Homecoming 2016 Reflection – Success, Pride and Lifelong Friendships at UND Law
Rob Carolin, Alumni & Public Relations – In my position at the University of North Dakota School of Law, I have the pleasure of working with and getting to know many of our alumni and friends. We recently celebrated the University’s 100th Homecoming, and this one in particular solidified the feeling I have about the culture here at UND Law. It was apparent this culture has spanned across generations of our graduates and puts an emphasis on success, pride and building lifelong friendships.
The two groups of alumni we welcomed back to campus this year were separated by 50 years, but I quickly realized they had more in common than one would think. The two groups I am talking about are the Class of 1966 and the Class of 2016.
I had the pleasure of working with two outstanding members of the UND Law Class of 1966 to help coordinate their 50-year reunion. As a coordinator, I had the opportunity to attend several of the events associated with that celebration. As I spent three evenings with this special group of golden grads, I was struck by their collective success as attorneys and as citizens. You could go down the line and realize the success each individual graduate had achieved through their career, in their own way carving a successful path of service to their clients, to their community and in some cases their country. It was clearly apparent there was a collective pride they had in being graduates of the UND School of Law, and they talked about how their education was comparable to the “best” law schools in the country.
From the moment they came back together at the Thursday night reception, it was as if they flashed back 50 years and they were right back to telling stories of classes, former faculty, and experiences they shared together in school. You could truly tell the strong connection and friendships built during their time here as students remained through those 50 years. This class in particular has stayed connected, doing regular reunions at locations across the country every five years, but now as they age, they have shortened it to every two years. We were blessed that they chose to hold their 50-year reunion on campus, so we would have the pleasure of showing them how their School of Law still values the same traditions important to them.
Fast forward to the Class of 2016—the class that just walked across the stage and became newly minted lawyers only a few months earlier. The members from the class returning to campus were primarily those receiving recognition for being a member of the Order of the Barristers or Order of the COIF. Again I was struck by how quickly they jumped back into conversations about the law, about each other and about being back in their home—the UND Law School. They have embarked on their career journey beginning with clerkships and positions in firms across the state and region and are on the path to success. They too spoke of the pride they had in being UND Law graduates, and many gathered together for dinner after the reception to continue building the friendships nurtured through their three years in school.
The size of UND Law and the culture of collaboration support an educational environment that helps build pride, success and leads to lifelong friendships. I am pretty sure I will not be in attendance at the Class of 2016 50-year reunion, but I am confident they will look back like the Class of 1966 and reminisce about their outstanding careers of service and dedication, continue the friendly conversations they have maintained over the years and exude the pride they have in calling themselves graduates of the UND School of Law.
Rob Carolin is the Director of Alumni & Public Relations at the UND School of Law