RALEIGH – Campbell Law School conferred 143 Juris Doctor degrees at its 34th annual hooding and graduation ceremony on Friday in Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Gen. William K. Suter, Clerk of the United States Supreme Court, delivered the commencement address.
The 2012 class marks the first in Campbell Law history to spend its entire tenure in its new Raleigh location.
“This is a class that started with a vision of what the law school could and would be in Raleigh,” said Campbell Law Dean Melissa Essary. “We didn’t even have a building to show them. When they started in 2009, the paint was barely dry on the walls but it didn’t deter them one bit.
“I can say unequivocally that I am proud of the first class that banked on Campbell Law School’s reputation and trusted us to build a physical law school. They’ve carried on the history and great traditions of the school, providing a seamless transition between our past in Buies Creek and our future in the heart of the state capital.”
In his remarks to the graduates, Suter spoke at length about character, leadership, and the importance of integrity.
He urged each graduate to read about great leaders and learn as much about leadership as possible, and used George Washington and his leadership both at war and as the first President of the United States as powerful example. He also spoke of the importance of listening and cautioned the graduates not to take themselves too seriously.
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters,” said Suter. “If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”
The Clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court manages the Supreme Court’s docket and calendar, oversees the Supreme Court Bar, and manages the records of the Court. General Suter also attends all oral arguments. He has served in that role since 1991, and is the 19th person to hold the position. General Suter also sits on the Campbell Law School Board of Visitors.
“For many of these graduates, today is the biggest day of their lives,” Suter remarked afterward. “But there are bigger days to come. The challenge for these graduates is for them to do as well in their future endeavors as they’ve done at Campbell Law School.
“These students have been inspired by an outstanding dean and faculty. These students are bright, polite and mature. I'm honored to be a part of this ceremony.”
“This has been an incredible experience for all of us and we're excited about the future,” said graduate Jillian DeCamp.