Welcome to the virtual commencement ceremony for Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law
Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 12:30 p.m.
The Latin phrase “per aspera ad astra” roughly translates “through hardship to the stars.” We can think of no more appropriate motto for the class of 2020.
The “aspera” goes without saying: a global pandemic, a sudden move to online instruction, uncertainty about the future...But, we shouldn’t focus on the “aspera” to the exclusion of the “ad astra.” You are about to become Cumberland lawyers. And though your journey is not yet completed, we would be remiss if we didn’t pause to celebrate your tremendous accomplishments over the last three years. The adaptability, patience, and good humor that you all demonstrated in the spring, and through your bar examination preparation and testing this summer, strongly suggest that when this ends, as it will, your journey ad astra will resume and you will enjoy rewarding, fulfilling careers. In the meantime, let us, as Paul put it in his letter to the Hebrews, “run with endurance the race that has been set before us.”
Brannon P. Denning, Starnes Professor of Law
On Behalf of All Cumberland School of Law Faculty and Staff
Today, we honor 132 new Juris Doctors, including 27 graduates who completed joint degree programs. Welcome to the Cumberland School of Law alumni family!
The legal profession is all about relationships, and that is what Cumberland School of Law has taught us well. The memories and relationships will last a lifetime.
The class of 2020 will enter the legal profession at a time when our skills are needed more than ever. While I know that it is a challenging time for everyone, I have no doubt that our class will stand out for their resilience and determination. This generation of Cumberland lawyers will undoubtedly be one of the best in Cumberland’s 173-year history. I look forward to watching what, I know, will be some remarkable careers. Cumberland School of Law, thank you for the opportunities you afforded the class of 2020 in our time here as students. Now let us go forth and make you proud!
President, Class of 2020
Each year during commencement, Cumberland School of Law recognizes a graduating student who best exemplifies the high standards of ethics and professionalism expected of members of the legal profession.
The 2020 recipient of the Daniel Austin Brewer Professionalism Award is Brooke L. Messina.
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