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Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Gives Keynote Address at Cardozo’s 27th Commencement
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Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Gives Keynote Address at Cardozo’s 27th Commencement

(From left) Yeshiva University President Richard Joel; Randi Weingarten ’83, president, United Federation of Teachers and winner of the Distinguished Alumna Award for Contribution to Public Service; Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who gave the commencement address; and Dean David Rudenstine

Students, families, and faculty members gathered on June 7 to celebrate Cardozo’s 27th commencement. The featured speaker, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, encouraged the class of 2005 to follow their hearts and not be afraid to question the system. At the ceremony, held in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, 369 men and women received J.D. degrees and 44 received LL.M. degrees, which Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel conferred upon the graduates.

Dean David Rudenstine set the tone for the festive ceremony by congratulating the graduates and wishing them well in their next endeavors. “This is your day,” Rudenstine said. In introducing the Attorney General, who is well known for investigating conflicts of interest and illegal practices, Dean Rudenstine said Spitzer has been compared to legendary figures King Arthur, Superman, and Batman, and has been called the “sheriff of Wall Street.”

Russell Norman, SBA president and winner of the Steven Eric Tanenbaum Leadership Award, presented the favorite faculty award to Prof. Mitchell Engler (at podium).

During an inspiring and lively commencement address, Attorney General Spitzer, who has a longstanding relationship with Cardozo, quoted lyrics fromthe song “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads and cited two famous Homers— the Greek poet and the cartoon character Homer Simpson. He told the students to work hard and be ambitious, but also to help restore the public’s trust in institutions we all depend on. “There will come a time in your careers when your ethics will be tested,” Spitzer said. “I urge you to speak the truth in your heart.”

Randi Weingarten ’83, president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), received the third annual Distinguished Alumna Award for Contribution to Public Service. As head of the UFT, Ms. Weingarten represents more than 140,000 educators in the New York City public school system and also leads the Municipal Labor Committee, an umbrella organization for 100 city employee unions. Ms. Weingarten, who taught legal writing at Cardozo from 1986 to 1991, encouraged the graduates to fight for their beliefs and challenged them to make a difference. “This law school gave you the wherewithal not to just dream your dreams, but to achieve them,” Weingarten said. “Please leave our city, our country, and our world in a better place than you found it.”

In a rousing speech on behalf of the class of 2005, graduate Kavin Edwards reflected on his time at Cardozo, noting that the Law School is known “not only for its intellectual vigor, but also for its human touch.” He told his classmates to “always carry yourself in a manner that commands respect,” and urged them to represent Cardozo well. “We will see you on the other side of greatness,” Edwards said.

Nathaniel Segal and his family in the Lincoln Center plaza outside of Avery Fisher Hall Kavin Edwards, the student speaker, received a standing ovation.
(From left) LL.M. graduates Claudio Di Blasi, Agnes de Monseignat, a friend, and Ludwig von Rigal-von Kriegsheim were among several hundred graduates who attended the Dean’s party for the class of 2005 and their families.

(From left) Brandyne S. Warren (below, left), Dr. Samuel Belkin Award winner for exceptional contribution to the growth of the Law School, and Elaine Wang. Emily Robb (left), a Cardozo Service Achievement Award winner, and Sara Klein, winner of the Felix Frankfurter Award for outstanding academic achievement Jeremy Goldman (left) and Diego Hernandez, winner of the Archie A. Gorfinkel Award for the most promising and accomplished graduate entering the field of criminal law
David Cantor, a Cardozo Service Achievement Award winner In early December, an informal celebration for those J.D. and LL.M. students receiving degrees in January 2005 was held in the Law School lobby. Dean David Rudenstine (fourth from left) gave each student a copy of The Nature of the Judicial Process, a treatise on judicial reasoning written by Benjamin Cardozo.