His and Hers Gavels

Two of the nation’s top judicial minds give law graduates one final lesson.
His and Hers Gavels
Two of the nation’s top judicial minds give law graduates one final lesson.

This year the law school gave us husband-and-wife commencement speakers who they told of a Santa Clara Law graduate who had to receive his degree while incarcerated. Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, a California Supreme Court justice, and U.S. District Judge Lucy Haeran Koh of the Northern District of California recalled the case of Wayne Kanemoto, a Japanese-American who had to receive his law degree and take the bar exam from an internment camp in 1942. Kanemoto went on to serve in the U.S. military, work as a Japanese language signal specialist, become the first Japanese-American attorney in Santa Clara County, and create naturalization classes and mass swearing-in ceremonies for new U.S. citizens. Cuéllar and Koh, both immigrants, urged graduates to build bridges, as Kanemoto did, across divided groups of people.


The world and the church are changing. Trust your instincts, and don’t let the fear of making mistakes stop you from moving ahead. Those were some of the recommendations of Rev. Donald Cozzens at the Jesuit School of Theology’s commencement. Cozzens, a Catholic diocesan priest and author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood, advised ministers to view themselves as trail guides. “Many of the old trails are no longer trustworthy, some of the new trails are yet to be proven sound and safe,” he said. “But Pope Francis urges us to move ahead and not be afraid to make mistakes.”


This year’s graduate commencement took place on June 10, celebrating candidates for the doctorate or master’s degree. Our own princess of pronunciation, Spanish professor Rosemary Beebe ’76, was at it again at the ceremony. Beebe gained fame in 2007 when NPR’s “All Things Considered” interviewed her about her dedication to announcing every graduate’s name correctly at commencement. This year marked her seventh time as lector for the graduate ceremony. The master’s and doctoral programs tend to be more challenging name-wise because they attract a higher concentration of students of non-Western ancestry, especially in the sciences and engineering.

Read more about Beebe and her pronunciation prowess here.

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and Lucy Haeran Koh gave the address for this year’s law commencement. Photo by Joanne Lee

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