More than 1,000 guests gathered on Saturday, May 18, at Matthew Knight Arena to celebrate the School of Law’s 133rd graduating class. One hundred doctor of jurisprudence and master of laws degrees were conferred. This graduation kicks off a series of UO ceremonies taking place in May and June.
Public service, global impact and standing for justice were common themes in the remarks given by students, faculty and distinguished guests. Attorney General Rosenblum, who is a “double-duck,” received a BS from the UO in 1971 and earned her law degree in 1975, delivered the commencement address.
“You’re beginning your professional lives at a time when our country is entering uncharted territory,” said AG Rosenblum to students. “It is no understatement to say that never have the skills you’ve obtained here at this law school been more necessary to our collective future. Tremendous problems surround us, and I, for one, am genuinely glad and relieved to know you’re about to start helping us solve them.”
Marcilynn Burke, Oregon Law’s dean and Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law expressed pride at the accomplishments of the graduates. Some came to Oregon Law as organic farm workers, artists, lifeguards, high school basketball coaches, newspaper and photographers - but they all graduated as Oregon Law Alumni. Some graduates were the first in the family to attend college and others overcame poverty and addiction, escaped from violence, and triumphed over serious illnesses.
“You have shaped this chapter of your story on what mattered to you and how you got to this place in your life,” said Dean Burke. “From here, you now have the skills and knowledge to drive change and chart your own path to success, however you define it.”
Many of the student speakers, spoke of their own journey through law school and encouraged their fellow classmates to use their law degrees to make a positive change in the world. Casey Daggett, Student Body Association Speaker, remarked that “the world needs people who care and who act more than ever.” Jessica Brown, the JD student speaker and President of the Black Law Student Association, admonished the graduates to use their law degree to “do right by humanity.” While LLM student speaker, Adedayo Akinbosade, tasked his class to do their best in helping others “irrespective of their social status or ability to reciprocate.”
Oregon Law’s newest alumni represent 26 states, Washington D.C., and the Canadian Province of British Columbia. They range in age from 20 to 40 and Women outnumbered men in the class, 53 percent to 47 percent. Approximately 21 percent of the class identified as students of color while over 25 percent speak more than one language fluently, ranging from American Sign Language to Spanish, from Mandarin to Portuguese. More than one-third spent extended time in other countries prior to attending law school.
For details on all UO commencements visit: https://commencement.uoregon.edu/