LMU Law celebrates commencement

Published 10:28 am Friday, June 21, 2024

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By Emily Loden


Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law (LMU Law) celebrated the commencement of the Class of 2024 at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium on May 9. The 96 graduates in the Class of 2024 were honored for their many achievements in law school and joined the ranks of several hundred LMU Law alumni.

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“We cannot teach you to be the lawyers we think you should be, and that we know you can be, unless we teach you the core values that great lawyers, lawyers in the model of Abraham Lincoln, represent,” said LMU Law Vice President and Dean Matt Lyon. “Over and above everything else we have taught you, Class of 2024, if you model your careers on our six core values — service, excellence, resilience, integrity, empathy, and self-awareness – you will be fulfilled, you will be successful, and most importantly, you will be able to look yourselves in the mirror every morning and be proud of the person you see.”

The 2024 Commencement Speaker was United States Magistrate Judge Cynthia Richardson Wyrick of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Greeneville. Wyrick spoke to the graduates about understanding the law as a form of public service. “Your faculty and all of us here supporting you today know that with a record of success and commitment to your community, there is nothing this class cannot do,” she said.

Tommy Gutwein of Rensselaer, Indiana, was selected by his classmates to deliver remarks on behalf of the graduating class. While at LMU Law, Gutwein was a Peer Leader, a member of the mock trial competition team, and served as a 3L Senator on the Student Bar Association. Gutwein spent a summer during law school in the White County, Indiana Prosecutor’s Office; he says the highlight of his time there was winning his first trial. After taking the bar exam, he will be returning to Rensselaer to work in the Law Office of Donald W. Shelmon.

“Graduating from law school is one of the last obstacles between us and the practice of law,” said Gutwein during his speech. “Today, we overcome that obstacle after three years of hard work and self-discipline.”