The University of New Hampshire School of Law celebrated its 42nd commencement ceremony under crystal clear skies Saturday, May 20, 2017, awarding 74 degrees to juris doctor and graduate students.
The school also awarded an honorary degree to United States Senator Maggie Hassan, who delivered the day’s commencement address. She congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments, while encouraging them to become advocates for others and to help orchestrate positive change as they enter the legal field.
“With your training and your skills, you can not only make your voices heard, you can ensure that others’ voices are heard, too,” Hassan said.
Hassan was preceded to the podium by graduates Ivan Chaika and Conor Kaine, who were selected by their fellow graduates to deliver speeches. Chaika, who came to the United States from the Ukraine to earn an LLM in intellectual property, was effusive in his praise of the UNH Law faculty, telling them “you exploded our expectations.”
Chaika pointed at the UNH Law campus across the street from White Park and said that for him and other international students in the United States to study law, the building became a home away from home.
Kaine jokingly chided the professional judgment of his classmates for selecting him as their speaker before offering a heartfelt thank you to those same classmates, calling them one of the most important parts of his life over the previous three years.
The day’s proceedings began with a brief welcome from Interin Dean Jordan Budd, followed by a congratulatory address from UNH Provost Nancy Targett. The graduates also received some words of wisdom from Sophie Sparrow, who was selected by the class to carry on the tradition of delivering an “Advice from the Faculty” speech.