LMU Law Celebrates Commencement
Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law (LMU Law) celebrated the commencement of the Class of 2021 at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium May 13. The Honorable Gary R. Wade, retired Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court and retired vice president and dean of LMU Law, delivered the commencement address and was recognized during the ceremony.
LMU President Clayton Hess conferred Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees on the 77 members of the class of 2021. Nine members of the class of 2020 also participated in the ceremony after all spring 2020 ceremonies at LMU were canceled due to the pandemic. The pandemic impacted the Class of 2021’s law school experience as nearly half of their second year and all of their third year was held in a virtual format.
“The resiliency you showed as 2Ls and 3Ls was absolutely remarkable and I am thankful for your leadership,” LMU Law Vice President and Dean Matthew R. Lyon said. “Rather than be denied a law school experience, you forged one that was unique to you. You showed characteristics of resilience, perseverance, self-confidence, optimism, and empathy. Guess what? Those same traits will make you amazing lawyers. Your clients and our justice system will benefit when the LMU Law class of 2021 is licensed and fighting on their behalf.”
Linda Hutsell, of Maryville, Tennessee, was selected by her classmates to deliver remarks on behalf of the graduating class. “I am proud to be standing here. Growing up in foster care, I never knew that I could make it here. The dream of going to law school was so big. It was my childhood dream, but here I am,” she said. “As a testament to the work that we will do, my advice to all of you is to do your job and do it the best that you can. You never know what kind of impact you may have on someone’s life.”
Justice Wade has had a prolific legal career including private practice, public service, judicial appointments on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court, and a deanship. He retired from LMU Law in June 2020 and joined the Knoxville law firm London Amburn shortly thereafter. He has been involved with LMU Law since its founding, first as a member of an advisory board before taking the helm as dean in 2015 and successfully shepherding the school from provisional American Bar Association approval to full approval in February 2019. In recognition of Wade’s service to LMU and the impact that he had on the development of LMU Law, the LMU board of trustees passed a resolution, read during the ceremony, bestowing on him the title dean emeritus. Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk spoke on behalf of the LMU Board at the event.
The Lincoln Memorial University-Duncan School of Law (LMU Law) is located in Knoxville’s Historic Old City Hall Building. LMU Law is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of lawyers to provide sound legal service in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU Law, call 1-800-325-0900, ext. 5303 or visit us online at www.lmunet.edu/law.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or email at [email protected].