Cooley bestows law degrees at graduation


 WMU-Cooley Law School presented juris doctor and master of laws degrees to graduates during the law school’s commencement ceremony for the Michigan campuses (Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids, and Lansing) at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Jan. 21.

The Hon. Stephen J. Markman, chief justice, Michigan Supreme Court, provided the keynote, and valedictory remarks were presented by Lynn Mason, who was selected by her classmates. During the ceremony, Katie Sabo and I. Eric Nordan, summa cum laude graduates, were honored for accomplishing perfect 4.0 grade point averages throughout their law school careers; and Andrea Muroto Bilabaye was presented with the President’s Achievement Award for the highest increase in GPA during her three years at WMU-Cooley.

Markman spoke to the graduates about the importance of continuing their legal education after graduation and throughout their careers. He noted that Abraham Lincoln often told lawyers to take it upon themselves to "read, read, read” all they can on the law, the constitution, trends in the law, innovation, the human condition, and the ills that plague society.

During the valedictory address, Mason said, “We have come a long way. We have worked hard and sacrificed so much to get here today. We have laughed together, cried together and we have studied together.”

Quoting the entertainer Eminen, Mason asked her classmates, “If you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip away?”  While responding to the question she put forth, Mason told her classmates, “We have captured it (this is) our moment. We are writing our own stories. We are turning the page today and starting a new chapter.”

 Each class at WMU-Cooley bears the name of a distinguished member of the legal profession. The January 2018 class is named after Michigan Supreme Court Justice Patricia Boyle. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter selected Boyle as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. After five years on the federal bench, Boyle stepped down when she was chosen by Gov. James Blanchard to join the Michigan Supreme Court as an associate justice.