post the colors. Zierra Long of Tupelo Middle School will sing The Star-Spangled Banner. Grace-Anne Elliott of Ripley Middle School will sing God Bless America. Rev. Eddie Rester, pastor of Park Heights United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg, will deliver the closing prayer.

Members of Justice Chandler’s Investiture Committee are: Chair Dr. Mabel Murphree, Tupelo; Treasurer Bobby Martin, Ripley; Eric Chambers, Ackerman; Johnny Morgan, Oxford; Dr. Steve Parvin, Starkville; Amy Tuck, Mississippi State; Ben Barrett Smith, Batesville; Dr. Mike Carter, Greenwood; and Joe Vann, Corinth.

Justice Chandler, 62, of Ackerman, was elected to the Mississippi Supreme Court in November 2008. He previously served for eight years on the Court of Appeals. He served as municipal judge for his hometown of Weir from 1999 until 2001, when he joined the Court of Appeals.

Justice Chandler was born in Kosciusko and moved with his family to Weir just before his first year of school. He graduated from Weir High School in 1964. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in education from Mississippi State University. He spent 20 years in education, including almost 10 years as a research and curriculum specialist at Mississippi State University. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law. He was awarded a Master of Laws in Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004.

Justice Chandler was in private law practice in Tupelo before his firm opened a branch office in Ackerman in 2000.

Justice Chandler served as chair of the Court of Appeals Rules Committee and co-chair of the Professionalism Committee of the Mississippi Bar. He serves as an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law.