WMU-Cooley holds commencement for its spring term graduates


Photos courtesy of WMU-Cooley 

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School held commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 23. The virtual graduation honored 205 juris doctor and seven master of laws degree recipients from the law school’s Michigan (Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids, and Lansing) and Tampa Bay campuses.

Buddy Faulkner and Roslyn Murrell were chosen by their classmates to present the valedictory remarks, and Judge Jessica Costello from the Hillsborough County, Florida, 13th Judicial Circuit, presented the keynote. During the ceremony, Melissa Heinz of the Grand Rapids campus and  Kathryn Kucyk of the Auburn Hills campus were presented with the James E. Burns Memorial Award for graduating summa cum laude (highest GPA in the graduating class); and Comfort Aduwa was recipient of the President’s Achievement Award (highest increase percentage in GPA from incoming credentials through law school).

During her remarks, Murrell, who attended the Lansing campus, spoke about the class’ journey through law school.

“We all remember the first day of orientation when we were told that time would go by quickly and by the time we finally look up, we will be done. My fellow graduates look up. We are here now. We have finished the course.”

She spoke about changing from in-person to virtual classes due to the pandemic.

“Suddenly we could not come to campus, but we adapted.  It was a rough start for many of us, but we persevered,” Murrell said.  “Our law school experience was like a seed that was planted. That seed was our law school application.  When we were accepted we were covered by mountains of coursework that some of us have never experienced before, kind of like being covered with top soil and fertilizer. We knew it was good for us, but it was also suffocating at times. The seedling was watered by our tears of first year law school exams. It was nourished by so many, our professors and staff who welcomed us openly, by our fellow classmates, and the sunny dispositions of our friends and family who championed us on and always gave us a positive uplifting word.”

Faulkner, from the Tampa Bay campus thanked friends and family of graduates by saying, “without you this marathon might not have been quite as bearable.”

While speaking directly to his classmates, Faulkner said, “The netw