Hon. Martin J. Jenkins ’80 Gives Commencement Address to Class of 2018
The Class of 2018 celebrated graduation in St. Ignatius Church May 19 surrounded by hundreds of family and friends. Hon. Martin J. Jenkins ’80, Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal and trustee emeritus of the University of San Francisco, gave the commencement address and Elise Giongco ’18 was selected by her classmates to speak.
149 students received JD degrees, alongside 13 LLM in Taxation, 10 LLM in International Transactions and Comparative Law, and three LLM in Intellectual Property and Technology Law, and four Master of Legal Studies in Taxation degree recipients.
“Integrity, ethics, leadership, humility, intelligence, and respect for people of different cultures and races — this is the brand of the USF-trained lawyer,” said Jenkins, who received an honorary degree during the commencement ceremony. “While we do not have the market cornered on these values, we are different, and we show up different because we manifest these values consistently in everything we do. These values we share in common, and they explain why we are routinely sought out for positions of public trust and leadership.”
“While today marks the culmination of your formal legal studies,” he said, “Just as I have, you will remain engrossed in the study of law for the length and breadth of your career. Significant things are possible in your legal career.”
Dean John Trasviña told graduates that they will be called upon thousands of time over their careers to speak for the voiceless and fight back for the bullied. “The life and liberty of your clients will depend upon you reaching back for the knowledge you have gained here, factoring in the shared and unique experiences of the classmates around you, and speaking or writing in a principled and strong, ethical and effective manner,” he said. “You must not let anyone stand in the way or sidetrack you — keep your eyes on the prize of liberty and justice for all.”
Giongco reflected on the dedication of her law school peers. “We have demonstrated that thinking critically still requires emotion, that fighting for what is right involves recognizing both sides, and that realizing what is ‘right’ might not always mean what is ‘just’,” she said. “We will continue to be part of the reason why changes are being made, why issues are being resolved, and why communities are joined in solidarity. Our school has urged us to change the world from here, and that is exactly what we’ve been doing.”
During the ceremony, the Academic Excellence Award was presented to Jessica Strasen ’18 for making an extraordinary contribution to the intellectual life of the law school. Sahar Jamil Khalil ’18 received the Pursuit of Justice Award, presented to the graduating student who best exemplifies the law school’s commitment to providing service to others.