FAMU Recognizes Graduates at 13th College of Law Hooding Ceremony

Before more than 2,000 family members and guests, the Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law’s Hooding Class of 2017 took an additional step toward completing a major milestone.  The 13th Annual Hooding Ceremony took place at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, May 20, 2017, where more than 120 candidates ceremoniously received the doctoral hood for the juris doctor degree.

The ceremony recognized graduates and candidates from the fall 2016, spring 2017, and summer 2017 classes.  Candidates for spring 2017 had their juris doctor degrees conferred three weeks prior in Tallahassee, Fla. at the University’s commencement exercises on April 29, 2017.

Sarah Swyers, who attended Belmont University and majored in Business Administration, was recognized as the 2017 valedictorian, graduating summa cum laude among a field of candidates that featured 33 honors graduates, including 12 magna cum laude, and 20 cum laude graduates.  Mario Henderson, who received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from FAMU, was also recognized for his service as outgoing Student Bar Association (SBA) president.

The Honorable Florida Supreme Court Retired Justice James E. C. Perry, who was appointed as the 85th Justice to the Court by Governor Charlie Crist, provided the keynote address.  Justice Perry remained on stage to greet each candidate as they were hooded.  Joining him was FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman Kelvin Lawson, FAMU Interim Provost Rodner Wright, AIA, and FAMU College of Law Interim Dean LeRoy Pernell, J.D.

Associate Dean Randall Abate announced each candidate as they were hooded by FAMU College of Law Faculty Hooder and Clinical Instructor Robert Minarcin.  Professor Minarcin was selected as faculty hooder through a special election by the graduating law students.

The 2017 Hooding student speaker was Briana Lans, who congratulated her fellow classmates on completing the juris doctor degree. Lans received her undergraduate degree from Montclair State University, and served as 2017 FAMU Women’s Law Caucus president.  Additional law student speakers included Chloe Ince-Ingram, who served as the 2017 student graduation chair for SBA, and Kyle Marcil, who provided the opening meditation.


Caption: College of Law Hooding Candidates assemble for the procession before the 2017 Annual Hooding Ceremony at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.