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A Message to the Law Community

To:         The W&L Law Community
From:    Dean Brant Hellwig and President Will Dudley
Date:     Nov. 22, 2019
Re:         Diploma Petition

You are likely aware that members of the law student body recently initiated a petition requesting the option to select a diploma design that does not include portraits of the university’s namesakes.  We fully support the right of all members of our community to express their opinions, and we commend those, including the student petitioners, who do so in a civil manner.

Free and critical thinking, and civility, are fundamental to our community.  They are integral to the mission of the university and the law school.  We are committed to upholding these values.

We encourage all students, faculty, staff and alumni, especially when engaged in conversations on contested topics, to strive in their words and actions to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects our shared aspirations.

Although the petition has not been formally delivered, any decision regarding such a request would rest with the Board of Trustees, which has sole authority to confer degrees.