Walsh College Will Confer Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree on Keynote Commencement Speaker Judge Steven W. Rhodes

Walsh College will confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes, who facilitated Detroit’s historic bankruptcy. Rhodes will also serve as the College’s keynote speaker during its 104th commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at Zion Christian Church, Troy.

In July 2013, Judge Rhodes was assigned to the case managing the City of Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The city filed bankruptcy with a debt of over $18 billion. Judge Rhodes approved Detroit’s bankruptcy plan on Nov. 7, 2014, describing it as a “grand bargain.” It was the largest bankruptcy case in the U.S. as of that date.

He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1972 and also served as editor of the Michigan Law Review. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1970.

“Judge Rhodes has distinguished himself as a jurist and educator in the field of bankruptcy law,” said Stephanie W. Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College. “He has earned wide respect and admiration for his work.

“In presenting him with this honorary degree, we recognize his abilities, knowledge, and understanding of an important, complex body of law. His sense of judicial fairness and impartiality has also been critical to the future of Detroit and Michigan.”

Rhodes previously served as chief judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan, from 2002 to 2009. Rhodes was on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Sixth Circuit from 1997 to 2004 and also from 2008 to 2011. He also served as chief judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel from 2002 to 2004.

His honors include election as fellow, American College of Bankruptcy in 1995, and the Distinguished Service Award, American Bankruptcy Institute in 2009. He recently co-authored The Ponzi Book: A Legal Resource for Unraveling Ponzi Schemes.

Rhodes’ professional associations include service as Sixth Circuit Representative, Board of Governors, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges from 2011 to present; bankruptcy judges representative, Judicial Council of Sixth Circuit from 2011 to present; judicial advisor, National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees Ethics Committee from 2005 to present; vice president for Research, American Bankruptcy Institute from 2005 to 2009; and chair, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Endowment for Education from 2002 to 2004.

For more information on Walsh College, visit www.walshcollege.edu.


Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs.

One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (www.acbsp.org) accredits specific degree programs.