Dear Dean Douglas, distinguished Justice Scalia, William & Mary Law School faculty and staff, cherished family and friends, it's my great pleasure to stand here and represent all my dear classmates, members of the 2014 LL.M. class.
I've thought about all the different ways to start this speech, but I kept returning to the old line: "How time flies." Nine months have passed. I wish my English could improve at a faster rate than the growth of my waistline, but unfortunately I do not think that was the case.
Before I came to William & Mary, I had certain expectations about American law schools based on many famous American films. Not surprisingly, we had a mountain of cases to read, we struggled with English, and we feared the constant threat of the dreaded "cold call." But I was more moved by the law school that we experienced by ourselves.
I do remember exactly the day that the LL.M. Class of 2014 met for the first time. From that day on, in some sense, we started to grow together with the law school. During the past year, we have witnessed some of our classmates getting married. We have witnessed another classmate become a father. One of my classmates once studied late and felt frustrated about classes, but when she left the library and saw a family of deer standing silently beside the statues outside of the law school, she smiled and thought "everything will be fine." For me, there is too much to say. I was admitted to William & Mary on the day of spring festival, the Chinese lunar new year that winter, and I graduated from the first law school in China in June of 2013. I came to the first law school in American one month later. You see? Everyone's memory with William & Mary is different, but all of them are real and warm.
Graduation is one of the grandest moments in one's life. It gives us an opportunity to recall the memories of our first encounters, and a chance to say goodbye.
I would like to express my gratitude to our dear professors, thank you for always being so helpful, patient and nice. You always appreciate student's thoughts and make us study in an atmosphere in which we do not feel stupid when we ask questions.
I would also like to thank the rest of the staff of the law school, for always being so nice and warm, and for providing us with a convenient studying environment.
And thank you so much to the American J.D. students. We are so grateful to have studied together with you. Some of you are our TAs, legal writing fellows, and some of you are our classmates. Thank you for being so friendly with your open hearts and kind smiles.
At the end, please let me use different languages from our LL.M.'s homelands, to express our thanks. [Editor's note: Ms. Ling said "thank you" in Spanish, Russian, Indonesian, Arabic, and Chinese.]
And thank you very much. I love William & Mary Law School.
About William & Mary Law School
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.