Class of 2022 Commencement

The first full commencement ceremony in two years took place outside at Griswold Stadium, with more than 200 graduates in attendance.

Dara Michelle Illowsky ’22 gave the Reflections of the Graduates address. She credited her fellow classmates, noting that “getting to this moment was a team effort. As much as I learned in the classroom, I learned just as much outside the classroom from all of you.” She quoted many fellow law graduates and shared their advice: “One common thread that several friends shared was the importance of remembering why we came to Lewis & Clark in the first place. We were driven by a sense of wanting to help move our society to one that tends toward justice and equity; we came here to address one of the greatest threats to ever face the entire globe, climate change.”

Oregon Supreme Court Justice Thomas Balmer gave the commencement address, noting, “In choosing this path, you have become something larger and more important than yourself.” He mentioned Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who “counsels us to look up, from time to time, to find the universal through the particular, the connection between what we do every day as lawyers and the larger forces at work in the world.” Justice Balmer also spoke about the responsibility of the law. “We lawyers are the grease that allows the wheels of the economy—and of our entire political and social system as well—to turn with as little friction as they do. As lawyers, you now have a particular obligation to help us move toward justice and toward a more perfect union—and you have the skills, and the prudential wisdom, to do just that.”

The recipient of the 2022 Leo Levenson Award for Excellence in Teaching, Professor Lisa Benjamin, was announced. Akriti Bhargava ’22 presented the award on behalf of her class. Professor Benjamin also expressed her great honor in receiving the award.

“In choosing this path, you have become something larger and more important than yourself.”

— Oregon Supreme Court Justice Thomas Balmer