The weather was perfect: 77 degrees and not a cloud in the sky for the 15th annual Commencement Exercises for the Roger Williams University School of Law. The ceremony was joyous as 161 graduates enjoyed the award of a Doctor of Laws degree to the Honorable O. Rogeriee Thompson, who had recently ascended to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Judge Thompson, the first African-American (and only the second woman) on the court was an excellent trial judge in Rhode Island who has had a long relationship with the School of Law, and validated her confidence in us by offering coveted clerkships to two of our top alums, Angie Cooper and Max Green.
We also awarded an honorary degree to Jan Schlichtmann, the courageous lawyer at the center of the award-winning book A Civil Action (and who was played by John Travolta in the movie version, which, incidentally I show to my Torts students each year because it raises important questions that we grapple with in class). Jan’s speech was moving and deeply personal, as he described how he handled the highest highs and the lowest lows that he had encountered along the way, and what he had learned about himself as a lawyer and a person as a result.
To top things off, the hundreds gathered under the tent got to hear from valedictorian Melissa Moffatt McGow.
All in all, a terrific way to send the class of 2010 into the “real world.”
Enjoy the pictures below and check out the RWU SOL Alumni Facebook page for even more.