Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Thousands cheer as hundreds graduate from Sturm College of Law

law graduation

Nathan Mudd graduates from the Sturm College of Law on May 19. PHOTO BY: Wayne Armstrong.

Calling law one of the world’s noblest professions, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers congratulated more than 300 Sturm College of Law graduates on May 19 as they prepared to join the ranks of the legal community.

Suthers accepted an honorary doctor of laws degree from DU’s law school and told graduates that they were about to join the ranks of professionals who defend the Constitution of the United States and ensure that society treats every member fairly.

“There can never be too many good lawyers, and there can never be too many noble causes for good lawyers to advocate,” Suthers said.

Family and friends began packing DU’s Magness Arena more than an hour before the 10 a.m. ceremony. Thousands cheered as, one-by-one, graduates accepted diplomas from DU Chancellor Robert Coombe.

Graduate Lonnel Wylie, chosen by his class to speak at the ceremony, said every graduate owes a debt of gratitude to the family and friends who stood by and supported them for years as they pursued their dreams. Now, he said, graduates must go out and make their mark.

“Each of you will now go out into the profession and you will defy odds, and you will remain determined,” he said. “Our profession is one of integrity and justice.”

Amid the celebrations, there was also time for sad reflection. The University bestowed two posthumous degrees upon graduates who died before the ceremony but had completed all required coursework. Graduates and the audience stood and applauded as DU presented the diplomas of the late Stephanie Boruta and Devang Vyas. 

Boruta’s family was on hand to accept the diploma, while Vyas’ family watched live on streaming video from their home in New Jersey.

The live video feed delivered over the Internet was among the first widely publicized events of its kind for a DU graduation. The feed is being added to the University’s Commencement Web site and will be available on demand for those who missed the ceremony.

As he concluded his address, Suthers advised each graduate to remain true to the strongest ethical tenets of the profession and to be fair and honest, reminding the class that “Americans are dedicated to the rule of law, not to the rule of lawyers.

“I am proud of every day I have spent as a lawyer,” he said. “I hope you will find your career, regardless of where it takes you, similarly rewarding.”

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