As part of Santa Clara University’s Grand Reunion Weekend, Santa Clara University School of Law welcomed over 200 alumni, along with family and friends, back to campus for a Friday evening reception on Panetta Plaza outside the front entrance of Charney Hall. With the entire Mission Campus full of celebratory energy, Santa Clara Law welcomed back alumni from all classes, emphasizing those who graduated in years ending in 3 and 8. It was a festive evening and a wonderful opportunity to reunite with classmates, colleagues, and contemporaries whilst listening to the Neil Kelly Jazz Quartet. Lots of fun was had with a 360 photo/video booth, with some returning for more laughter.
Assistant Dean Jolee David welcomed the attendees “Tonight is an opportunity for us to gather together and celebrate some exciting anniversaries. We are thrilled to have members of the Class of 1963 with us here tonight, along with the Class of 1973, who are celebrating their 50th Law School Reunion this evening,” and introduced Dean Michael Kaufman. Dean Kaufman announced the newest 1L class numbers, the official launch of Santa Clara Law’s Flex J.D. program, and resounding support from our alumni for our Coaching Teams/Mentorship Program with over 300 alumni offering to take part.
For the first time, the law school hosted a family picnic at lunchtime complete with a magician, so that the whole family could celebrate.
This year, the celebrations also included an alumni panel discussing the “Impact of Diversity within Legal Services.” Each member of the panel reflected on what this phrase entailed within their respective workplaces and then offered solutions for further representation.
The Law School recognized the newest inductees to the Ruffo Society, commemorating their 50th reunion and five decades of involvement as alumni with Santa Clara Law. Dean Kaufman congratulated the inductees saying “Congratulations to you all, and thank you for joining us tonight! We are grateful you chose Santa Clara Law over 50 years ago, and could not be prouder of all your accomplishments since that time.” Graduates, Bruce Allen JD ’73, Cedric Choi JD ’73, Robert “Bob” Christenson JD ’73, Richard “Dick” Cunha BS ’68 JD ’73, Honorable James “Jim” Emerson JD ’73, Sabre Gilmartin JD ’73, Mitchell Lyons JD ’73, Alexander Walsh BA ’70, JD ’73, MA ’75, and James “Jim” Wagoner JD ’73, represented an incoming Ruffo Society class of 134 strong. Their stories and their excitement to see their fellow class members are testaments to the lifelong relationships forged while studying at Santa Clara Law.
This year’s reunion also had a special ceremony to acknowledge the amazing and compassionate work of deans emeritae Lisa A. Kloppenberg, and Anna M. Han, and unveil their beautiful portraits, painted by artist Paul Tumason, to be hung in the law school with those of previous deans. Many family members, alumni, faculty, and staff attended to pay their respects to the deans. Dean Kaufman presided over the unveiling, describing the deans emeritae as two “who heroically led our law school through challenging times by building trusting and empathetic relationships.” Dean Kaufman went on to say “Following their deaconal example, our faculty and staff educators care deeply about our students’ success and well-being, and our dedicated student services professionals provide wrap-around support.”