Aggie Law Holds Spring Commencement Exercise, Honoring 158 Students

May 22, 2017

Spring 2017 graduation Greg FranklinGreg Franklin ’03, ’17, elected Class Speaker, addresses the Aggie Law Class of 2017 at the Spring 2017 Commencement Ceremony

On Friday, May 12, Texas A&M University School of Law held its spring commencement exercise at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, celebrating the graduation of 158 Aggie Law students.

Distinguished guests included Texas A&M University System Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications Laylan Copelin, Texas A&M University Board of Regents Member Bill Mahomes ’69, and Texas State Bar President Frank Stevenson, who delivered the keynote address.

Spring 2017 graduation Frank StevensonFrank Stevenson
In Aggie Law tradition, the graduating class selects three professors to perform the hooding ceremony. For the spring 2017 commencement ceremony, they selected Professors Neal Newman, Meg Penrose and Lynne Rambo.

Greg Franklin ’03, ’17 served as Class Speaker, with Brison Bursey ’17 singing the National Anthem, and Kelly Rinehart ’17 leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

Spring 2017 graduation Benjamin KnoxArtist Benjamin Knox ’90 unveils "The Spirit of Aggie Law" with Law School Dean and Anthony G. Buzbee Dean’s Endowed Chair Andrew Morriss
The ceremony also included a special presentation from Benjamin Knox ’90, who unveiled his commissioned painting, “The Spirit of Aggie Law.”  

Following the hooding ceremony, graduates received an official welcome to The Association of Former Students, courtesy of Kristi Sherrill Hoyl ’86.

Graduates earning the distinction of Excellence in Academic Concentration include:

  • Business Law:
    • Diny Chang
    • Cameron Frysinger
    • Jillian Loh
    • Corey McBride
    • Rajesh Sethi
    • Vince Veal

  • Criminal Law, Justice & Policy:
    • Kathryn Bradley
    • Amy Eades
    • Frances Finley
    • Sean Grove
    • Anthony Pax
    • Andrea Smith
    • Kirby Wallace
  • Energy Law:
    • Britt Brandon

  • Estate Planning:
    • Alexander Collins
    • Tyler Craig
    • Ellen Dickerson
    • Laura Falco
  • Family Law:
    • Gregory Will

  • Intellectual Property:
    • Gregory Franklin
    • Preston Morgan
    • Alexia Quintero
  • Workplace Law:
    • Juan Arevalo
    • Kyle Carney

Prior to commencement, Aggie Law held a special ceremony to honor the nine graduates who have served or are still currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Spring 2017 veterans
  • E. Samuel Crecelius, U.S. Army, Sergeant
  • Timothy Godwin, U.S. Army, Major
  • William Gribble, U.S. Army, Captain
  • Roger G. Lee, U.S. Air Force, Master Sergeant
  • Kelly Rinehart, U.S. Army, Major
  • Ariel Santillian, U.S. Air Force Reserve, Senior Airman
  • Hans Wiedel, U.S. Army, Captain
  • Gregory H.C. Will, U.S. Air Force, Staff Sergeant
  • Shane Wright, U.S. Marine Corps, Lance Corpora​l

Spring17 graduation awardsHonors, awards, distinctions and highlights of the May 2017 graduating class include:

Aggie Law Bar Exam Achievement Award Winner:
  • Nicholas Gerner ’16
Aggie Law Equal Justice Award Winner:
  • Kathryn Bradley ’08, ’17 for her total contribution of 814 pro bono service hours.
  • The May 2017 graduating class attained a collective 9,209.84 hours of pro bono legal service.
State Bar of Texas Award for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy:
  • Andrew Bell ’16
Spring 2017 graduation ScribesNational Order of Scribes Inductees:
  • Cielo Fortin-Camacho
  • Jake Jensen
  • Hoa Nguyen
  • Jillian Loh
  • Andrea Smith
Advocacy Success at National Finals: Best Mediation Award:
  • Jonathan Heathman ’17 and two others won the Best Mediation Award, placing 2nd overall at the FINRA Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon
Law review publication:
  • Laura Falco ’17, published in Volume 5, Issue 2 of the University of Tennessee College of Law’s The Tennessee Journal of Race, Gender and Social Justice for her article, “The Bad, The Ugly and The Uglier: How Fear and Misconceptions are Flushing Away Equal Rights and Treatment for Transgender People
National Advocacy Training (supported by the Charles Koch Grant):
  • Three of the eight students who participated are spring 2017 graduates:
    • Kyle Carney ’17, attending the American Immigration Lawyers Association Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
    • William Gribble ’17, attending the 2017 Texas Emergency Management Conference in San Antonio
    • Avery Ory ’15, ’17, attending the 2017 D.C. Prisoner & Reentry Symposium: "State of Our Union in D.C."
Quiz Bowl Victory:

Photos by Doug Thurman. Ceremony photos available for download on the Law School's Flickr ​site.

Spring 2017 graduation