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Keynote on Diversity Captures Law Day Spirit

Five honored for good works.

May 2, 2018 -- Boston College Law School hosted Law Day at the Ritz Carlton, Boston, MA. Photo by Caitlin Cunningham (  Photograph by Caitlin Cunningham

Law Day 2018, “a celebration of the rule of law,” as Dean Vincent Rougeau described it, was observed by BC Law on May 2. It was a time to honor notable alumni and leaders and to contemplate the importance of diversity in the legal community and society as a whole. It was also a time for generosity—the event this year raised funds for four scholarships.

More than 200 people filled the ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston to hear Liberty Mutual’s James Kelleher, the keynoter and winner of the St. Thomas More Award, speak of the imperative of inclusion. “Today we live in a global society, and our communities reflect the truth that America is less the proverbial melting pot and more a diverse patchwork of cultures, often with deep ties to the customs and attributes of the generations of immigrants who proceeded them,” he said. “It’s this vast cultural make-up that drives the need for diversity and inclusion in our law schools, law firms, and law departments. And there is increasing importance of having lawyers with skills related to cultural dexterity.”

Kelleher’s was but one of many voices heard that evening, as awardees came to the podium to receive their honors from Law Day co-chairs Tom Burton ’96 and Michael Fee ’84.

The other winners, all of whom spoke of lessons learned at BC Law, were:

  • Kathryn Barton ’87, the William J. Kenealy, SJ, Alumna of the Year Award (“Think about the spirit of the Jesuits; it’s all about education and giving back to others.”)
  • Jeffrey D. Thielman ’92, the Hon. David S. Nelson Public Interest Law Award (“BC Law…is a place of values, fairness, tolerance, and camaraderie.”)
  • Hon. Francis X. Spina ’71, the Daniel G. Holland Lifetime Achievement Award (“Lawyers are more than representatives of their clients, they are public citizens, architects of society.”)
  • Arivee Vargas Rozier-Boyd ’05, the Recent Graduate Award (“Don’t pull up the ladder from those who come behind; make sure they know how to climb.”).

To view a slideshow of Law Day, click here.

Photo, from left, James Kelleher, Kate Barton, Jeffrey Thielman, Arivee Vargas Rozier-Boyd, Dean Vincent Rougeau, and Hon. Francis X. Spina.