The Honorable Roger L. Gregory Delivers AUWCL’s Spring 2019 Commencement Address to More Than 400 Graduates
May 21, 2019
On Sunday, May 19th, 2019, American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) welcomed The Honorable Roger L. Gregory, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, as speaker of its Spring 2019 Commencement.
Please see below for a slideshow of photos from the ceremony.
A packed crowd filled American University’s Bender Arena in celebration of AUWCL’s spring 2019 class, which includes 372 Juris Doctor (JD) graduates; 38 Master of Laws (LL.M.) graduates; and six Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) graduates.
During his remarks, Gregory told graduates when he entered the profession during the early 80s, people judged him by his appearance, disregarding him as a qualified lawyer before he could illustrate his legal expertise.
“The world will judge you, but you need to focus on your potential...You have to have faith. The path isn’t always going to be clear,” Gregory said. “Your assignment is more important that others’ assessment.”
Gregory’s federal judicial service began with a recess appointment from President Bill Clinton in 2000. He was nominated to the same position by President George W. Bush in 2001. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the 1997 National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award, the National Bar Association’s Equal Justice Award, and the Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence. Gregory received an honorary doctor of laws at the ceremony, presented by American University President Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Provost Daniel J. Myers.
“No doubt over the last few years, you have seen the ways in which your approach to problems, challenges, and opportunities – and thus to life – has been informed by your legal education. Through this education, you have been transformed – and you will never be the same.”Dean Camille Nelson
In her address, Dean Nelson told graduates that exactly who they are – and who they will become – is what is needed in the legal profession.
“You are the value-proposition, you are the value-added, and you are the distinguishing feature that brings the competitive advantage,” Dean Nelson said. “What you care about, and how you approach it, matters. No doubt over the last few years, you have seen the ways in which your approach to problems, challenges, and opportunities – and thus to life – has been informed by your legal education. Through this education, you have been transformed – and you will never be the same.”
Savannah McDonald was selected by the class to deliver the ceremony’s student address.
“Over the last three years, WCL gave me the opportunity to learn alongside some impactful future lawyers,” McDonald said. “Our 2019 graduating class is filled with people who will change the world, and I am so honored to have been selected by them as our student commencement speaker.”