Holder Urges Grads to Emulate Robert Kennedy's Legacy of Service

May 23, 2011


Attorney General Eric Holder delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2011.


New Virginia Law graduates should continue the legacy of leadership established by predecessors such as Robert F. Kennedy '51, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the Law School's Class of 2011 during commencement Sunday.

You made a critical choice, just as generations of UVA Law students have before you: to serve the cause of justice, and to dedicate yourselves to the principles that made our nation great and, surely, will guide our future progress," Holder said during his keynote address. As of today, you are no longer just students of the law. You are now stewards of our justice system."

The federal government's top lawyer addressed a class that included 372 J.D. graduates and 21 graduates receiving their master's in law degree.

Holder recognized the public service of FBI Director Robert Mueller '73 and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano '83 — as well as that of U.S. attorneys Tim Heaphy '91, Neil MacBride '92 and Zane Memeger '91 — but paid special tribute to Kennedy, who he said as a law student began to show the qualities that would later make him an effective attorney general and national leader.


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