UH Law School Commencement on May 15 to honor inaugural graduating class of 1976

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: May 5, 2016

Kamaile Nichols Turcan
Kamaile Nichols Turcan

The UH Law School will honor its inaugural graduating class of 40 years ago at Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 15, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Andrews Amphitheater. The outdoor amphitheater at UH Mānoa will open an hour ahead of the ceremony.

The William S. Richardson School of Law was founded in 1976, with the first class of 53 students graduating in 1976.  Former Governor John Waihe‘e, Allen Hoe, and Professor Melody MacKenzie were among many distinguished members of that first graduating class.

In addition to honoring the inaugural class, the Law School graduation will feature a Commencement speech by Kamaile Nichols Turčan, who has been chosen for a prestigious law clerk position by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Turčan is the first person of Native Hawaiian ancestry, and very likely the first indigenous person, to clerk for an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Her clerkship begins in July.

Professor Lawrence Foster, who served as Associate Dean from 1987 to 1995 and Dean of the Law School from 1995 to 2003, will also address the graduates and their families and friends. Foster, who is retiring this year, is credited with staving off a move in the mid-1990s to close down the Law School, in large part by financially restructuring the Law School through dramatically increasing class size and tuition, and by starting the LLM program. There will also be student speakers elected to represent the day, evening and LLM programs at the Law School.

The annual Commencement ceremonies will start in the Law School courtyard beforehand as families and friends gather to drink a toast to their graduates, and to participate in a “Keiki Graduation” ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m.  Each year the Law School administration and faculty recognize the children of graduating students for the important role they played in helping their parents succeed.

Said Law School Dean Avi Soifer, “The remarkable support our students give to one another while at the Law School is palpable during this special ceremony, which is unique not merely for its hula by students, faculty and staff, but also for its sense of joyous shared accomplishment.”

Parking for the festivities is available for $6 in the Zone 20 parking structure.

More detailed information is available here: https://www.law.hawaii.edu/law-school-commencement

For more information, visit: https://www.law.hawaii.edu/