Sixteen new members of the Texas Tech Law alumni network were hooded on Saturday, December 14.
After a catered reception in the Forum—complete with a harpist and hors d’oeuvres—the graduates proceeded to the Lanier Auditorium for their hooding ceremony. In her welcome remarks, Dean Darby Dickerson acknowledged a few special guests in the audience, including Texas Tech University President M. Duane Nellis, Board of Regents Vice Chairman Larry Anders, and Interim Provost Lawrence Schovanec. She then introduced Texas Tech Law Alumni Association President Wade Shelton (’81).
In his address, Shelton said that, much like the Heisman Trophy, which was also awarded that day, the graduates were being honored for their diligence, character, and hard work. President Nellis then congratulated the graduates and reminded them that the Texas Tech community will always welcome them with open arms.
Keynote speaker William B. Dawson (’75), partner in the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a 2012 School of Law Distinguished Alumnus, related the rags to riches story of his friend Phil McGraw, best known as television personality Dr. Phil. Born in Oklahoma and raised in poverty, McGraw went on to receive his doctorate in psychology. He eventually became one of the most successful jury consultants in the country.
“He set out not just to get a job, but to do a job,” said Dawson. “Was he lucky? Yes. But we all make our own luck.”
Dawson left the graduates with three bits of advice. First, life awards decisive action. “A goal must be specific,” he said. “If you can’t name it, you can’t claim it.” Second, whether you’re motivated by financial, spiritual, or psychological factors, the most important foundation of success is at home. Third, have courage to seize life’s defining moments.
Professors John Krahmer and Dustin Benham served as the elected hooding professors and were joined by other attorneys selected by the graduation candidates. One of those hooding attorneys was John Haugen, father of graduate Courtney Haugen.
“It’s a special moment when a parent can hood his child,” said Haugen. “Our family knew Texas Tech Law—particularly its kindness and hospitality—was a great fit for Courtney from the very beginning. It’s been wonderful to see her progression since.”
Graduate Briana Marie Teter delivered the closing remarks, reminding her classmates of the roles that honor and integrity will play in their career path. “This profession is about how we use our learned skills to defend others,” said Teter.