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Pepperdine Caruso Law Celebrates Commencement 2024

On Friday, May 17, the Pepperdine Caruso Law Class of 2024 gathered at Alumni Park to celebrate their commencement with their families, friends, and classmates. It was a joyous occasion for the 400 graduates who earned their Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, Master of Dispute Resolution, and Master of Legal Studies degrees. 

Caruso Law graduates 2024

Professor Mark Scarberry opened the ceremonies, and Al Sturgeon, associate dean of student life and spiritual development, delivered the invocation. The Class of 2024 valedictorian, Matteson Landau, led the Pledge of Allegiance, and graduate Cassandra McKenzie sang the National Anthem. 

The student address was delivered by Rachel Robson, who commended the graduates for their commitment. Robson said, "Class of 2024, we simply did not stumble upon this moment by chance. Whether we here earned a JD or a master's degree, we stand here as graduates, not because we inherently deserve it, but because we earned it through grit, resilience, and unyielding dedication. Let us be grateful for every challenge presented and every lesson learned, personally and professionally."

University president Jim Gash presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Gary Hanson (JD '80), who is retiring this year after serving as the University's senior executive vice president. Hanson gave the graduates three pieces of advice: to know that they belong in the profession; to walk with the God of the Universe at their sides; and to remember to relax, renew, and enjoy the journey.

Caruso Law dean Paul Caron then presented the commencement speaker, the Honorable AndrĂ© Birotte, Jr. (JD '91), district judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Judge Birotte, who spoke to the Class of 2024 during Launch Week of their first year, encouraged the graduates to continue to lean on Pepperdine along their legal journeys, and said he was confident that each and every graduate has something great to contribute to the nation. 

Caruso Law commencement ceremony 2024

Following Judge Birotte's address, Dean Caron presented the candidates for their degrees, which were conferred by President Gash.  Dean Caron led the traditional hooding of the graduates before they crossed the stage to receive their degrees. The ceremony concluded with a benediction delivered by Arnold Barba, associate dean for professional formation. 

Pepperdine Caruso Law congratulates the Class of 2024 and looks forward to seeing the graduates embark on their legal and professional careers.

The complete 2024 Caruso Law commencement ceremony may be viewed on YouTube.

Commencement 2024 graduates