May 19, 2022 marked the commencement activities for the Class of 2022 and, returning after nearly two years, the Class of 2020. In May of 2020, in a Zoom Commencement celebration, then-Dean Gregory Mandel promised graduates that, when it was possible to have an in-person gathering, the law school would hold a celebration for their class. “I am thrilled to finally fulfill that promise today,” said Mandel.
Mandel, now Provost of Temple University, alongside interim Dean Rachel Rebouché and 2020 Commencement speaker, Mayor Jim Kenney, welcomed the Class of 2020 back to campus as alumni. “Making sure you had the opportunity to cross a graduation stage — in front of your family and friends — has been a priority of Provost Mandel, Dean Bretschneider, myself, and many others at the law school. I am delighted that today has finally arrived,” said Rebouché.
2020 class speakers Tiffany Cobb LAW ‘20 and Andrew Segedin LAW ‘20 took to the podium to share a few memories with their fellow Temple Law alumni. Mayor Kenney, revisiting themes noted in his 2020 Zoom Commencement speech, reminded those gathered that “leadership begins with making a choice to care about the people around you, and there is no better place to become a leader than Temple. These things are even more true today than they were in 2020. There are no easy answers to the challenges before us, but if we start by choosing to care about the people they impact, we will be on the right path to finding equitable solutions. If there’s one thing that’s clear about Temple Lawyers, it’s that they – you – choose to care.”
Following the celebration for the Class of 2020, the graduates of both classes joined friends, family, and loved ones in the Liacouras Center for Temple Law School’s 121st Commencement exercises. Interim Dean Rebouché opened the ceremony and introduced the Class of 2022 Day Speaker Paul Loriston. “We’ve been through so much these past few years,” said Loriston, “yet our humanity – our ability to stay connected with one another, to come together as a community in the most challenging of circumstances is our grandest achievement. This has been the greatest legacy of the Class of 2022.”
After her remarks to the class, Evening Speaker Ashley Garland presented the George P. Williams III Memorial award, chosen by the Class of 2022 for excellence in teaching, to Professor Jennifer J. Lee.
In his keynote remarks, Leonard Barrack LAW ‘68, chair of the law school’s Board of Visitors and member of the University’s Board of Trustees, congratulated the graduates and their families. “This school is a very special place,” he said. “It is your launching pad – recognized, respected, and loved by its alumni.”
As she officially closed the ceremony, Interim Dean Rebouché left graduates with a final note. “You have persevered, you have persisted, and you have prevailed. You have proven to us that you can do anything to which you set your minds, and we cannot wait to see what you will do next! “