Retired Attorney Ben Ullem Received Honorary Doctor of Laws


Retired Whitfield & Eddy attorney Ben Ullem received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Drake University on Saturday, May 13, 2017.  Ullem was recognized at the 142nd Commencement Ceremony for Undergraduate Students for "his tireless work to advance the legal profession and the state of legal education in Iowa."

Ben received both his liberal arts degree from Drake in 1966 and J.D. from Drake Law School in 1969. He served Drake in leadership roles including two terms as Dean of the Law School and over two decades on the University's governing board. He has received Drake's Alumni Loyalty Award and Distinguished Service Award - the highest honor given to Drake alumni.

He has been involved with many philanthropic, for-profit and non-profit boards, commissions and organizations including past president of the Des Moines Jaycees, member of the Greater Des Moines Partnership Board of Directors, board member and past president of the Des Moines Embassy Club, and member of the inaugural class of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute.

He joined Whitfield & Eddy as a law clerk while attending the Drake Law School and became an associate attorney after graduation in 1969. He was a senior member when he retired from the firm in 2014  and started his second stint as Dean of the Drake Law Law School from 2014 to 2016. 

The commencement video may be viewed at the Drake University website. Drake University President Marty Martin's introduction starts at 26:22 and Ullem's remarks start at 29:12.