Congratulations Class of 2021! You did it over great obstacles. Classes from home, in front of your computer, with all the distractions: for parents, children; for everyone, noise, techno-challenges, fear of infection; ill family members or fears for them, unhappy pets. All of this in otherwise extraordinarily tumultuous years for our nation.

You did it with grace, empathy and support for each other, and a lot of grit. The repeated refrain among deans, faculty and staff is how enormously impressed we are with how you—and the other students—responded. Job well done!

Thank you for your engagement in the school, in class, in an array of activities, and in many volunteer efforts. Thank you for taking good care of each other. Thank you for making the school a better place than when you arrived.

For you, now is the season of hope. About your new profession, the anchor of democracy; about your personal life; about the exciting and important lifetime (or much of it) that lies before you. Helen Keller, in the face of her great challenges, explained why she was an optimist: “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” You have earned both hope and confidence!

Finally, know how much we respect the people who have supported and motivated you. A parent or parents, another adult or family member, partner, or friend. Congratulations to them too!

Good luck! Stay in touch!
Michael Millemann
Jacob A France Professor of Law