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2010 Commencement:
“Keep Going. Keep Giving. Keep Engaging.”

Keynotes Michelle Obama and Mary Schapiro, JD ’80, celebrate year of public service.

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They painted buildings, picked up trash, and sorted canned goods. They planted trees, handed out food, and gave their time to pro bono cases. GW students, staff members, and faculty members logged more than 100,000 hours of community service this academic year to exceed a service challenge handed down by first lady Michelle Obama. In September, Mrs. Obama promised to speak at the university’s commencement in exchange for the hours of public service. The GW community rose to the occasion, logging 163,980 hours by May 16. On the National Mall, with the Capitol beaming in the background, Mrs. Obama gave the university’s keynote address, urging GW graduates to continue their good deeds in their careers and beyond. “I have one more request to make of you, one more challenge,” Mrs. Obama said to the more than 25,000 graduates, family, and friends on the Mall. “Keep going. Keep giving. Keep engaging.”

Later in the day, during the Law School’s ceremony, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro, JD ’80, urged graduates to make the most of the talent, knowledge, and skills honed during their Law School careers. Ms. Schapiro, who is the first woman to chair the regulatory commission, took charge amid the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression. She also echoed the importance of giving back. “I would like to ask you to consider devoting some of your considerable gifts to protecting and expanding opportunity—here or wherever in the world your work is needed,” Ms. Schapiro said. “First, because I think that the society which benefits us so well truly prospers only when all of us give part of ourselves to its enrichment. Second, because attorneys have a unique combination of temperament and skills that lend themselves to action in the public arena. And finally, because doing so can be tremendously rewarding—and more than a little fun.”

This year’s graduating class voted Aaron Joachim the recipient of the Michael Dillon Cooley Memorial Award, which is given to a graduate who shared most generously of his or her time to aid the growth of fellow students.

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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro, JD ’80, was the Law School’s keynote speaker and delivered the Shulman Lecture at the Charles E. Smith Center.

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Thalia Lankin won the Anne Wells Branscomb Award for the highest cumulative grade-point average in the evening division.

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The university’s keynote speaker, first lady Michelle Obama, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree during her address on the National Mall. Law students, staff, and faculty members logged 1,139 service hours toward Mrs. Obama’s challenge.

William Atkins

There were 646 GW Law graduates in May.

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Mark Taticchi, with Dean Lawrence and professor Bradford Clark, won the John Bell Larner Award, which is given to the student with the highest cumulative grade-point average of the Juris Doctor degree program.

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Katherine Carroll, JD ’10, and guests Anne Stevason and Katherine Stevason with Lucas Anderson, JD ’10, and father Ross “Rocky” Anderson, JD ’78, the former mayor of Salt Lake City. The group attended the Pro Bono Program’s reception.

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