More than 250 of Mitchell Hamline’s newest graduates received their Juris Doctor degrees under a hot sun and strong crosswind on Sunday, June 6.
The commencement ceremony, the first to be held in person in more than a year, took place at CHS Field in St. Paul, home to the Minnesota Twins’ minor league team, the Saints. Students sat in chairs along the dirt path around the edge of the field, then walked the bases to receive their diploma covers on a stage built at second base. Faculty and guests were seated in the stands, though most eventually ended up in the shaded concourse areas.
In addition to the graduates from more than 35 U.S. states, as well as Colombia and Germany, who ranged in age from 23 to 59, students who graduated in spring 2020 and winter 2021 were also invited to have the chance for an in-person event.
Two student speakers—Jeremiah Allison from the class of 2020 and Claire Gutknecht from spring 2021—spoke of their own personal work to get to the stage, along with the unprecedented sacrifice all students made to attend law school during a global pandemic. Mitchell Hamline trustee John Choi ‘95 was the commencement speaker; he encouraged graduates to find ways to use their degrees to serve the public. Choi is the elected prosecutor for Ramsey County, Minn.
After graduates walked the base paths to receive their diploma covers, Mitchell Hamline administrators also recognized the several students who were unable to attend but who attended online and could be seen on the ballpark scoreboard on a Zoom call, waving to classmates.
Below are photos from the event by Caroline Yang.