One hundred and eighty-five Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law graduates walked their way from students to alumni at the class of 2016’s commencement ceremony held on Wilson Field last Friday as family and friends looked proudly on.

Justice Liu addresses students

Justice Liu addresses students

This year’s keynote speaker was California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu. Justice Liu was invited to speak by Professor Tom Campbell during his tenure as dean of the Fowler School of Law. Justice Liu is a prolific and influential scholar on constitutional law and education policy who currently serves on the California Access to Justice Commission, the governing board of the American Law Institute, the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Bar Association Task Force on Financing Legal Education. He has previously served on the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and the board of directors of the Alliance for Excellent Education, the American Constitution Society, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Public Welfare Foundation.

Justice Liu first met Professor Campbell when Justice Liu was a student at Stanford University and Professor Campbell was a member of the Stanford Law School faculty.

Justice Liu encouraged the graduates to take risks in their careers, using moments from throughout his life, including his own struggles with the bar exam and career setbacks, to illustrate that perceived failures are not always so negative.

“It would be wrong to conclude that the best way to go about life is to always play it safe. Not only would that be wrong, it would be a betrayal of the great gifts of talent and education. All of you have demonstrated great intelligence, motivation, savvy and grit,” he said. “For accomplished people like yourselves, my worry is not that you won’t succeed, it’s that you will never fail. It’s that you will live successful, comfortable lives, while never leaving your comfort zone, never taking risks that could lead to disappointment or failure.”

Annie Lin's husband and son accept her degree posthumously

Annie Lin’s husband and son accept her degree posthumously

Fowler School of Law Interim Dean Scott Howe addressed the outgoing students, commending their hard work and part in the law school’s legacy. He also expressed his confidence in and admiration for their work over the last three years.

“I find not just by preponderance but by clear convincing evidence that you would meet the legal test, if there were such a test, of being pretty darned awesome,” Dean Howe said.  “As you leave us to go out into the profession and create your own destinies, my charge to you is this: be kind, be courageous, and be yourself. Be as kind as possible to others, consistent to your obligations with your clients.”

A special JD was awarded posthumously to 3L Annie Lin, who passed away in the fall after a battle with cancer. Before presenting Annie’s degree to her husband and son, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration Jayne Kacer emphasized Annie’s commitment to her education and helping others, and noted the great loss felt by the Fowler School of Law community.

April Cristal delivers JD response at podium

April Cristal delivers the JD response

April Cristal delivered the JD response, thanking her fellow graduates for the lessons they taught her beyond the classroom, and the encouragement they provided in unexpected ways.

“Graduating today represents so much more than learning the rule against perpetuities or first amendment jurisprudence. It also represents the education that we received outside of a classroom, and beyond the four corners of our degree. In our time here at Chapman we have learned a lot about the law, but we have learned even more about life,” she said.

She urged her fellow graduates to continue encouraging others through five unorthodox actions that she said served as some source of inspiration throughout her law school career: brining food to events to encourage unlikely people to show up and to show their interest in others in a fundamental way, encouraging others, saying hello, remaining humble, and being themselves.

Fahima Amini delivers the LL.M. response at podium

Fahima Amini delivers the LL.M. response

Fahima Amini delivered the LL.M. response. She illustrated for her fellow students and guests the unique experience of international students studying American law. Originally from Afghanistan, Amini highlighted the significance of the opportunity to learn the legal system of another country in order to better serve the global community.

“Through this program we have learned many things that we could not have learned from books. We have experienced a new environment that we could not have in our country,” she said. “Let’s make a new brilliant future, together, for everyone everywhere in this world. Let’s make a just and peaceful world by our rightful decisions. And let’s make this world free from violence and war by our legal contributions. We can do it if we are passionate about law and humanity.”

The ceremony closed with the announcement of the 2016 M. Katherine Baird Darmer Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, given to Susanna Ripken, a beloved Fowler School of Law faculty member. Professor Tom Campbell provided a closing benediction.

On Thursday, May 19, several graduates were honored at the graduation banquet for JD students and the LL.M. graduation reception. The 2016 Valedictorian and recipient of the Carmelina Doti Academic Excellence Award was Jade McKenzie, who was also recognized at the commencement ceremony.

Congratulations to the class of 2016!

View a slideshow of commencement.

Watch the webcast.

2016 Graduates with Academic Honors

Summa cum Laude:

Jade McKenzie

Magna cum Laude:

John Scoville Evans
Charles David Henninger
Lindsay R. Niles
Trevor Thomas Sullivan
Sheri Ann Wright
Morgan Lee Yaeger

Cum Laude:

Leanne Brett
Tristan P. Espinosa
Daniel M. Ferguson
Craig Powell Hayes
Rebekah Lange
Danielle Dalene Maland
Thomas M. Mann
Kaitlin Peterson
Hanna Marie Ramsey
Sarah Brooke Romero
Samuel Quinn Schleier
Jacob Shin
Alexa P. Stephenson
Andrew B. Still
Jeremy Talcott
Denise H.D. Tran
Nelson N. Vu

2016 Juris Doctor Graduates

Allen Steele Aho
Alberto E. Algaze
Maheen Ali
Shiva Anari
George Peter Anezinos
William J. Antisdale
John R. Arends
Vicente Cesar Ayala Lopez
Victor A. Bachand
Rachel Nicole Bardwell
Christopher D. Barnes
Katherine Frances Biadasz
Oliver J. Braunwalder
Bridget Ann Brennan
Leanne Brett
Maria E. Brosnan-Faltas
Megan R. Callaghan
Anna E. Caludac
Alexander Louis Carasso
Rebecca Jane Carlson
Michael J. Cefali
Edward C. Chen
Jeffery C. Crissman
April Mara Cristal
Dane C. Cummaro
Ashley Daniel
Ryan Thomas Deegan
Edward B. Dennis
Andrew J. Des Combes
Elaine Pearl Ponce Dick
Cameron Thomas Djokovich
Tristan P. Espinosa
John Scoville Evans
Nisa Farhangi
Elhum Isabel Farrohi
Daniel M. Ferguson
Michelle N. Fraser
Jessica N. Frey
Melissa Nicole Frisco
Neilofar Neusha Ghaedi
Sherri L. Godfrey
Shannon Lynn Grady
Allison Lee Grandy
Rachel Jennifer Greenberg
Aaron C. Griffin
Susie Grigoryan
Nathan M. Grosch
Lisa M. Hardebeck
Christine J. Harrah
Lillian C. Harwell
Jamileh B. Hawatmeh
Craig Powell Hayes
Charles David Henninger
Lauren S. Henry
Scott R. Hernandez
Lorin M. Herzfeldt
Katie Louise Hill
Kyle Jordan Vincent Hindin
Kathryn E. Hokom
April Horn
Danielle Christine Hunt
Brian Huynh
Mark T. Ibrahim
Kasim Idrees
Lynda E. Jacobs
Sharmin Jalali-Bidgoli
Monika Juszli
Imran A. Kamil
Rebecca O. Kaplan
Eman Kazempour
Chanel Hwang
Alexander Patrick Koehler
Gregory K. Koeller
Elliot T. Landreth
Rebekah Lange
Jonathan D. Lee
Wendy Lei
Gilbert H. Leon
Elise Rachel Levy
Alexandra L. Lewke
Madeline B. Liebreich
Annie Anjung Lin*

Virginia Liu
Shannon Christine Losinski
Michael John Lowell
Nicholas William Lynes
Danielle Dalene Maland
Thomas M. Mann
Johannes M. Marler
Roberto R. Martinez
Jade McKenzie
Molly Megan McManimie
Maral Nicole Mehrabian
Shane T. Micheil
Cameron M. Miller
Justin Walter Mitchell
Megan A. Moghtaderi
Corbin S. Moore
Lauren Brittney Murray
Neema Naderi
Jennifer Neufeld
Jimmy T. Nguyen
Vuong Q. Nguyen
Kirill Nielson
Ashley Renee Nijinski
Lindsay R. Niles
Justin M. Odell
Hiromasa Onizuka
Bo Ram Park
Hiromi Ikeda Parks
Jatin Patel
Julia Pavel
Emily Pepper
Kaitlin Peterson
Nathanael Peterson
Steven H. Pham
Vu Hai Ngoc Phan
Hanna Marie Ramsey
Lindsey Rank
Breanne L. Reese
Rebecca A. Rheiner
Joycelin S. Roh
Sarah Brooke Romero
Sean Christopher Rotstan
Jessica Lynn Roundy
Carol R. Rugh
Hugo Ivan Salazar Gonzalez
Samuel Quinn Schleier
Andrea Schug
George Semaan
Emma Zahara Shah
Atif M. Sheikh
Jacob Shin
Jonathan Y. Shin
Rukhsar Siddiqui
David Samuel Silver
John Sinclair
Jin Eun J. Song
Mara Leanne Sork
Philip J. Spinazze
Alexa P. Stephenson
Andrew B. Still
Matthew Strachan
Joshua Ryan Strand
Heidi Kathleen Stryker
Trevor Thomas Sullivan
Thomas J. Sullivan
Marcus B. Sweetser
Jeremy Brennan Talcott
Sabrina A. Tanamachi
Malina Tavakkoli
Denise H.D. Tran
Jimmy Nguyen Tran
Katlin A. Twigger
Derrick M. Uhri
Bastiaan VandenBerg
Stephanie Ann Vreeland
Nelson N. Vu
Jason D. Westerfeld
Sheri Ann Wight
Ryan Douglas Yabko
Morgan Lee Yaeger
Brandon C. Yeaton
Alexander Y. Yi





LL.M. Candidates

Yasser Abdelmalak
Mai Nahar Aloraier
Fahima Amini
Rahil N. Attawala
Hamoud Mansour Binobaid
David Matthew Coats
Chinweike Peter Ezike
Evan James Gautier
Rui Gong
Katarina Grbic
Ali Hassanzadeh

Sonya Janneth Jifkins
Alexander Michael Kaplan
Ronald Michael Kogens
Liora Kulik
Julia Montenegro de Almeida Cunha
Brice Kazuaki Nakamura
Oghenetuvie Loveth Omasheye
Eric Scott Passman
Nelaba N. Qaderi
Kevin L. Van