Senior Day

The Hon. Roger Gregory, ’78 and Hilary Allen, ’22 at Senior Day
Hilary Allen, '22, (center) and the Hon. Roger Gregory, '78, (right) during the Senior Day ceremony at Hill Auditorium.

“I come to you with a spirit of hope, a spirit that’s embedded in what I know you are capable of. And I want to make sure that my message to you is, let nothing distract from your purpose.”

So said the Hon. Roger Gregory, ’78, in his Senior Day address to the Class of 2022, held at Hill Auditorium in May. Judge Gregory, chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, was the first African American to sit on the bench of the Fourth Circuit and is the only federal appellate judge to be nominated by two presidents from different political parties.

Originally scheduled to deliver the keynote in 2020, Judge Gregory’s address drew on experiences from his 44-year career as an attorney and judge. He closed by encouraging the graduates to always stop and make sure they’ve gone the extra mile. 

“There’s one more pleading, there’s one more cause, there’s one more closing argument, there’s one more jail visit, there’s one more holding the hand of weeping parents and weeping people who need to be heard,” he said. “Be the Victors Valiant that you are, the Leaders and Best and Champions of the West.”

Judge Gregory’s remarks were preceded by student speaker Hilary Allen, ’22, who acknowledged the special challenges the Class of 2022 faced and encouraged her classmates to take satisfaction in their accomplishments.

“When looking back at your experience here, I sincerely hope you are proud of yourself,” Allen said. “You persevered, you showed up, you did the work, and you’re sitting here at the finish line. Do you know how incredible that is? I’m so proud of all of us.”

The 322 JD students and 37 graduate students who made up the Class of 2022 were the first to gather in person for Senior Day since 2019. In October, after this issue of the Law Quadrangle went to press, the Classes of 2020 and 2021 returned to Ann Arbor for their postponed celebration.

Above, the Hon. Roger Gregory is pictured with Hillary Allen.