Attorney General Roy Cooper to Elon Law grads: cherish your moral compass
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper delivered the Elon University School of Law commencement address on May 23 before 79 members of the Class of 2015.
Law school dean Luke Bierman introduced Attorney General Cooper, noting the trust North Carolinians have expressed for him across more than two decades.
“As the state’s chief legal officer exercising the special responsibilities of a lawyer representing the state, the Attorney General personifies better than most the multiple roles that lawyers are ethically obligated to pursue,” Bierman said. “During some of the most challenging moments in the life of our country and our state the people of North Carolina have elected Roy Cooper four times to serve as Attorney General.”
In his remarks, Cooper encouraged graduates to embrace opportunities to make a difference for their communities.
“Regardless of whether you go into public service or private practice or a profession that’s not even related to the law, please accept your solemn responsibility as a leader to help your community and other people,” Cooper said. “Because you have been given this gift of a degree in higher education from a prestigious university, you do have a responsibility to take your place in the fight to make the world a better place and affect positively the lives of other people. Take an active role in the fight against poverty, homelessness, addiction, mental illness and other plagues. Be active in a church or a civic club that shows great concern for both young people and for seniors. They need bright dedicated young people like you.”
Cooper reminded graduates that as officers of the court, they will be charged with doing justice and upholding the integrity of the legal system.
"Your knowledge of the law important, your devotion to the rules of ethics essential, your possession of a moral compass divine," Cooper said. "Cherish that moral compass."
Elon Law Professor Enrique Armijo presented the David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism to Class of 2015 member Chad Archer. Armijo’’s remarks detailing the contributions that Archer made to the law school, the profession and the community are available here.
Wilburn Oziogu, selected by his peers to deliver the student address, reflected on the work ethic, professionalism and passion for the law of his peers in the Elon Law Class of 2015.
“The legal community will be getting the most prepared, hard working and reliable set of graduates they have ever seen,” Oziogu said. “I have no doubt that we will succeed. I am honored and privileged to be able to say that many of us will be recognized as the top lawyers in the state and beyond.”
Eric Nelson, the 2014-2015 president of the Student Bar Association at Elon Law, offered remarks of appreciation to faculty members, family and friends of the graduating class.
“Your constant encouragement reassured us that we would make it to this day,” Nelson told members of the Elon Law faculty. “I hope we make you proud and you understand the impact you’ve had on each of our lives. Friends and family, your unconditional love, support, and encouragement were indispensable in bringing us to this day. This celebration is not only with our fellow classmates, but also with every one of you.”
Steven D. House, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, presented the candidates for degrees. Elon University President Leo M. Lambert conferred the degrees and presented the charge to the graduating class. Dean Bierman and Andy Haile, associate dean for academic affairs, led the hooding ceremony and awarding of diplomas. The Reverend Janet F. Fuller, University Chaplain, offered the Invocation to begin Commencement Exercises.