Law Center News
Over 30 receive Juris Doctorate degrees during fall 2022 commencement ceremony
On January 21, over 30 graduates received their Juris doctorate degree during the Fall 2022 Commencement Ceremony for the Southern University Law Center. The prestigious ceremony was held at the F.G. Clark Activity Center on the campus of Southern University Baton Rouge. Honorable Judge John Guidry, chief judge of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal, served as the commencement speaker.
Chancellor John Pierre opened up the program by welcoming platform guests, family, friends, and guests. He went on to give encouraging words to the graduates. Pierre paid homage to Charles Hatfield, a Baton Rouge native that filed the historic lawsuit which led to the opening of the Southern University Law School.
“You are the future,” said Guidry. “You are the future Thurgood Marshall. You are the future Kentanji Brown Jackson.” Guidry, a 1987 alumnus of the Southern University Law Center, started his address by reminding graduates that though these “weary years” of law school that they must not forget the bridges that were built nor those that stood as the “wind beneath their wings”.
Over the course of his legal career, Guidry was a former commissioner of the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission and the Greater Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Commission. While maintaining a general private law practice, he formerly served as the assistant clerk of the Louisiana House of Representatives and an Assistant Parish Attorney for the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish. In 1991, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives and the State Senate in 1993. Guidry was first elected as a judge of the First Circuit Court of Appeal in October 1997.
“The world needs transformational change agents that have a seriousness of purpose and understand that analysis matters,” said Guidry. “This is your season to reap what you have sown.”
Guidry poured positive affirmations into the graduates. He reminded them that they are the legacy of Charles Hatfield and the institution’s first five graduates.
"I will see you in court”. He ended with a congratulatory charge and farewell to the graduates.
Myron Lawson, Southern University System Board of Supervisors chairman, and Dennis J. Shields, president of the Southern University System and chancellor of the Southern University and A&M College, and Naudia Foster, Student Bar Association president, shared closing remarks.
“We ask that your services to Southern University do not end today. Continue to make us proud.” said Lawson.
“This has been a not so easy journey for you. The first graduates of this institution have a proud inspiration on this great state; therefore, you’re stepping into a major role and obligation.” said Shields. He went on to commended Guidry on his most recent investiture and inspiration to the graduates and other law students. He ended with a charge to the graduates to pay it forward and prosper.
The ceremony was live-streamed and recorded on the Law Center's YouTube channel. You can watch the commencement ceremony here: https://bit.ly/fall2022commencement.RSS News Feed