Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law students began Commencement weekend festivities last Thursday with two receptions honoring the JD and LL.M. classes of 2015.

Thursday evening, JD students, their families and Fowler Law faculty and staff met for a graduation banquet at the Turnip Rose Event Center in Costa Mesa. The annual banquet offers an opportunity to celebrate students’ accomplishments with family and friends, and to socialize with faculty and staff members.

During the opening remarks, Kareen Sassounian addressed her classmates as the outgoing Student Bar Association (SBA) president saying, “Class of 2015, we have endured an incredible journey. My hope is that whatever we have accomplished in the past three years will not compare to what we will achieve in the future. Not just in the legal profession but in humanitarian efforts as well.”

The evening included an awards ceremony honoring students’ academic performances during their three years at Fowler School of Law.


Kareen Sassounian, recipient of the Dean’s Award, and Amanda M. Herman, Honor Scholar and recipient of the Carmelina Doti Excellence Award

The Honor Scholar (Valedictorian) Award and the Carmelina Doti Excellence Award are presented annually by the dean and faculty of the Fowler School of Law to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average in the graduating class. The 2015 Valedictorian was Amanda M. Herman.

Madiha Shahabuddin received the 2015 Distinguished Graduate Award, presented by the dean and faculty of Fowler School of Law to the graduating senior whose scholarship, ethics and service exemplify the highest ideals of the legal profession.

The Dean’s Award is presented annually by the dean to the graduating senior whose leadership and service to the school and its students represent a significant contribution to the development of the law school. The 2015 recipient was Kareen Sassounian.

The Professionalism Award is presented annually by the Fowler School of Law dean and faculty to the graduate who has represented the law school to the legal profession and community in a distinctively significant manner. The 2015 Professionalism Award recipient was Arthur Arutyunyants.


Madiha Shahabuddin, recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award

Ravyn Rowland was awarded the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) Award. The NAWL award is selected by the faculty and presented annually by NAWL to the graduating senior who contributes to the advancement of women in society; promotes issues and concerns of women in the legal profession; exhibits motivation, tenacity and enthusiasm; demonstrates academic achievement; and has earned the respect of the Fowler School of Law dean and faculty.

The American Law Institute-Continuing Legal Education (ACI-CLE) Awards are selected by the faculty and presented annually to five members of the graduating class who best represent a combination of scholarship and leadership, the qualities embodied by the ALI-CLE parent organization. The 2015 award recipients were:

  • Jack Anderson
  • Rachel Baker
  • Evan Brennan
  • Allison Scott
  • Hamza Siddiqui

The National Order of Scribes Awards are selected by the faculty and presented annually by the American Society of Legal Writers to the five graduates who have demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism and who are outstanding legal writers. The 2015 award winners were:

  • Benjamin Bertch
  • Priscilla George
  • John-Christopher Hughes
  • William Kelly
  • Michelle Lumasag

Fatima Murchal addresses her graduating LL.M. class

Earlier in the day, LL.M. graduates met in Kennedy Hall for a private reception recognizing their accomplishments. Graduating LL.M. students Khalid Almoajel and Fatima Murchal were featured speakers, thanking their families, Fowler Law faculty and fellow graduates for their support and help in reaching their goal.

Watch a webcast of the LL.M. reception.

The reception events were followed by the 2015 Commencement Exercises on Friday, May 22, 2015.

See a slideshow of the 2015 JD Graduation Banquet.