Friends, family, and faculty joined December graduates on Saturday, December 13, 2014, at Copley Symphony Hall to celebrate Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Fall Commencement.
“I’m excited for the class. I helped bring them in, so it is exciting to see them graduate and move on to the next phase of their life,” said Associate Director of Admissions Michelle Allison-Slaughter as she helped assemble graduates for their walk across the stage.
Graduates spoke with friends and took pictures while they waited for the procession to begin. “I am scared and excited,” Nallely O’campo said before going on stage, “I still can’t believe this journey is over.” Graduate Robert Chiusano expressed joy and pride at having completed his degree, “I am happy and I am proud of my fellow graduates.” Equally excited, graduate Julie Houth also noted, “It is bittersweet, I am going to miss all my friends and my professors. But it’s one step closer toward my goal in life, being an attorney and helping people.”
Randy K. Jones, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, introduced Dean Thomas Guernsey who awarded Summa Plaques to distinguished graduates Matthew Kenneth Baylot and class valedictorian Dr. Lynn Marie Morski. Morski then encouraged her fellow graduates to “quit” as many times as necessary by making the right decisions for them. “Don’t miss out on opportunities that make you happy,” Morski said. “Pass the bar, get a good job, and quit until the life you want is yours.”
Board of Trustees member and former member of the Professional Staff of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Morris S. Casuto delivered a commencement address infused with humor while reminding graduates of the responsibility that comes along with their degree. “Go forward and protect our freedom and do the necessary work to improve our nation,” Casuto said. “I wish you good luck in finding a job which will turn into a career, and finally a calling.”
“It is my honor to congratulate you all on your membership today,” said Sabrina Green ‘02, former President of the Alumni Board Association, as she welcomed the new group of alumni. “Our sole purpose is to support you and we would like to do nothing more than that,” Green reminded graduates. “The Alumni Board looks forward to assisting you in your continuing success now and in the future.”
For most graduates, the next milestone lies just ahead in February 2015. “I started school in January 2012, time has flown by and now it’s time for the bar,” said Brooke Baquial. “I am taking the bar in February, and I have three days after graduation before bar prep starts.” Friends Baquial and Jessica Pederson look forward to taking and passing the bar. “I am really excited that I am done with school and I am really looking forward to the next chapter,” said Pederson.
Approximately 74 Juris Doctor students walked across the stage on Saturday as well as two American Legal Studies students who received their LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree as part of the American Legal Studies program for non-U.S. lawyers.
Following the graduation ceremony, TJSL held a reception at the law school attended by many graduates along with their family and friends.