The UC Hastings 134th commencement took place on Sunday, May 10, 2015 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.
323 graduates walked across the stage, including 283 JD, 32 LLM and 8 MSL degree recipients. Graduates brought more than 3,000 guests with them, from dozens of states and foreign countries and over 40 UC Hastings staff worked the event, which was emceed by Chancellor & Dean Frank H. Wu.
After a welcome message from the Chair of the UC Hastings Board of Directors, Carin T. Fujisaki, Valedictorian Emily Goldberg Knox addressed the crowd with a message of gratitude to her fellow classmates.
See her speech here:
Student speaker Sonya Laddon Rahders then delivered a call to serve justice. Watch it here:
The keynote commencement address was given by actor, author and social justice activist George Takei, who has also been called “the most influential person on Facebook” by Mashable.com. Mr. Takei told the story of California Attorney General Earl Warren’s decision to place Japanese Americans, including the Takei family, in unconstitutional internment camps during World War II. He also spoke of the many Japanese men who left these camps to serve in the American military, and those that protested their enlistment because of the unfair treatment their families had suffered. “I cherish my American citizenship,” Takei said, “because I know the high painful price that has been paid for it.” Concluding his moving address, Takei spoke to the graduates. “Today is your day of celebration! You will be going out there to meet complex, very difficult challenges. I wish you well, I wish you success and achievement, and I wish you to be passionate about the shining ideals of our democracy.”
Watch the entire speech here:
Following the conferral of degrees, Professor Evan Lee also offered his farewell remarks to the graduates, including an adept rendition of “Stand by Me,” accompanied by two talented students, Barbara Tolbert and Salutatorian Carmen King. “It’s not an easy time to be a law school graduate,” Professor Lee admitted, “but the Hastings community has no quit in it . . . We will never give up. Stand up. Stand up! I mean it!” he implored the crowd, and soon, he got everyone in the auditorium on their feet, demonstrating their pride for UC Hastings.
Watch his speech, song and culminating cheer here:
View the 134th UC Hastings Commencement Photo Album on Facebook:
Congratulations to all of the graduates!