Kathryn Elizabeth Hatcher, Christopher Nelson Hewitt and Melissa Paige Sova of Fuquay-Varina were among the 183 graduates the school conferred hoods on Sunday, May 19, in Wait Chapel.
Hewitt graduated cum laude and Hatcher was honored with appointment to the Order of Barristers, a national honor society recognizing excellence in student trial and appellate advocacy. Each year a faculty committee selects third-year students who have made outstanding contributions to advocacy. She received the N.C. Advocates for Justice Award, which is an award that recognizes the “most outstanding advocate” in each section of Trial Practice. Hatcher also was given the Forsyth County Women Attorney’s Association Book Award, which is presented annually to an outstanding female graduate.
The law school’s 39th annual hooding speaker, Thomas L. Sager (’76), Dupont Legal vice president and general counsel, told the graduates and their families that it was because of Wake Forest Law that he has realized the success he has experienced.
“It prepared me so well,” he said. “You have matriculated from one of the finest law schools in the nation and you will soon realize how well it has prepared you.”
Sager added that many of the graduates will embark on a career in the legal profession, which remains a noble profession for many.
“As lawyers, if we do not take care of the how, the what doesn’t matter,” he said. “I know you can make a buck, but can you make a difference? Please keep in mind it’s not the position or the money, it’s whether you made a difference.
“I know every one of you will make a difference in the years to come.”
Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Suzanne Reynolds congratulated the Class of 2013, which received a standing ovation from family and friends in the audience.
Dean Blake Morant described this graduating class as being made up of a group of individuals who are going to contribute to society in a great way.
“I make these comments with mixed emotions because I have bonded with you over the past three years I have seen you grow not only in terms of your intellectual abilities but as individuals who dedicated well over five figures of hours of pro bono legal work,” he said. “I know you will continue to thrive and I know you will do not only for yourselves, but for others.”
Morant added the graduates’ degrees are an investment for a lifetime and that 73 percent of the class donated to Class of 2013 third-year law student campaign.
“I thank you and applaud you for all you have done and for all the great things you are going to do.”
A diploma ceremony was held in Wait Chapel on Monday, May 20, following Commencement exercises on Hearn Plaza.
The Wake Forest University School of Law offers six degree programs: the JD, the JD/MDiv, the JD/MA in Religion, the JD/MA in Bioethics, the Master of Laws in American Law and the JD/MBA in conjunction with the university’s Schools of Business.