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Chase College of Law Bestows
114 Degrees to Graduates


Photo Courtesy: Scott Beseler, NKU University Photographer.
Download photos here.


May 7, 2021 —  Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law awarded 104 Juris Doctor degrees and ten Master of Legal Studies to graduates during its Commencement ceremony on May 7 at BB&T Arena. The ceremony recognized graduates from the Class of 2020 who had a virtual commencement last year due to the pandemic.

Justice Michelle Keller (’90) and Justice Robert Conley (‘84), both of the Supreme Court of Kentucky and graduates of Chase Law, served as the Commencement speakers. The Justices shared lessons learned and words of encouragement with the Class of 2020 and 2021. Additionally, graduates were praised with congratulatory remarks from the Class of 2021 valedictorian Brendan Sullivan.

“This is a momentous milestone in the life of our diverse learners. Each of them has shown resilience and dedication to their legal studies in the face of historical challenges,” said Judith Daar, Ambassador Patricia L. Herbold Dean of Chase College of Law. “To our graduates, you enter the legal world at a time of heightened attention to the rule of law and its impact on society each day. You have the knowledge and skill to be a powerful voice in these conversations, to shape the future into a more equitable and compassionate place for all.”

During the ceremony, Dean Daar presented Megan Smiddie (‘20) and Holly McCabe (‘21) with the Salmon P. Chase Award. Given annually, the award recognizes a graduating student who best exemplifies Salmon P. Chase's passion, dedication and advocacy on behalf of others.

John Bickers, who was elected by the Class of 2020 as the Chase Law Professor of the Year, offered a tribute to 2020 graduates for their months of sacrifice and hard work, despite the unprecedented hardships.  Jennifer Kinsley, the recipient of the Chase Law Professor of the Year for the Class of 2021, also gave brief remarks.

The Salmon P. Chase College of Law is known for the strength of its people and its rich and storied history. NKU’s Chase College of Law offers full-time and part-time programs of study to meet students where they are, including evening and weekend classes.

Chase Law currently enrolls nearly 400 students. In addition to traditional classes, students have a wealth of clinical programs experiential learning opportunities with actual clients. Chase College of Law is home to the Center for Law & Entrepreneurship, Law + Informatics Institute, the Center for Law & Addiction Policy and the W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Technology.

For more details on the ceremonies and to view the ceremony, visit NKU’s Commencement webpage.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit