200 Attend Concordia U. Law School Dedication in Boise
Idaho Chief Justice and ABA President-Elect Join Students, Faculty and Community Leaders
The formal dedication service for the new Concordia University School of Law was held yesterday in downtown Boise, Idaho, and was attended by more than 200 business, education, civic and community leaders, in addition to Concordia's own faculty, staff, students and administrators.
"This is a historic day for Boise, Idaho and the region and the result of tremendous contributions by so many, especially Idaho's own former state supreme court justice, now Concordia Law's Dean, Cathy Silak," said Concordia President Charles Schlimpert who began his 30th year as president this fall at the Portland, Ore.-based and regionally accredited nonprofit, Lutheran liberal arts university.
Keynote speaker American Bar Association President-elect, the Honorable James R. Silkenat, traveled from New York City for the celebration and publicly applauded Concordia University for its commitment to the region and to preparing future leaders and lawyers.
Idaho's own Chief Justice Roger Burdick led the 73 members of the inaugural class in an oath of service, remarking that "it is fitting for Concordia to open with a remarkable emphasis on helping those less fortunate." Already this year, law students and faculty have contributed hundreds of volunteer service hours in the community, most recently during National Pro Bono Law Week.
"We're commited to providing rigorous law curriculum with excellent faculty," said Concordia Law Dean Cathy R. Silak, "but our commitment goes far beyond that to preparing students and graduates for lives as transformational leaders."
The service was emceed by Concordia executive vice president Gary Withers and speakers included Idaho Attorney General Lawrence G. Wasden, Ms. Molly O'Leary, president of Idaho State Bar Commissioners, a homily by Rev. Paul Linnemann, president of the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod Northwest District, and closing prayer by Rev. Jim Pressnell, Concordia's director of church relations.
In addition, Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter contributed a congratulatory letter for reading at the dedication, saying "I strongly believe that the university will see great success and enable many students to enter the legal field and become leaders in our community."
Concordia student music ensembles - Christi Crux Vocal Ensemble and Concordia University Brass, directed by Kurt Berentsen and Dr. Bill Kuhn, respectively - inspired guests and filled Concordia's George R. White Law Library with song and celebration.
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