On Friday May 18th, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, along with approximately 250 graduates and their supporters, filled the Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center to celebrate the 2018 graduating class of JD’s, LLM’s, and MSL’s.
Dean Donald Tobin led the procession of faculty and began the day’s program by congratulating the assembled graduates and praising their achievements. Speaking for the entire faculty and staff of Maryland Carey Law, Dean Tobin said, “Sometimes it is easy to forget how absolutely extraordinary our students are when you are surrounded by them each and every day. Days like these I am reminded of how lucky I am, how lucky all of us at Maryland Carey Law are, to be able to share our time with these exceptional people.”
Allison Hoffman, President of the fourth year evening section, offered her congratulations to her fellow graduates before recalling a piece of advice Professor Gifford gave her section at the beginning of their law school careers: “Life keeps going while you’re in law school.” Allison thanked her fellow classmates for being there for her and reminded them to “remember going forward that your most important client is yourself.”
Third year class president, Matt Schofield, addressed the crowd next. After thanking faculty and staff for their unflinching support, Matt looked back at the circumstances surrounding his entry into law school in 2015. “When we applied to this school, Baltimore was blanketed with national news reporters covering the events following Freddie Gray’s death. There were fires in the streets and public outcry for long-awaited change. What happened in the spring of 2015 would have turned many away from the idea of spending three years in this city. But not us.” Matt praised his class for their ability to see beyond that vision of the city and for the positive change they made during their time in Baltimore.
This year’s class gift was a donation to Maryland Carey Law’s General Scholarship Fund. Every donation by a member of the graduating class was matched by Herbert Better, a 1968 graduate of Maryland Carey Law.
In the midst of the celebration, Dean Tobin took a moment to recognize Peter Worthington. Peter, scheduled to graduate this year, and his wife Tori died in a tragic accident over winter break. Leading up to graduation his classmates held a fundraiser in their honor with the proceeds going to Volo City Kid’s Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to bringing recreational sports leagues to the children of Baltimore.
Peter’s father, Larry Worthington, accepted Peter’s law degree in his place.
Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit gave the keynote address and exhorted students to pursue higher objectives. “You can go to a wonderful fine law school like Maryland (I doubt anyone here though) and know very little about justice. Because … justice is something different than just the mechanics and the science and arts of the discipline. I want you to be the person who understands justice.”
A full transcript of Judge Gregory’s full remarks can be found here.
At the conclusion of Judge Gregory’s remarks, the graduates were hooded by representatives from the faculty and soon processed out of the Hippodrome to join their friends and families again in celebration.