Alumni Reunions Bring Back King Hall Faithful
UC Davis School of Law alumni from eight classes returned to King Hall on October 22 to mingle and reminisce, enjoy lunch, tour the King Hall building's new east wing, and listen to addresses from Dean Kevin R. Johnson, Alumni Board President John Schick '72, Law School Students Association President Rabia Paracha '12, and Professor Dan Simmons '71.
The event brought together members of the classes of 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006. More than 200 alumni, family, faculty and friends attended.
Several current faculty and emeriti faculty attended, including Professor Alan Brownstein, Professor Emeritus Joel C. Dobris, Professor Robert Hillman, Professor Lisa Ikemoto, Clinical Lecturer Krystal Callaway Jaime, Professor Miguel Méndez, Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig (now at the University of Iowa College of Law), Immigration Law Clinic Director Amagda Pérez '91, Dean Emeritus and Professor Rex R. Perschbacher, Professor Emeritus Cruz Reynoso, Professor Donna Shestowsky, Professor Daniel Simmons '71, Professor Emerita Martha West, and Professor Emeritus Richard C. Wydick.
John Schick opened the proceedings, welcomed the alumni and guests, and introduced Dean Johnson, who then summarized the recent accomplishments of the Law School, including the completion of construction of the new east wing, the hosting of a session of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the California Attorney General candidates' debate in the Kalamanovitz Appellate Courtroom, high bar passage rates, and the Law School's rise to No. 23 in the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings.
"I think we've moved up because we are getting the recognition we deserve for our faculty, student body, alumni, and our great campus," Dean Johnson said. "We have a new chancellor who's brought great energy and enthusiasm, and who is a devoted supporter of the School of Law. She has mentioned on many occasions that you can't have a great research university without having great professional schools."
"Things are going well at UC Davis School of Law, and we're looking forward to great things in the future," he continued. "We're focusing on academic excellence among our faculty and students, we're continuing our commitment to teaching excellence, and we're very much committed to service in our community and in society."
Rabia Paracha noted that while returning alumni would notice "a few changes" around the Law School, "King Hall still holds the same spirit. Being among the top 25 law schools in the country, King Hall still separates itself as an institution committed to promoting the social welfare of our communities, an undertaking worthy of our namesake, Dr. King. As students join our ranks every year, they embark on a journey as a class, not only pursuing a legal career but also, together, pursuing the same ideals of justice, public service and community espoused by Dr. King and left as a legacy by your classes, our alumni."
The luncheon program concluded with Professor Simmons' often humorous recollections of his experiences as a member of the Class of 1971 and his early years of teaching at King Hall and a slideshow of photographs from each class. Following the luncheon, many alumni toured the King Hall building's new wing and socialized at a mixer in the courtyard. Later, many of the classes held organized events including dinners and receptions.
All of the classes involved in the 2011 milestone reunions organized class gifts in support of scholarships, the King Hall Expansion and Renovation Project, the King Hall Scholarship Fund, and the King Hall Annual Fund.