Tampa Bay Campus Holds May Graduation Ceremony
The Tampa Bay campus of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School honored 41 graduates during a commencement ceremony held at University of South Florida’s Marshall Student Center on April 17, 2016. Students received their diplomas during the ceremony for earning their juris doctor degrees.
Graduate Mark Patterson was selected by his fellow classmates to present the graduation valedictory remarks. In the speech, he reflected on the road to law school graduation.
Patterson said, “This journey has been exciting and amazing, but most of all encouraging. As Cooley grads we leave here today and there is one thing that is certain; this is just the beginning of what will be great careers for all of us.”
The keynote was presented by John Badalamenti, judge on the Second District Court of Appeals. Badalamenti spoke to the law graduates about the perseverance it takes to become a lawyer.
“I don’t want anyone to ever let you feel out of place in litigation or in life for any reason. The fact is that you are right there with them,” said Badalamenti. “Your journeys were all different and had different obstacles along the way, but remember; it’s less about where you started and much more about what you do during life’s journey.”
Each class at WMU-Cooley bears the name of a distinguished member of the legal profession. The spring 2016 graduating class is named after Charles Evan Hughes. Hughes served as the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice from 1930-1941.
About Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School: Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School affiliated in 2014, combining the status of a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and the law school continue to operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.