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First year law students participate in inaugural welcoming ceremony

Photo credit: David Stobbe, Stobbe Photography

126 first-year law students at the University of Saskatchewan were officially welcomed to the College of Law yesterday at the inaugural First Year Welcoming Ceremony presented by the Burnet Duckworth & Palmer law firm.

With family and friends in attendance, first-year College of Law students were presented with a black academic gown, symbolic of the beginning of their journey into legal studies.

It is believed that this was the first ceremony of its kind amongst any law college in Canada. Further, it is fitting that the inaugural ceremony was held this year – the same year the college celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Sanjeev Anand, dean of the College of Law, said it was important to establish an event that officially welcomed the students to the college and to the family of College of Law alumni. “Students should know the significance of beginning this new intellectual journey—one that will be vigorous, yet greatly enriching,” said Anand.

Ten College of Law alumni and students, including an Officer of the Order of Canada and Greg Walen, QC, the current president of the Law Society of Saskatchewan, were on hand to present the gowns to the next generation of legal professionals. Those in attendance also heard remarks from chief justices and judges from the Saskatchewan courts, U of S President Ilene Busch-Vishniac, and keynote speaker and former president and dean of the College of Law, Peter MacKinnon.

Christine Pereyma, a first-year law student from Melfort, Saskatchewan, said while the ceremony focuses on welcoming the students and bringing everyone together as a class, it is especially important that family and friends can share in the celebration. “My achievements are their achievements. For this reason, I know they appreciate that the school provides a ceremony for them to celebrate this milestone in my life with me,” she said.

To conclude the ceremony, all new students recited a commitment to their academic journey that included a pledge of “sharing the knowledge and skills I will require through the study of law by positively contributing to society – locally, nationally or globally.” The commitment was derived from the university’s learning charter, which aims to optimize the learning experience of every student.