Colorado Law's 117th Annual Commencement Ceremony

May 11, 2012

The University of Colorado Law School celebrates the graduating class of 2012 on Friday, May 11 at 6:00 p.m. in Macky Auditorium.

The ceremony will begin with a processional of the deans, faculty, and class of 2012, followed by remarks by Dean Phil Weiser in his inaugural year as dean of Colorado Law.

This year’s keynote speaker is Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, who joined the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in 2006 following a unanimous voice vote from the U.S. Senate. At the time, he was the youngest serving circuit judge nationwide. Judge Gorsuch holds a doctorate in legal philosophy from Oxford, where he studied as a Marshall scholar; a law degree from Harvard, where he studied as a Truman scholar; and an undergraduate degree from Columbia, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Judge Gorsuch is an adjunct professor at Colorado Law and taught Federal Courts and Legal Ethics this past year.

The class of 2012 selects and introduces the commencement speaker and was thrilled Judge Gorsuch accepted the invitation.

Judge Christine M. Arguello will receive the 2012 Honorary Order of the Coif. The faculty voted to bestow this honorary designation to Judge Arguello based on her exemplary service to the legal community, efforts on inclusiveness, and being a mentor and a role model in the legal profession.

Dean Weiser said, “Judge Arguello was a natural choice for this honor with her contributions to the Colorado legal community through mentoring, inclusiveness, and the example she sets.”   

Judge Arguello was sworn in as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in 2008. Her remarkable career has spanned leadership roles in private practice, government, and academia before joining the bench. Her accomplishments began as a first-generation undergraduate college student at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she graduated at the top of her class in the School of Education. Judge Arguello later went on to be the first Latina from Colorado to be admitted to Harvard University School of Law. One of her four children, Ronald Bryan Arguello, is among the 2012 Colorado Law graduates.

The class of 2012 voted to select the professors who will place the JD hood on the graduates: Alan Canner, Sarah Krakoff, and Scott Peppet.

Fifty-three students completed the Public Service Pledge by volunteering 50 hours or more of law-related public service work, not for credit or other compensation, during their time at law school.

The generosity of class of 2012 was shown with donation of nearly $40,000 to the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), including a generous matching gift from alum John Schultz (’53). The class of 2012 sponsored the installation of a beautiful collection of water themed photographs taken and donated by John Fielder as the class gift to the school.

Student award recipients are:

  • Austin W. Scott, Jr. Award: Gregory Steve Hearing II
  • Courtland H. Peterson Leadership Award: Mark Douglas Gibson
  • Courtland H. Peterson Writing Award: Justin Michael Plaskov
  • Don W. Sears Award: Beth Ann Lennon
  • Excellence in Clinical Education Award: Melissa Champagne Boucher, Matt Patrick Burns, Angela Marie Cifor, John Cannon Taufer
  • Gary C. Bryner Distinguished Service Award: Allison Nicole Melton
  • Irving P. Andrews Award: Nefertari Aisha Kirkman-Bey
  • Journal of Telecommunications and High Technology Law Stephen Williams Leadership Award: Madelaine Ann Maior
  • Meritorious Student Award: Shandea Jo Williams
  • Natural Resources Law Outstanding Student Award: Johanna Hamburger
  • Outstanding Asian Pacific American Law Graduate Award: Naree Chan
  • Outstanding Latina/o Law Graduate: Chester Eduardo Fernández
  • Outstanding Student Mentor Award: Meghan Rose Scully
  • Silicon Flatirons Writing Competition Award Sponsored by Faegre Baker Daniels: Mark Ian Wiranowski
  • Student Bar Association Sutcliffe Distinguished Service Award: Shandea Jo Williams
  • Women’s Law Caucus Award: Anne Dulany Bensard