The school's 270 graduates are expected to be joined by as many as 3,000 friends and family members at the ceremony, which has been moved from Sunday to Friday this year to prevent conflicts with Memorial Day weekend activities.
"By his distinguished career in public service, Sen. Kerry has exemplified the ideal of legal education for service to others that has long stood at the core of the mission of Boston College Law School," said Interim Law Dean James Rogers. "We are delighted that he will be able to speak to our graduating students at the moment when they are embarking on their careers and contemplating how they can, in their own ways, meet the challenge of not merely being good lawyers, but being lawyers who lead good lives."
After graduating from Yale University, Kerry entered the Navy and commanded a gunboat in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War, receiving a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. After returning home, he became a leader of Vietnam Veterans against the War and a co-founder of Vietnam Veterans of America, and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1972.
Sen. John Kerry JD '76.
After graduating from the Law School, he worked as a prosecutor before winning election as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1982. He was first elected to the Senate in 1984. Now in his third term, Kerry sits on the Senate's Foreign Relations, Banking, Commerce and Intelligence committees, and is ranking member of the Small Business Committee.
Also at Commencement, the Founder's Medal - the Law School's highest honor - will be presented to Prof. Aviam Soifer (Law), corporate attorney Edward Leahy, JD '71, and, posthumously, to late Middlesex Probate Court Judge James Sweeney '54, JD '60.
The day's events will begin with the Commencement Mass at 10:30 a.m. in the Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity, followed by an 11:45 a.m. luncheon. Commencement Exercises will begin at 2 p.m. on the lawn behind Alumni House.
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