Class of 2021 Commencement in Photos
Penn State Law in University Park celebrated the Class of 2021 at a hybrid commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 15.
Students, faculty, staff, friends, and family all gathered together—in person and online—at the ceremony, which was held on the lawn of the Lewis Katz Building and livestreamed for those not in person.
The livestream allowed family and friends from around the world who could not attend commencement in person to celebrate their graduate in real time. Viewers experienced all the speakers, live video of the graduates, and all the content displayed on the big screen, pictured here.
The Class of 2021 includes 117 juris doctor (J.D.) graduates.
The Class of 2021 includes 20 master of laws (LL.M.) graduates.
“The Class of 2021 embodies the Penn State values of integrity, respect, responsibility, discovery, excellence, and community, and they have already achieved so much during their time at Penn State Law," said Dr. Hari M. Osofsky, Dean of Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs, Distinguished Professor of Law, and Professor of International Affairs and Geography.
"Our graduates have shown resiliency, support for one another, and leadership, particularly during the intersectional challenges of this past year. We are so proud of them and excited for all that they will contribute to the legal profession," Dean Osofsky added.
The ceremony included an address by this year's commencement speaker, the Honorable Erika M. Edwards. Justice Edwards is a Penn State alumna and current New York County Supreme Court Judge. In her remarks, Justice Edwards explained what it means, from her perspective, to be a Penn State lawyer.
“To me, a Penn State lawyer is a problem solver, not a problem starter. It's a negotiator, a great listener. It's a social engineer, someone who finds ways to make things better, who finds ways to help people using concepts of justice, fairness, advocacy, civic engagement, leadership, and equality at all times,” Justice Edwards said. “A Penn State lawyer finds a way to make the world a better place than it was before you even got here.”
“I don't want you to think that you have to do everything and save the world, and I'm not expecting you to solve all of the world's problems on your own,” Justice Edwards added. “But what I am expecting you to do and what I ask you to consider, is to never stop trying. Always find a way to make yourself better so that you can help others and make the world a better place.”
Dean Osofsky and Justice Edwards applaud for the Class of 2021.
LL.M. graduate Lindah Mhando was selected as one of two student speakers to represent the Class of 2021.
“I hope we will use this network we have created to enact change; we have a responsibility to humanity,” Mhando said during her speech. “Congratulations again to the Class of 2021 and cheers to your bright future.”
Amir Elshamy wears a We Are Penn State facemask during the ceremony. Elshamy earned an LL.M. degree with a focus on corporate law.
J.D. graduate Ryan Morrison was also selected as 2021 class speaker. “At this juncture, the world so desperately needs committed advocates like you to serve just causes and protect the vulnerable,” said Morrison in his speech. “I am so proud to know so many of these committed advocates in my beloved Class of 2021. It pleases me to know that so many of you will go on to serve the just causes of those who need us.”
Dr. Kathleen Bieschke, Penn State Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, helped to confer degrees to the Class of 2021 at commencement.
J.D. graduate Kelsi Robinson walks in front of the stage as her name is called at commencement. Robinson served as Penn State Law in University Park Student Bar Association (SBA) President during the 2020-2021 year.
During commencement, each graduate walked in front of the stage as their name was called and posed for a photograph.
LL.M. graduate Imen Neffeti poses for a photo in front of a Penn State Law backdrop.
J.D. graduates Claire and Jason Sullivan-Halpern pose for a photo together at commencement.
J.D. graduate Tyla Swinton poses for a photo. Swinton served as President of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) during the 2020-2021 year.
Dr. Wende' Ferguson (left), Assistant Dean of Student Services at Penn State Law, directs a graduate where to stand as degrees are conferred during commencement.
LL.M. graduate Mohammed Alghanmi points something out to his fellow graduate during commencement.
After more than a year of virtual and hybrid learning, Penn State Law in University Park 2021 graduates were able to celebrate their day together, in-person, while staying safe with facemasks.
On behalf of Penn State Law in University Park faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and family: Congratulations to the Class of 2021!