A record crowd of over 1,200 family members and friends filled every available seat to celebrate UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law’s 48th Commencement on Saturday, May 20. Over one hundred and seventy students from the residential JD, hybrid JD, and graduate programs walked across the stage representing a culminating moment to celebrate their hard work and achievement of earning their law degree from UNH Franklin Pierce.
Professor Sophie Sparrow led the procession of excited students to the tent in Concord’s White Park, set up across from the park’s signature sparkling fountain.
JD Hybrid student Tyler Holzer delivered a moving rendition of the National Anthem followed by heartfelt opening remarks by Dean Megan Carpenter. Dean Carpenter remarked about the class, “…[T]he grit, the resilience, the perseverance that brought you all here has shone throughout your time here. You have learned to be advocates and professionals. You have led student organizations and stood up for principles you believe in. You have challenged each other, yourselves, and the broader community. You have made us better as an institution.”
President Jim Dean highlighted the accomplishments of the graduating class, “What you did here at UNH Franklin Pierce, in pursuit of your own path and potential, is remarkable. What you did here at UNH Franklin Pierce as a community of legal scholars, will change lives. That’s the transformative power of a top law school at a public research university.”
Following President Dean, student representatives were chosen to speak on behalf of the graduates. LLM student Gabriela Riveros Paredes, residential JD student Autumn Klick, and Hybrid JD students Delia Berrigan and Monica Jang—gave remarks highlighting the camaraderie amongst their peers, their successes and achievements, and words of thanks for loved ones and friends who have supported them while pursuing their legal education.
This year’s distinguished guest speaker was Dana Remus who was the former White House Counsel for the Biden administration, a former UNH Franklin Pierce Professor of Law, and current law firm partner. Attorney Remus graciously accepted her honorary degree and delivered words of wisdom for the graduates that emphasized the importance of the rule of law and the crucial role lawyers fulfill in upholding it during challenging times. As the degrees were conferred upon the graduates, raucous cheers (and even cowbells) could be heard throughout White Park as a sign of the joy, levity, and excitement all shared as the graduates of the class of 2023 were celebrated for their great achievement.
Congratulations to the Class of 2023! We are all so proud of you.