Law Center News
SULC introduce new alumni at Fall 2023 Commencement Ceremony
On January 20, 31 graduates received their Juris doctorate degree during the Fall 2023 Commencement Ceremony for the Southern University Law Center (SULC). The prestigious ceremony was held at the F.G. Clark Activity Center on the campus of Southern University Baton Rouge. Deidre Deculus Robert, state director of rural development of the USDA, served as the commencement speaker.
Chancellor John Pierre opened the distinguished gathering by welcoming the accomplished graduates, guests, family, and friends.
Robert began her address with a congratulatory charge to the graduates, asking them to thank themselves. "Stand and thank yourself,” said Robert. “You have arrived, you are here!”
Over the course of two decades, Robert has proclaimed a successful career as a legal, administrative, and executive management professional with experience in local state, and federal governance. Currently, she is honored to serve in the Biden-Harris Administration as a Presidential Appointee leading the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office in Louisiana and is the first black woman to do so. Previously, Robert served as general counsel of the Southern University and A&M college system, the only HBCU college system in the country, wherein she was the chief legal officer for the president-chancellor and five campuses that make up the system. Among her many accolades, Robert also serves as the first black female president of the Louisiana Bar Foundation.
“As you stand on the precipice of a new chapter in your lives having successfully navigated the rigorous journey of law school, I want to share reflections on success, self-care, and the profound significance of service,” said Robert. “These things are not a luxury; they are a necessity.”
Throughout her address, Robert, a 2000 alumna of the Southern University Law Center, reminded graduates on the importance of taking care of yourself and having self-determination.
“If you can do this, then you can do anything,” she concluded. “To that end as you prepare yourself for the next leg of life as new members of the JD club, set your eyes on preparation, because chance favors the prepared mind.”
Following the commencement address, Dennis J. Shields, president of the Southern University System and chancellor of the Southern University and A&M College, shared closing remarks.
“You are now part of the profound influence that the alumni, the graduates of this law school, have in this state and across this country,” said Shields. “Good luck and congratulations!”
The ceremony was live-streamed and recorded on the Law Center's YouTube channel. You can watch the commencement ceremony here.
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