Thank you, and congratulations to the graduates and to Professor Nockleby. It’s a great honor to receive this award.
Let’s start with a question. (I’m a law school professor after all.) What makes people genuinely happy? It’s not wealth, possessions, beauty, or youth. It’s meaningful connections – to others and to vocation. That’s why I love teaching. Thank you to my students for the connections we’ve made. Your journey through law school has been my journey as well. Thank you for sharing your lives with me. I’m thrilled to see your growth and success in law school. Here you are at graduation. Well done. Thanks especially to the evening student group for this award. As a working mom with a long commute, I fully comprehend your dedication to the study of law -- and the sacrifices you and your families have made these past four years. You inspire me.
Today marks the beginning of a wonderful transition in your lives. Soon (on Thursday, July 27 to be precise) you’ll have the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. Hooray! Savor your time with them. I hope you’ll continue the connections you’ve made with classmates and faculty at Loyola Law School. Stay in touch. And, if you need help, let us know. Today, you’re also joining a larger community – 17,000 strong – of Loyola Law School alums. As part of this larger community, you can expand your Loyola connections and participate in projects that are meaningful to you.
I feel especially honored to receive this award because of the exceptional quality of teaching and service at Loyola Law School. Our faculty do extraordinary work in our classrooms and clinics, and in local, national, and international communities. As the whole world knows, Loyola professors change lives for the better! The Jesuit traditions of student-centered education and social justice are alive and well at Loyola Law School. I’m proud to be a part of this great institution and humbled to receive this award. And I’m honored – and happy – to have been your teacher. Thank you and congratulations to the Class of 2017. May you be happy.