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WVU Law Class of 2020 is celebrated online

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — COVID-19 canceled WVU Law’s commencement ceremony on May 15, but it did not cancel celebrating the Class of 2020.  

Instead of walking across the stage in the WVU Creative Arts Center’s Lyell B. Clay Concert Theater, each member of the Class of 2020 is being honored on the law school’s website.

This virtual celebration includes photos of the graduates and recognition of their accomplishments. Students also submitted personal photos, favorite law school memories, their inspiration for becoming a lawyer and messages of thanks to those who helped them along the way.

William Rhee, who was selected Professor of the Year by the Class of 2020, delivered the traditional commencement address in a self-recorded video that is posted online.

WVU Law Professor Will Rhee 2020 Commencement Speech

In his remarks, Rhee acknowledges society’s current state of uncertainty and also reminds graduates that, while uncomfortable, uncertainty can bring with it opportunities for positive and meaningful change. He also assures graduates that law school has equipped them with the tools to succeed as they move on to the next phase in their careers, no matter what that future looks like.

“We know you are well positioned to thrive in the world as it is, or in any other you may encounter. We know you will be able to move forward past the point that we couldn’t go. The future of the legal profession, and the future of our world, are in your good, capable hands,” Rhee said.

Other videos celebrating the Class of 2020 include messages from WVU Law faculty and staff, class president Kiana Bracciodieta, and student marshals Quentin Collie, Brittany Dolan, Francesca Rollo and Chris Weed.

WVU Law Kiana Bracciodieta 2020 Class President

VIPs, including members of the West Virginia bench and bar and WVU President E. Gordon Gee, also deliver special video messages to the WVU Law Class of 2020.

“You have achieved success with the spirit of determination and obviously resiliency, traits that define us as a University and certainly define Mountaineers. Those qualities helped you reach your goals, and they will sustain you in the years ahead,” Gee told the graduates. “As the word ‘commencement’ implies, your real journey is now only beginning. Let that journey in life be guided by your purpose, and make sure your choices serve that purpose.”

WVU Law - WVU President E. Gordon Gee

WVU Law awarded degrees to 105 graduates in May. Degrees earned by the Class of 2020 include J.D., J.D./Online MBA and J.D./Master of Public Administration.


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