Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law’s commencement festivities began on Thursday, May 18 with receptions for both the JD and LL.M. classes of 2017. Thursday afternoon, LL.M. students participated in a private hooding ceremony and reception at the law school. Later that evening, JD students gathered with their families, friends, faculty members, and law school administrators for a graduation banquet and awards ceremony at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. The following awards were presented:
- The 2017 Valedictorian and Carmelina Doti Excellence Award recipient was Mallorie Smith. This award is presented annually to the student who has achieved the highest grade point average in the graduating class.
- Distinguished Graduate Awards were presented to Amanda Thyden and Eleni Watts whose scholarship, ethics, and service exemplified the highest ideals of the legal profession.
- Alexis King received the Dean’s Award, which is presented annually by the dean to the graduate whose leadership and service to the law school represent a significant contribution to the university.
- The American Law Institute-Continuing Legal Education (ALI-CLE) Award recognizes one graduate who best represents a combination of scholarship and leadership. The 2017 recipient is Kathryn Harrold.
- The National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) Award recipient was Ashley Pham. This award recognizes a graduate 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 dean and faculty of the law school.
- Michael Tang was recognized with the Professionalism Award for his exemplary representation of the law in the legal profession and to the larger community.
- The National Order of Scribes Awards are presented annually by the American Society of Legal Writers to five graduating students who are outstanding legal writers and have demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism. This year’s recipients are: Shaheen Etemadi, Grace Haeri, Kerri Polizzi, Mallorie Smith, and Regina Zernay.
The formal commencement ceremony for the Class of 2017 will take place on Chapman University’s Holly & David Wilson Field on Friday, May 19, at 4 p.m. Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar of the California Supreme Court will be the featured speaker, and Chapman University Board of Trustees Chair Wylie A. Aitken will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the ceremony, which will be streamed live on Facebook for those who cannot attend.