Pepperdine University School of Law celebrated commencement on May 22 with speeches from student Steven R. Houchin, distinguished alumna Barbara A. Jones (JD '89), and Gary A. Haugen, the the founder, president, and CEO of International Justice Mission.
In addition to Houchin, the Class of 2009 was represented by John J. Gehart, III, who gave the invocation; Jeffrey C. Wyss, who led the Pledge of Allegiance; and Rachel A. Rossi, who led the National Anthem.
Jones, who was presented the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Award, is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP. She told the graduates, "Be ever mindful of the catalytic effect of one person on the community, nation, and world."
Haugen spoke on true joy. "I urge you to enjoy your life," he said. "For where you find true joy, you will also find your purpose."
International Justice Mission (IJM), is a human rights agency headquartered in Washington, D.C. Established in 1997, IJM works with national governments to secure rescue and restoration for victims of violent abuse, and to ensure that public justice systems work to protect the poor from slavery, sexual exploitation, and other violent forms of oppression.
Pepperdine's School of Law was the first in the country to establish a student chapter of International Justice Mission. Three recent Pepperdine graduates have joined or will be joining IJM's staff in India, Jon Derby and Christina Sambor in Mumbai, and Melissa Dossey in Calcutta. Another Pepperdine alumnus, Jeff Cook, will serve IJM in Cambodia.