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Pepperdine Caruso School of Law Celebrates Commencement 2022

On Friday, May 20, members of the Pepperdine Caruso Law Class of 2022 gathered at Alumni Park to celebrate their commencement after an unprecedented two years of change and uncertainty. Over 400 students earned their Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, Master of Dispute Resolution, or Master of Legal Studies degrees. 

Commencement 2022 graduates

Director of Alumni Relations, Jessie Fahy (JD ‘11) opened the ceremony with an invocation. The Class of 2022 valedictorian, Clayton Edward Collier, led the Pledge of Allegiance, and graduate Gabriella Castro performed the National Anthem.

The first student speaker, Alina Ahmed, reminded the graduates of the moment they picked up a pencil to the moment they decided to go to law school. She left her graduating class with this, “Only one thing remains certain, there is no possible way we could be sitting here today without the support of everyone here today. Thank you, we did it!” 

The second student speaker, Joseph Dominic Castro, shared with everyone the moment he wanted to drop out of law school. Three years later, Castro bid farewell to the home he found at Pepperdine and reminded his fellow graduates, “We may be apart, but we will always be a part of each other.” 

Alina Ahmed and Joseph Castro

Dean Paul L. Caron presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award to the Honorable Jeffrey S. Boyd (JD ‘91). Justice Boyd was appointed to the Supreme Court of Texas in 2012 and was re-elected in 2014 and 2020. He noted to the graduates, “All these years later I have remained fond of and committed to Pepperdine because of those things that I could only have learned here, which was because of the people who were here…I genuinely hope that as you sit here today graduates you can think of things that you learned here that you would not have learned at any other decent law school because of the people who were here for you. And if you have, I hope you’ll take a minute to text or email or God forbid even write a card to one or two of them and thank them for what they taught you” 

Justice Jeffrey Boyd

Justice Boyd was followed by the Caruso School of Law 2022 commencement speaker, the Honorable Mary H. Murguia, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Murguia is the first Latina to serve as Chief Judge of any of the Federal Courts of Appeals. She offered five pieces of advice, “Number one believe in this country and the opportunity it can provide you if you work hard…Number two, value your relationships…Number three, experience and express gratitude…Number four, live and work with integrity… Number five, take time to experience joy and occasionally even wonder in your life… Remember that integrity matters and so does joy”

Judge Mary Murguia

Following the commencement address Dean Caron presented the candidates for their degrees. The degrees were conferred by Jim Gash, president of Pepperdine University. Dean Caron led the traditional hooding of the graduates before they crossed the stage to collect their degrees. The ceremony concluded as the graduates gave a standing ovation to the Caruso Law faculty members, followed by a benediction delivered by Chalak Richards (JD ‘12), associate dean of student life, diversity, and belonging, and executive director of the Parris Institute for Professional Excellence.

Pepperdine Caruso Law congratulates the Class of 2022 for their resilience and dedication throughout their legal education. The complete Caruso School of Law Commencement may be viewed on YouTube.

Graduates throwing hats