May 14, 2012 14:14 Age: 2 yrs

Emory Law Class of 2012 Graduation Ceremonies Held May 14

Emory Law honored 295 graduates on the south lawn of Gambrell Hall during its annual Hooding and Diploma ceremony on May 14, following Emory University’s 167th Commencement. Remarks by Della Wager Wells 86L, president of the Emory Law Alumni Board, and Dean Robert A. Schapiro opened and closed the ceremony.

In addition to the conferral of degrees, select students and faculty were honored. Professor A. James Elliott 63C 66L received the Emory Williams Award for Distinguished Teaching, presented to exceptional faculty members throughout the University.

Natalie A. Dana 12L was chosen by her classmates as the Most Outstanding Third-Year Student. A TI:GER Program graduate, Mock Trial Society competitor and longtime San Francisco Giants fan, Dana encouraged her fellow students to thank those who helped them get to graduation day.

“Turn to the person you brought here with you,” Dana said, “and let them remind you of who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re destined to go. Then go there.”

She also urged her classmates to let individuality inform their life and career decisions.

Dana said she was inspired to go to law school partly because of her great-grandmother’s stories about her great-grandfather, a San Francisco-based litigator who started as a district attorney, but left to pursue a career in tort law.

“He changed his path and found his passion,” Dana said. Thus, she advised fellow students regardless of career path, to “do it well and do it as you.”

Graduating law student Oscar Francisco de Armas 12L received the Minister Gloria Jean Fowler Angel Award, which recognizes a student who embodies the kindness of Gloria Jean Fowler, who worked at Emory Law 42 years prior to her death in 1997.

The Most Outstanding Professor Award went to John Witte Jr., Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Ethics, Alonzo L. McDonald Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion.

Witte was abroad, honoring a speaking obligation so colleague Frank S. Alexander, Sam Nunn Chair in Ethics and Professionalism and founding director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, accepted the award on his behalf and hooded graduates as they received their diplomas

Schapiro praised the class of 2012 for its commitment to public service, as demonstrated by more than 4,500 pro bono hours the class has logged collectively.

“I know this dedication will continue when you graduate,” he said. “There is no greater pleasure than standing beside a person in need as their advocate, their counselor and friend,” he continued.

During the ceremony, the 3L Class Gift Committee presented a check for $40,620, the class donation to Emory Law.


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