March 6, 2019
Concord Law School at Purdue University Global commencement celebrates 20th anniversary of nation’s first fully online law school
Concord Law School at Purdue University Global, the nation’s first fully online law school, honored 69 graduates while celebrating its 20th anniversary on Feb. 28 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
The commencement’s keynote address was delivered by Karen Ackerson Gauff, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, minister, veteran and author. Betty Vandenbosch, Purdue University Global chancellor, also provided remarks.
Martin Pritikin, dean of Concord Law School, conferred degrees on graduates and recognized them for their academic achievements. The class included 37 who earned Juris Doctor (JD) degrees and 32 with Executive Juris Doctor (EJD) degrees. The JD degree is for those who intend to become a licensed attorney, and the EJD was created for those interested in gaining doctorate-level legal skills for careers other than law practice. Those attending the ceremony traveled from 16 states as far away as New Hampshire and Hawaii.
In its first 20 years, Concord Law School has educated more than 2,300 graduates. Concord joined the Purdue University system in April 2018 when it was acquired as part of the former Kaplan University.
“We are so proud of our graduates who, between their law school studies and their outside job, family, or military commitments, typically have been putting in 70-plus hour weeks for the last three of four years,” Pritikin said. “For the last two decades, Concord’s mission has been to provide access to high-quality legal education to dedicated individuals like these who schedules, geography, or other life circumstances precluded a traditional law school path. We look forward to continuing to do so for decades to come.”
During the ceremony, the following students were recognized for outstanding achievement:
- Crystal Morgan, JD (Colorado Springs, Colorado), received the Sue Lane Award, which honors strong work ethic, compassionate nature and service to the community.
- Barbara Hodgson, JD (Yorba Linda, California), earned the Jack Goetz Award for the highest cumulative grade point average in the JD program.
- Brian Acunto, EJD (Brigantine, New Jersey), received the EJD Award for Excellence for the highest cumulative grade point average in the EJD program.
- Student Bar Association Awards were presented to Therese Brandi Wallace, JD (Londonderry, New Hampshire); Steve Hufford, JD (Portland, Oregon); and Crystal Morgan, JD (Colorado Springs, Colorado), for their service and dedication to the student organization.
In her remarks, Gauff said, “The Concord online model of law school is at the forefront of revolutionizing the legal educational system, by conferring upon the nontraditional law student the tools of access, innovation and flexibility. These graduates showed courage in choosing this route to obtain their legal education; now they are charged with using that same courage to make an indelible mark on the world.”
Gauff also administered the attorney oath of the State Bar of California to graduate Dainey Thomas, JD (St. Francis, Wisconsin). She is one of more than 550 Concord graduates who have passed the California Bar exam.
About Concord Law School
Concord Law School is part of Purdue University Global, a public, nonprofit school within the world-class Purdue University system. Founded in 1998, Concord was the first U.S. law school to offer students a traditional law school program online, including interactive live classes, frequent testing with extensive feedback, and nationally respected faculty members. Offering rigorous, rewarding online degree programs, Concord provides students with a first-rate law school education that is affordable and reflects the needs of today’s employers, delivered in a convenient, highly supportive environment.
About Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global is the extreme personalization online university, providing students the competitive edge to advance in their chosen careers. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits, and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey.
Purdue Global serves approximately 29,000 students, most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates 14 locations in Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University's flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) Indianapolis campus.