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King Hall's 50th Graduating Class! Commencement 2018

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, May 28, 2018

On May 19, the School of Law held Commencement for the Class of 2018. It was our 50th graduating class and the King Hall community had a wonderful celebration at the Mondavi Performing Arts Center, a beautiful venue.

 Chief Justice addressing audience

Chief Justice of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye

The Chief Justice of California, Tani Cantil-Sakauye '84, was the keynote speaker. She offered words of encouragement to the graduating lawyers, telling them that, as graduates of a top law school, they had an obligation to let their voices be heard on the controversial issues of the day. The Chief Justice, a champion for the poor in California, encouraged the lawyers to leave a lasting legacy on the legal profession.

Professor Horton

 Professor David Horton

As faculty speaker, Professor David Horton offered a wonderful speech about the students' time at King Hall. Humorous yet celebratory, Professor Horton even worked in a 1990s pop culture reference (his favorite) to comedian Pee Wee Herman!

The student speaker was Roza Patterson, whose family fled violence in Ethiopia to make a life in the United States. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Roza talked about the "privilege" that lawyers enjoy and their ability to change lives. Her inspirational words made me proud that she is one of our graduates.

 Roza Patterson

Roza Patterson

Chancellor Gary May offered thoughtful and inspiring remarks as well. He also conferred degrees on the J.D. and Masters of Law graduates. We had nearly 250 graduates - the students came from top universities around the world.  The LL.M. class, for example, included students from Belgium, Canada, China, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. To celebrate a number of LL.M. students from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) graduating with the Class of 2018, the Consul General of the UAE in Los Angeles, Abdulla Alsaboosi, attended the ceremony. 

Group photo with Dean Johnson, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Chancellor May

Me, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Chancellor May

Consul General of Mexico

The Consul General of Mexico in Sacramento, Liliana Ferrer, attended our graduation

After Commencement, the new graduates celebrated in the lobby of the Mondavi Center.


Meanwhile, the LL.M. students were fêted at a reception at the International Center on the UC Davis campus. It was a pleasant and warm evening on the patio. Many professors, including Afra Afsharipour, Anupam Chander, William Dodge, and Peter Lee, were in attendance. A few people spoke and I was able to highlight how important our LL.M. students and international programs are to UC Davis School of Law.

Anupam Chander, on behalf of the California International Law Center, bestowed on Associate Dean for International Programs Beth Greenwood a "Lifetime Achievement Award" for her dedication and achievement in our international programs. Dean Greenwood is deeply devoted to building our international programs and even more devoted to ensuring the best education of our LL.M. students.

Dean Greenwood and Professor Chander

Professor Chander and Dean Greenwood

The LL.M. reception was a nice way to end the day. I had started early in the day by participating in the School of Medicine's graduation at the Mondavi Center. It was an amazing group of graduates and I was proud that they are products of UC Davis.