Alumna named Chief Justice of North Carolina Supreme Court

University of Tennessee College of Law alumna Cheri Beasley has been named Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.

Beasley, a 1991 alumna of the UT College of Law, has served as a justice in the North Carolina Supreme Court since 2012 following her work as an associate judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and as a district court judge in the 12th Judicial District of Cumberland County.

Beasley addressed graduates in May during College of Law commencement ceremonies in Knoxville, encouraging them to accept responsibilities and challenges that lie ahead.

 “Because you are graduating from UT Law, you are more equipped. Your studies and experiences through this law school will put you ahead of the game,” she said. “As we go out to pursue our various careers I ask that you remember the lessons we learned … how to push ourselves to be the best at whatever it was we were doing.”

Beasley was first appointed to the North Carolina bench in 1999. She will serve as the state’s first African American female Chief Justice of North Carolina.

The governor praised Beasley’s commitment to the law during his announcement of her appointment Tuesday. 

“Justice Beasley is a well-respected jurist, and I know her to be fair and deeply committed to viewing all North Carolinians equally through the eyes of the law,” he said. “I appreciate Justice Beasley’s willingness to serve the people of our state in this critical role.”