Commencement Archive

2023 Deborah N. Archer, President of the American Civil Liberties Union and associate dean, co-director of clinical and advocacy programs, professor of clinical law, and co-faculty director of the Center on Race, Inequality and the Law at the New York University School of Law.
Student Speakers:

  • Ching Yu Lin (Master of Laws)
  • James Motes (Evening Division)
  • Seraphin Tala (Day Division)

2022 Joel Motley, Chairman Emeritus of the board of Human Rights Watch and son of  Judge Constance Baker Motley (video)
Student Speakers:

  • Marie Lenz (Master of Laws)
  • Taylor DiChello (Evening Division)
  • Morgen Barroso (Day Division)

2021 Alexandra D. DiPentima, former chief judge, Connecticut Appellate Court
Student Speakers:

  • Muhammet Ekrem Aksoy (Master of Laws)
  • Chelsea C. McCallum (Evening Division)
  • Demery Joelle Ormrod and Mallori Deanna Thompson (Day Division)

2020 Student Speakers:

  • Elvis Ampadu (Master of Laws)
  • Mark Lockwood (Evening Division)
  • Sebastian Iagrossi (Day Division)

2019 Donald B. Verrilli Jr., former U.S. solicitor general video | transcript
Student Speakers:

2018 Honorable Cornelia T.L. Pillard, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Student Speakers:

  • Marianne Elshof (Master of Laws)
  • Ruth Reynolds Fortune (Evening Division)
  • Andrew Mark Ammirati(Day Division)

2017 Emily Bazelon, Senior Research Scholar, Yale Law School
Student Speakers:

  • Alyssa Gabrielle Ablaza Medella (Master of Laws)
  • Benedict Richard Daigle (Evening Division)
  • Ahmed M. Galal (Day Division)

2016 Honorable Christopher F. Droney, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Student Speakers:

  • Paolo Junior Trofino (Master of Laws)
  • Kelechi Ndu (Evening Division)
  • Zachary Vincent Alexander (Day Division)

2015 Tim Wu, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and Director of the Poliak Center for the Study of First Amendment Issues at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (transcript)
Student Speakers:

  • Monica M. Vargas Huertas (Master of Laws) transcript | video
  • Siddharth Sinha (Evening Division)
  • William R. Rath (Day Division)

2014 Barry Scheck, Co-Director of the Innocence Project and Professor of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Student Speakers:

  • Rojia Afshar (Master of Laws)
  • Christopher J. Borchert (Day Division)
  • Roopa Modha (Evening Division)

2013 Neal Kumar Katyal, Former Acting Solicitor General of the United States; Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of Law, Georgetown University; and Partner, Hogan Lovells
Student Speakers:

  • Fernando Vieira Luiz (Master of Laws)
  • Donald F. Fenton (Evening Division)
  • Robert C. Yamartino (Day Division)

2012 The Honorable John R. Lewis, United States Congressman, Georgia, 5th district
Student Speakers: 

  • Ines Franke (Master of Laws)
  • Sebastiano Toratore (Day Division)
  • Eduardo A. Torrealba (Evening Division)

2011 The Honorable George C. Jepsen, Attorney General, State of Connecticut
Student Speakers:

  • Laura Schmitt (Master of Laws)
  • John A. B. Langmaid (Evening Division)
  • Hillary C. Wasicek (Day Division)

2010 Linda Greenhouse, Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School
Student Speakers: 

  • Esteban Carranza (Master of Laws)
  • Patrick R. Linsey (Day Division)
  • Michael S. Tehan (Evening Division)

2009 Sheila C. Blair, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Student Speakers:

  • Tara Lynn Trifon (Evening Division)
  • Meghan Elizabeth Reilly (Day Division)

2008 The Honorable Chase T. Rogers, Chief Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court
Student Speakers:

  • Anthony D. Goodman (Day Division)
  • Robert M. Schanbaum (Evening Division)

2007 Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Student Speakers: 

  • Robert L. Dunn (Day Division)
  • Christine R. Edwards (Evening Division)

2006 The Honorable Allyson Duncan, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Student Speakers:

  • Bruce H. Adams (Day Division)
  • Heather Alexandria Vernon (Evening Division)

2005 The Honorable Sheppard Arnold, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

2004 The Honorable Dennis Wayne Archer, Mayor, Detroit Michigan

2003 The Honorable Albie Sachs, Justice Constitutional Court of South Africa

2002 Patricia McGowan Wald, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Speech: Lessons Learned from 50 Years in The Legal Profession

2001 Clare Dalton, Matthews Distinguished University Professor, Northeastern  University School of Law

2000 Harold Hongju Koh, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor for United States

1999 The Honorable Harry T. Edwards, Chief Justice, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia
Student Speaker: Michael A. McHale
Toast: Susan V. Chmieleski

1998 The Honorable José A. Cabranes, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Student Speaker: Brian C. Clifford
Toast: Joseph A. Spadaro

1997 The Honorable Joette Katz ’77, Assistant Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court Student
Peregrine A. J. Zinn-Rowthorn
Alexandra D. Mease-White

1996 Martha L. Minow, Professor, Harvard Law School
Student Speaker: John Bailey Kennelly
Toast: Henry Keith Snyder

1995 Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Chief Judge Emeritus, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Student Speaker: Joshua Evan Greenberg
Toast: David L. Gitlin

1994 Morton J. Horwitz, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History, Harvard Law School
Student Speakers: 

  • Joseph Charles Steffan (Day Division)
  • Stephen Edward Shoop (Evening Division)

1993 The Honorable Thomas J. Meskill ’56, Chief Judge, United States Court of  Appeals for the Second Circuit and former Governor, Connecticut
Student Speakers: 

  • Paula A. Hughes (Day Division)
  • Peggy Jacobsen Webbe (Evening Division).

1992 The University’s president approved a formal separate ceremony for the School of Law. Floyd Abrams, Esq., Attorney at Law, Cahill, Gordon & Reindel
Student Speakers: 

  • James P. Biondolillo (Day Division)
  • Frank E. Rudewicz, Jr. (Evening Division)

Toast: Joseph W. McQuade

1991 The Honorable Jon O. Newman, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Student Speakers:

  • Theodore  C. Morris (Day Division)
  • Linda F. Clough (Evening Division

1990 The Honorable Christopher J. Dodd, United States Senator, Connecticut
Student Speakers: 

  • Frederick M. O’Brien (Day Division)
  • Kimberly B. Marroni (Evening Division)

1989 The Honorable Lowell P. Weicker Jr., President, Research America, former U.S. Senator for Connecticut [1971-1989] and former Governor of Connecticut [1991-1995]
Speech: The Societal Perils of “No New Taxes”
Student Speakers:

  • David D. Kennedy (Day Division)
  • Nyle K. Davey (Evening Division)

1988 Jacob Zeldes, Attorney at Law, Zeldes, Needle and Cooper
Speech: The ABCs of the Legal Profession
Student Speakers: 

  • Thomas V. Dailey (Day Division)
  • Dennis R. Ferguson (Evening Division)

1987 The Honorable José Cabranes, Judge, U.S. District Court
Speech: Bicentennial Celebration of the U.S. Constitution
Student Speakers: 

  • Michael P. McKeon (Day Division)
  • Mary B. O’Connor (Evening Division)

1986 The Honorable Ellen A. Peters, Chief Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court [1984-1996], Professor of Law at Yale and later, visiting Professor of Law at University of Connecticut School of Law
Speech: History of the Bar and Using Uncertainty in the Law to Bring Forth Justice
Student Speaker: Robert J. Cary, Jr.
Fact: Red Mass tradition begins