College of Law Celebrates Commencement of Centennial Class

On May 10, 2013, the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law’s centennial graduating class celebrated commencement. One hundred years after the College awarded degrees to its first eight graduates, 138 students ascended the steps at Kingsbury Hall to receive their “much-deserved diplomas” (to echo the welcome by University of Utah Senior Vice President Michael Hardman).

Befitting the auspicious occasion and the students’ collective accomplishments, Dean Hiram Chodosh said, “The celebration of our centennial class here today poses a special opportunity to reflect on our mission and draw inspiration from the past.”

“We have persevered through wars and depressions and radical social transformations in our society,” Chodosh reflected. “We have persevered through the partitions of race and ethnicity and gender and class and disability that continue to divides us. And we will continue to persevere through a tough economy and transformations in higher and legal education that increasingly require innovative, transcendent solutions.”

After making a strong case for the graduates’ leadership through service, Chodosh continued, “So Class of 2013 — no matter what the challenges ahead, we’re invested heavily in your bright future. You have drawn from others for support. You have hustled and kept your chins up. You have believed in and supported our mission.  And you have served and led through your service in ways that will sustain us all.”

Watch the Class of 2013 Commencement address »

“For your determination, your energy, your generous contributions, your success, we are forever grateful and congratulate you on this beautiful day,” Chodosh concluded.

Commencement speaker Marlin Jensen (’70), a practicing attorney with a long and varied history of community service, echoed many of the themes introduced by Chodosh, including the importance of maintaining an ethical grounding. He also stressed the need to embark upon a “constant quest for greater competence ­­— an effort continually to learn and to improve.”

Jensen’s remarks were frequently laced with humor.  As he drily noted at one point, “Since I am one of the final obstacles standing between you graduates and your attainment of liberty and complete happiness, I promise to be mercifully brief!”

Student speaker Shehnoor Grewal said, “I simply ask us replicate what most of us have done throughout all of law school: work hard and continue to be the nice people we’ve shown we are in law school.  As aspiring lawyers, we may already have one-way tickets to hell after we die, but in this world, we have the power to make a difference.”

Her fellow student speaker Colin Crebs signed off with a few simple words of advice: “I hope you had fun these last few years, and that you learned awesome things.  I also hope you will continue to persevere and do great things in the future.  Thank you very much, and good luck class of 2013.”

Reflecting on the end of three years in law school, student speaker John Wiethorn said, “It has not been an easy journey. It has been challenging, frustrating, and yes, even (believe it or not) humbling sometimes to be a law student. But above all else it has been rewarding.”


Faculty Awards

James Holbrook
Peter W. Billings Excellence in Teaching Award

Wayne McCormack
Faculty Scholarship Award 

Terry Kogan
Faculty Service Award 

Michael Teter
Early Career Faculty Award


Adjunct Faculty Award 

Troy Booher
Peter W. Billings Excellence in Teaching Award


Staff Award

Miriam Lovin
Barbara MacFarlane Service Award