May 25, 2018 | On May 18, under balmy skies and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Pepperdine Law honored the Class of 2018. In welcoming graduates, family, and friends to Alumni Park, JD candidate Kevin Reddington aptly described the day: “We celebrate the culmination of a three year arduous journey, here, in God’s backyard, with our friends and family.” Pepperdine University Provost Rick Marrs added, “This is a day for living in the moment and celebrating these graduates’ achievements.”
The Pepperdine Law Commencement remains a tradition that recognizes students as the heart of our educational enterprise.This year, 167 Juris Doctorate, 22 Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR), and 39 Master of Laws (LLM) candidates were awarded degrees from the School of Law. Graduation marks the transition towards an even greater journey in which Pepperdine Law graduates go forth equipped for the pursuit of knowledge, truth, and justice.
After Darae Eom delivered the Invocation, Jordan Johnson led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Stephanie Chukwu performed a rich rendition of the the National Anthem. Kevin Reddington, elected by his peers and known for his witty impressions, then delivered the much anticipated Student Address.
“I swell with gratitude,” Kevin expressed. “I know what I received at this place I couldn’t have received anywhere else.”
Next, Dean Jim Gash presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Tricia Bigelow (JD ‘86), Presiding Justice, California Second District Court of Appeal. Justice Bigelow devotes a great deal of time to Pepperdine Law as a member of the Board of Advisors and through her outstanding dedication to our students. Dean Gash said of Justice Bigelow, “She serves her position with such distinction – it makes me especially proud to present this award.”
Justice Bigelow, in her address, reminded graduates to always find and follow their inner voices. She also said, “Each of you is uniquely created by God. I urge you to work hard in the little things because they open the door to bigger things.”
Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton then conferred this year’s candidate for honorary Doctor of Laws to Kenneth R. Feinberg of The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Feinberg, PC. Feinberg, one of the best-known figures in the field of alternative dispute resolution, has been involved in resolving some of the nation’s most complex and emotional disputes. Feinberg remarked, “A day like today, here at Pepperdine, renews my faith in our nation and in the rule of law.”
Dean Paul Caron, in his first commencement ceremony as Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of Pepperdine Law, then led the presentation of candidates for graduate degrees. More than 200 students proudly walked across the stage this year, all of whom are equipped to lead and empowered to serve.
In his address, Kevin closed by asking fellow graduates how they will use the power of knowledge conferred by a law degree. Pepperdine Law, he said, has given the answer to that question – “Freely ye received, freely give.”
Congratulations, Class of 2018! You did it! A complete photo gallery may be found here.
To view photos from Thursday’s graduation breakfast, please visit our Flickr page.