On May 15, 2011, in Bailey Hall, Stewart J. Schwab, the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law, presided over the graduation of the class of 2011.
After urging his classmates to use the “lawyerly skills” they had acquired to “protect the minority against the tyranny of the majority,” student speaker Christopher Wild, J.D., thanked the loved ones who had supported the graduates, saying, “The degree we earn today belongs to you as well.”
Neil Dowers, LL.M., kept the crowd laughing with his speech. “We learned so much,” he reminisced. “We learned the law from an exceptional faculty. We learned about each other and our respective cultures.… We learned the hard way that there’s tequila in Long Island iced teas.”
The faculty speaker chosen by the graduates was Professor Robert C. Hockett, who told them he was especially moved to be addressing a class whose “esprit de corps” had embraced the faculty as well. “I nearly wish,” he confessed, “that we could flunk you all just to keep you here longer.”
Hockett went on to extol the “noble appointment” conferred to lawyers as “custodians and protectors of democracy,” whose task is to enable a society in which “public and private actions alike would be just, mutually-respectful, and intelligible.”
Following Hockett’s speech, Associate Dean and Dean of Students Anne Lukingbeal recognized the new J.D.s, J.S.D.s, LL.M.s, J.D./LL.M.s, J.D./Maîtrises, and the one J.D./M.LL.P., who emerged to a champagne reception in the Myron Taylor Hall Courtyard.