MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University College of Law awarded the Juris Doctor to the Class of 2022 on May 13.
For the first time since the pandemic, the commencement ceremony was held in the Lyell B. Clay Theatre at the Canady Creative Arts Center.
Dean Amelia Smith Rinehart presided over her first WVU Law commencement.
“During the past three years, my colleagues, your professors, have equipped you with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the legal profession,” she told the Class of 2022. “As you leave here and embrace your future, please do so with the aspirations this law school was founded upon in 1878 — that the graduates of our West Virginia law school would do something and be something that impacts our communities and our world.”
Vincent P. Cardi, selected Professor of the Year by the Class of 2022, delivered the commencement address. He told the graduates, “When you ask yourself, “Can I really become the kind of lawyer I want to be?” My response is: trust that you are enough right now. What got you here today will get you there tomorrow.”
As part of the commencement ceremony, the WVU Law faculty awarded the Justitia Officium to educator Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis and attorney Robert S. Whitehill. The Justitia Officium is the highest award bestowed by the faculty in recognition of outstanding service and contributions to the legal profession.
Artis, a 1995 WVU Law graduate, is president of Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. Whitehill is a Pittsburgh-based immigration lawyer who has worked for more than 25 years with WVU Law’s Immigration Clinic.
Seth Underwood, a member of the Class of 2022 who passed away in December 2020, was awarded a posthumous diploma Honoris Causa, Doctor of Jurisprudence. It was presented to his parents.
Speaking at the conclusion of the commencement ceremony, WVU President E. Gordon Gee told the graduates to “Celebrate the successes that education has put within your reach and inspire others to value the rule of law in a just society.”
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Members of the WVU Class of 2022 on stage.
Dean Amelia Smith Rinehart presenting the Justitia Officium Award to Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis '95.
Dean Amelia Smith Rinehart presenting the Justitia Officium Award to Robert S. Whitehill.
Professor of the Year Vince Cardi delivering his keynote address.
Dean Amelia Smith Rinehart hooding graduate Natalia Watkins.
WVU President Gordon Gee speaking to the Class of 2022.