Senate President: Joshua M. Lingerfelt '15
Good morning, families, friends, faculty, administrators, staff, and the Columbia Law School Class of 2015! I'm Josh Lingerfelt, student body president.
I would like to begin by thanking each and every one of you for making this celebration possible. Without our support networks both here at Columbia and at home, wherever it may be, none of us graduates would be where we are today.
I want to talk about the incredible people I’ve met here. There are people I met for the first time this year—our LL.M.s from around the world. They add an international perspective and enrich our community in untold ways. Some of you I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for two years—our transfers who joined us from law schools across the country. And what can I say about all the J.D.s I met my first year? We came together and toiled through our first year asking each other questions like “What’s a tort?” and “How do you get the internet in JG to work?”
We all strived together and made significant accomplishments. Many of us worked on and managed law journals. We volunteered in pro bono causes, assisting those who would go without counsel. We interned at businesses large and small, and we even won a basketball game against NYU. Our greatest accomplishment, though, was the community we built. I truly believe that Columbia is a great place because of how everyone—faculty, staff, administrators, and students—come together to create the platform we all built upon.
In that spirit, I’d like to thank all the leaders, from Dean Lester all the way down to every student group leader. You have poured your heart and soul into this place and transformed it from a collection of people into a community. When I look out into the crowd of my fellow graduates, I see future partners, judges, impact litigators, professors, and leaders in the community. But greater than that, I see people I’m glad to call friends. We will accomplish so much in our future careers, wherever they may take us, but I want to challenge all of us to remember our time here and the community we will always be a part of.
Class of 2015, we have come a long way. Let’s move into the future together.