“It is so cool. It’s surreal. I can’t believe that it is finally here.” Those were the words spoken by Sara Kate Denton ‘13 only moments before walking across the stage to receive her law school diploma.
Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Fall Commencement was held on Saturday, December 14, at Copley Symphony Hall in downtown San Diego.
“We gather together today to confer the degree of Juris Doctor on the members of the December 2013 graduating class,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Randy K. Jones during his welcoming remarks. “This degree proves that our graduates have successfully completed a rigorous course of study, that they have demonstrated their mastery of fundamental principles of law and that they stand ready to join a noble and learned profession.”
“It’s a good feeling,” said new graduate Lance Growth ‘13. “Especially when I look over and see my mom tearing up. She is very proud of me. This is such an amazing accomplishment.”
Class valedictorian, Tristin Sullivan-Leppa addressed her fellow graduates. “In the beginning of this journey we all had the same goals as anxious but eager 1L’s, and today as this journey ends we leave as eager and confident law school graduates. Congratulations class of 2013. We made it!”
Board of Trustees Member and San Diego Superior Court Judge Browder Willis ‘83 challenged TJSL graduates during his commencement speech. “I want to challenge you to have the courage to speak on behalf of the law. Have the courage to speak up when others won’t. Have the courage to speak as lawyers trained to analyze and to understand the issues that keep changing form and keep changing substance. Have the courage to be the voice of society. The question that you have to ask yourself is really very simple. What kind of lawyer do you want to be?”
“This is one of the coolest days ever,” said TJSL Alumni Association President Eric Ganci '08. “On behalf of the Alumni Association, we congratulate you and encourage you to always be proud of the law school that you graduated from. Be sure to hang up your diploma on your office wall and tell everyone that you graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.”
In the closing remarks, TJSL President and Dean Thomas Guernsey honored those who supported the graduates. “You are here because of your wonderful efforts but you are also here because of the support of family. The moms, dads, sisters, brothers and friends.”
After the ceremony, graduates were invited to join the faculty and staff at a reception held at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law campus. Many used this opportunity to show family and friends the law school from where they just graduated.