May 14, 2012 -- Graduates of the University of Houston Law Center Class of 2012 were charged Saturday with the duty to preserve and enhance the legacy of the legal profession and protect the rule of law – a “national treasure” that ensures a free society in the United States.
Commencement speaker Alan R. Crain, senior vice president and general counsel of Baker Hughes Inc., told the 340 graduates they have the knowledge and training to live up to the legal legacy framed by the Constitution and the responsibility to improve upon it for generations yet to come. Pointing to gains in civil and women’s rights, Crain said there is still much to be done, and lawyers, no matter what field they choose, are obligated to be active participants in public affairs to help improve their community and nation.
Crain, a graduate of Syracuse College of Law who has served the Law Center for 20 years as a board member of the Law Foundation and adjunct professor, advised the new lawyers that their personal and professional lives will be filled with passion, joy, sorrow, successes, and failures, but throughout it all they must maintain their integrity. “Character, personal integrity, is the rock that survives,” he said.
“It has been said many times that failure in life is not in failing to reach your goals, (but) in failing to set the goals – to have one to reach,” he told the graduates in his closing remarks. “It’s not a calamity to die with dreams left unfulfilled, but not dreaming is a waste of life, so reach for the stars.”
Crain’s comments echoed remarks by Law Center Dean Raymond T. Nimmer as he welcomed the Class of 2012, family, and friends to Hofheinz Pavilion. He told the graduates their law degree not only means they are well trained to become excellent lawyers, but they have “the opportunity to be a tremendous influence on society, the law, and the world at large.” He added, “Every one of you will become leaders, and you need to do well.”
Regent Jarvis V. Hollingsworth ’93 conferred the degrees on behalf of the University of Houston Board of Regents and Bill Jackson ’92, president of the Law Alumni Association, welcomed the new members.
The formal part of the day’s activities concluded with remarks on behalf of the class from Student Regent Tamecia Glover Harris, who not only received her J.D. on Saturday, but also an MBA from the Bauer College of Business.
“We made it!” she said in congratulating her classmates and urging them to be proud of their hard-earned degrees and hopeful about their future. “We have been prepared to achieve what others might consider impossible.”