Widener Law graduates receive degrees
Public Relations - Published: May 20, 2013

The 440 graduates who received degrees in two commencement ceremonies over May 18 and 19 were advised to follow their passions.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Max Baer advised Delaware-campus graduates to “know what you know, know what you don’t know and ask for help, and tell the truth.”

“You are the best and the brightest. You are the most motivated and persistent. You are law school graduates and that is a very, very special status. Welcome to the club. Nobody can ever take it away from you.”

Harrisburg campus alumnus Douglas J. Steinhardt ’94, named partner in the New Jersey law firm of Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader LLC, was the featured speaker at the commencement program for Harrisburg-campus graduates. He urged the graduates to grow and explore but stay, at their core, much as they are now: hungry, fearless and true to themselves.

“The best lawyers and, for that matter, the best professionals I’ve witnessed have no distance between their public and private selves. They lead fully integrated lives. They remain as true to their families and their communities as they do to their work,” he said.

The Delaware campus commencement, held Saturday, May 18 on the school green, also featured remarks by valedictorian Brian Eng. Law Dean Linda L. Ammons gave the outstanding faculty award – decided by a vote of the graduating class – to Associate Professor and Veterans Law Clinic Director Justin G. Holbrook. The dean gave the Douglas E. Ray excellence in faculty scholarship award to Professors Alicia B. Kelly and Erin Daly.

The Harrisburg campus commencement, held Sunday, May 19 at the Forum in Harrisburg’s Capitol Complex, featured remarks by valedictorian Tricia Lontz. Ammons gave the outstanding faculty award to Associate Professor Christopher J. Robinette. The dean gave the Douglas E. Ray excellence in faculty scholarship award to Professors John J. Capowski and Juliet M. Moringiello.

Widener University President James T. Harris III asked the graduates to be mindful of all it took to get them to their graduation day. They are entering a professional world where the demand for justice is greater than ever.

“Do your part class of 2013,” Harris said. “You’ll make the world a better place and raise the stature of this university with your words and your actions.”

Ammons told the graduates that they are leaders, and that the true measure of success is not gauged by income, but in the difference they will make. She commended the classes’ spirit for public service, with 72 Delaware-campus graduates donating 12,290 pro bono hours of service since their first year of law school, and 48 Harrisburg-campus graduates donating 9,635 pro bono hours of service.

“The privilege of being part of this profession requires that you invest in your communities and others,” she said, noting that lawyers’ best tools are words. “We consent to order our lives around what the words say. The law is not perfect for it is made with human hands. However, these powerful, magical, sometimes mystical, symbolic utterances and scribblings can make the difference between poverty and abundance, peace and chaos, life and death.”