Senate President: Virginia Grace Davis '16
Welcome everyone—and congratulations to the Columbia Law School Class of 2016! I’d like to begin by extending a heartfelt thank you to all of you who made today’s celebration possible. To each family member and friend, none of us would be standing here today without your support and patience. For that, we thank you.
So, we did it. We made it through long nights, tough finals, and the 2014 Snowpocalypse. Now we’re standing in these flattering robes with a few thousand of our closest friends to celebrate our time here. Over the past three years, we’ve come together from vastly different backgrounds to become a community. We’ve grown together. We’ve learned from each other. We’ve worked side by side as part of the over 100 student organizations here at CLS for the things in which we believe.
So, I’d like to talk a little bit about the future. Where do you see yourself over the next 10 years? Most of us have some idea of who and where we’d like to be, but the truth is that we can’t know for sure—and that can be unsettling. Today marks the end of three years of certainty and routine. Now we’re stepping out of that comfort zone and into the next phase of our lives.
We can’t predict our own futures, and we’re entering a world with even more uncertainty—a world with major problems and no easy solutions. But after spending the last three years learning from you and getting to know you, what I do know is this: If anyone has the creativity, dedication, and compassion needed to face these problems, it’s you.
Many of us will soon occupy positions of great influence. We’ll serve clients zealously, hold public office, or fight for those who can’t speak for themselves. Let’s use our influence to live lives of impact and integrity. Let’s remember where we came from and the people and experiences that made us who we are. Regardless of the paths we choose, law school has given us the tools that we need to make a real difference in our world. Let’s use them.
It has been an honor to know each of you. You’ve all done great things already, and this is just the beginning. Today marks the end of one chapter and the start of the rest of our lives. Class of 2016, let’s make it count.