Class of 2017 Begins Graduation Countdown

Keynote, class speakers, and teaching-award winner announced at kick-off party.

Dean Gillian Lester (center) and Dean of Students Yadira Ramos-Herbert (second from left) celebrate with (from left to right) Class Gift Co-Chairs Karen Werner ’17 LL.M., Mpendulo Tokyo Mbetse ’17 LL.M., Deandre Harris ’17, and Joanne Liu ’17, and Graduation Co-Chairs Kai Gill ’17 and Janice Lee ’17 at the 2017 Graduation Kick-Off.

The Class of 2017 celebrated the beginning of the end of their Columbia Law School careers at the Graduation Kick-Off Party on March 7 at Bernheim & Schwartz in Morningside Heights. Approximately 200 J.D. and LL.M. candidates gathered for the announcement of the keynote and class speakers, as well as the winner of the 2017 Willis L.M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching, selected by the graduating class:

  • 2017 Graduation Keynote Speaker: Mary Jo White ’74, 31st chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • LL.M. Class Speaker: Gonzalo D.V. Go III ’17 LL.M.
  • J.D. Class Speaker: Andres Barajas ’17
  • 2017 Willis L.M. Reese Prize Recipient: Professor Eric Talley, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law

The students gathered also initiated the Class Gift, which will be presented to Law School Dean Gillian Lester on Graduation Day, May 18, 2017. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on the South Law of Columbia University’s Morningside Campus.  

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Posted on March 9, 2017

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