The 16th graduating class of Widener University School of Law Harrisburg campus received diplomas Sunday, May 20 in an 11 a.m. ceremony at The Forum, located in the Capitol Complex.
The 123 graduates heard remarks from Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Cynthia A. Baldwin. She is a graduate of Duquesne University School of Law.
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Baldwin asked the graduates "Do you really want to be a lawyer?" then made a series of conclusions about what it takes to be a successful member of the bar, including a love of the law, standing up for what is right and working toward compromise when it is possible. "When people run into life's hard spots, they look for a lawyer to help them," she said. "Remember, it is the knowledge of the law that prevents chaos and corruption."
Other ceremony highlights included Student Bar Association President Kimberly A. Allen presenting Professor James W. Diehm the outstanding faculty award, and Law Dean Linda L. Ammons presenting Professor Juliet M. Moringiello the Douglas E. Ray excellence in faculty scholarship award.
Lancaster resident Ann L. Martin was the class valedictorian. She spoke about the stories her classmates will tell as attorneys, on their clients' behalves. "In becoming lawyers we are seeking so much responsibility for people and their lives," she said.
Ammons and Widener University President James T. Harris III both encouraged the graduates to use their degrees to help others. "Lawyers have the awesome capability and power to change lives," Ammons said. "May you have just enough challenges to stretch you and keep you humble."