Chief Justice Melton encourages graduates to get involved in their communities

graduation meltonAfter a most unusual school year, approximately 215 students – including Juris Doctor, Master of Laws and Master in the Study of Law candidates – were eligible to participate in the School of Law’s Commencement ceremony on May 15.

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton (J.D.’91) delivered the keynote address and stressed the need to “sit at the table” and be involved in one’s communities. His tips included:

  • Don’t be a “jangler” or creator of discord.
  • Pick up the phone or “PUTP” to talk about issues.
  • “Get past the talking points” and find solutions.
  • Employ “linguistic precision” as we “need to know what we are talking about.”

Melton said he is optimistic about the future adding that “getting to the next level requires the kind of soul searching that only comes through adversity.”

He closed by reiterating the importance of “sitting at the table” and granting “grace” when things are not said correctly and knowing that people “grow in [their] evolution and in the depth of [their] understanding” over time. “The one thing we cannot do is undervalue the table,” he said. “I need you there. We need you there.”


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Lawson Turner (left), Jace Williams (center) and William Gaskins were the first three graduates to arrive at Stegeman Coliseum the morning of Commencement.


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Awaiting the ceremony were: (l. to r.) Chris Bertrand, Jared Allen, John Taylor, Sarah Nelson, Sean O’Donovan, Jackson Nock, Drew Richardson, Anish Patel and Branden Homan.


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Matthew Caudell (left) and Jared Allen congratulate each other during the ceremony.


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Hannah Patton anticipates the ceremony start.


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Adeola Sokunbi and Sharod McClendon (right) smile for the camera.


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Celebrating their day were: (l. to r.) Kailyn Coots, Sloane Kyrazis, Amelia Cooksey Parker, Grace Callanan, Paige Finley and Maribeth Portier.