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Before crossing the stage at Albany Law School’s 165th Commencement, graduates — about 160 in all — were inspired by alumna Megyn Kelly ’95, who struck an industrious tone during her keynote address on Friday.
“You've got to work,” Kelly said at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. “My advice to you is to say yes to everything. ... Young lawyers work hard — at least the good ones do.”
"There is no way I would have achieved what I have achieved without my Albany Law School education and degree," she said. "Everything I’ve accomplished in my professional life started right here."
Kelly — host of “The Kelly File” on Fox News Channel and former attorney at the law firms of Bickel & Brewer and Jones Day — told graduates to "be bold" and view adversity as an opportunity that should be welcomed with open arms.
“Don't succeed by hoping others fail,” Kelly said. “Work harder. Do better. Settle for more. That's how you win.”
“Today is your moment,” she added. “Now is your story. May you laugh, cry, and sing. Congratulations — give 'em hell.”
Watch: Megyn Kelly ’95 Addresses the Class of 2016
Albany Law School's 165th Commencement: Full Video |
The ceremony began with remarks from Board Chair Dan Nolan ’78 and a stirring rendition of the national anthem by Lindsey Dodd ’16. Afterward, President & Dean Alicia Ouellette ’94 addressed the diverse and dynamic Class of 2016.
“You have made it through an incredibly rigorous program. You should feel confident about moving into your next stage,” Dean Ouellette said.
“Stay in touch,” she added. “We want to know how you are doing. ... We're going to be rooting for you, and we expect great things.”
Other highlights included:
— Board Chair Nolan announced that Ed Swyer has made a generous gift to fund a new Community and Business Development Clinic. The Clinic will serve as a hub to provide legal, technical, business planning, and other services necessary to support emerging micro-businesses in the Capital Region.
— Dean Ouellette presented David Miranda ’88, the 118th president of the New York State Bar Association, with the Dean’s Medal for his exemplary contributions to the legal profession and the law school community.
Three annual faculty awards were presented to: Associate Dean Rosemary Queenan for excellence in service; Professor Christian Sundquist for excellence in scholarship; and Professor Melissa Breger for excellence in teaching.
— Prior to the conferring of degrees, four faculty members were presented with doctoral hoods: Professor Patrick Connors, the newly appointed Albert and Angela Farone Distinguished Professor in New York Civil Practice; Professor Mary Lynch, the newly appointed Kate Stoneman Chair in Law and Democracy; Professor Vincent Bonventre, the newly appointed Justice Robert H. Jackson Distinguished Professor of Law; and Professor Dale Moore, who is retiring from the law school after 33 years of dedicated teaching and service.
— Patrick Wildes, president of the Class of 2016, presented the annual Friend of the Class Award to Office of Administrative Services staff member John Springsteen. He also announced the class gift of a fellowship to help fund a first-year student’s summer internship.
The 165th Commencement ceremony concluded with National Alumni Association President Thania Fernández ’85 welcoming the Class of 2016 as Albany Law School’s newest alumni.