Welcoming Remarks: Kiira Jeet Johal ’14
Good afternoon, and welcome to the Columbia Law School Class of 2014 Graduation! My name is Kiira Johal and, as one of this year’s graduation co-chairs, it is mine and Rayna's honor, on behalf of my classmates, to thank each and everyone of you for your attendance here today. Many of you have traveled continents to be here, and others were just a short cab ride away. Even so, your support throughout our law school careers has been paramount. Law school was not easy (and for that handful of you out there for which it was, my apologies for my words, the rest of us envy you). Yet, for the moms and dads, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and friends who ever received a panicked or a defeated phone call, we sincerely thank you.
Along that same vein, there is a second group of individuals here today to whom we owe immense gratitude, and that is the faculty and administrators sitting behind me on stage. We are all aware of their immensely impressive and intimidating credentials, but it is their passion for scholarship and teaching that lit a spark in some of us, and provided a life-altering opportunity and education for all of us. Faculty and administrators, we thank you.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, to my fellow classmates—J.D.s and LL.M.s alike—thank you. Most of us have had varying law school experiences, but I am confident that we are leaving here impacted by and with meaningful connections to at least a few of our remarkably bright and motivated peers.
Thank you all, again, and please join us in celebrating, enjoying, and cherishing today’s ceremony as tomorrow we start that next chapter of our lives.
I'm now absolutely delighted to introduce the president of the Student Senate, the student-elected representative body, (and one of my best friends for the past three years) George Zhang.
Closing Remarks: Rayna Delaviev Reid '14
On our very last day of school, a wise professor told us that it’s up to us to find our corner of the world and change it for the better. For three long years, JG has been our corner. But today, they are releasing us into the world. All of us will scatter across the globe, and each of us will encounter our new “corner” better equipped to positively impact the world because of our time spent here at Columbia Law School.
And although we may be separating, it is important to remember that we will always remain bound together by our time here. We’ve had many memorable moments—we’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, and sometimes we've even studied together. These moments and the friendships forged are the most important thing to take away from this law school experience. For many of us, this marks the last time we will walk across a stage and graduate. And while today is a defining moment, this moment does not define our entire lives. Our defining moment is in the years to come. But we must also remember the wise words of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Now is the time to stop and look around. Congratulations Class of 2014—WE DID IT!