Friday morning started out on the road, in Russellville, at the Hampton Inn. Thursday had been a late night. So I decided to drive part of the way to Little Rock for the Friday morninggrenada Bar swearing-in ceremony for all those who passed the February Bar. I love to attend the swearing-in to give big hugs and congratulations to our alums who become members of the Arkansas Bar. I left the Hampton Inn at 7:00 a.m. because the ceremony started at 9:00 a.m. and the front desk clerk said, “Well, just to be safe in the traffic, you probably should leave two hours early.”

When I arrived at the court, I ran into Britt Johnson and Greneda Johnson and gave them big hugs and met their families before the ceremony started. The ceremony is an informal session for the Supreme Courswearing int of Arkansas. The Chief Justice recognized the President of the Arkansas Bar Association who is Rick Ramsay, our alum. Parents and families are also allowed to attend, so the room was very full as you might imagine. Chief Justice Hannah introduced the two law school Deans. He said, “From UALR, Chuck Goldner, and from Fayetteville, Associate Dean Jim Miller,” and everybody yelled, “Dean Nance is here!” It was kind of funny, and then he said, “Dean Nance, I didn’t see you over there!” and I said, “Well, that’s only because I was being quiet for a change,” and everybody laughed about that. Senators David Pryor and Mark Pryor were there as well. The new lawyers were sworn in, and afterwards there was a reception. I tried to visit with as many as I could, to get their pictures, and to let them know how we are proud of and happy for them.

After that I caught up with Judge Wendell Griffen, our alum. We had breakfast before I heagriffended back to Fayetteville. I visited with him about his campaign and how that was going. While we were having breakfast, I ran into Chip (our alum) and Cheryl Welch and they were very excited. They had just come from Babies “R” Us and are expecting their first grand baby (a little girl). Congratulations! It was great to see them. Before heading back, I had a conference call as a member of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services Development Committee. Then it was time to head back “up the hill.”

I arrived in Fayetteville just in time to catch the commissioning of the Army ROTC Lieutenant Second Lieutenants. As you know if you follow the blog, Lieutenant Colonel Clark Taylor is a very good friend and the law school has had the privilege of hosting tharmye Army ROTC commissioning in our courtroom. This is the second year we’ve done so and we are very proud to be able to do it. It is our privilege and pleasure to recognize these young people.

After the ceremony, I had ambassadorial duties. I had been invited by Chancellor White to be the escort for Dr. Terrence Roberts. Dr. Roberts is one of the Little Rock Nine, the nine African-American students who braved threats and intimidation to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in 1957. He earned a BA in Sociology from California State University, a Masters of Social Work from UCLA in 1970, and a PhD in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 197Roberts Nance6. Since 1993, Dr. Roberts has been a professor at Antioch College in Los Angeles, California where he teaches graduate courses in psychology. In addition to serving as the CEO of Terrence J. Roberts and Associates Management Consulting Firm, he maintains a private psychology practice and is a desegregation consultant with the Little Rock School District.

This was a very magical moment for me to be able to visit with him, and to be his escort. I really do believe that, were it not for the courage of the nine and their brave actions in trying to bring about change, many of the changes in our society would be much less likely, including my position as Dean. Terrence was a hRoberts Tysonero then and he is a hero to me now. Growing up in Chicago I can remember my parents talking about what happened at Central High, so to be able to spend quality time with him was just an amazing, amazing experience.

At dinner, I sat with Chancellor and Mary Lib White, along with President Alan Sugg, the President of the UA System, John Tyson, and of course Dr. Roberts. We had a lively conversation at our table, everything from politics to religion to the state of education in Arkansas. I have to say that I had not previously had a conversation of much length with President Sugg. I am glad I was seated next to him because we had a very warm and long conversation. I found him to be a delightful, thoughtful and very kind man and it was good to visit with him. We shared our feelings about issues of race and politics and the future of our country. Dr. Sugg, I really, really enjoyed that conversation and I want you to know that.

The menu was a mixed green salad with grilled pear, blue cheese and cider vinegar dressing followed by the main course, which was a grilled beef tenderloin with caramelized onions and béarnaise sauce. All this was accompanied by smashed red potatoes and sautéed green beans with pancetta and shallots. Dessert was fresh berry crepes.

The general UA graduation committee hosted a dinner for all the Deans, members of central administration, and the speakers for the various graduation ceremonies. Each commencement Dean introduces their guest (the commencement speaker), the Provost gives a few remarks, and the Chancellor gives a few remarks. Because Dr. Roberts was the recipient of an honorary doctorate of Arts and Letters from the University of Arkansas, he was invited to give a few remarks. His theme was on making a difference in the world regardless of where you started from and that you can help to heal the world. His comments were very powerful and moving.

After dinner, I escorted him back to Carnall Hall and asked if he would like a night cap. We stopped in Lambeth Lounge where my favorite bartender, Mr. Ryan Polite (although I call him Mr. Polite) is the host. He is a really great guy and makes everyone feel welcome. He came over and I told him who Dr. Roberts was. He was very courteous and made Dr. Roberts feel right at home and made him my favorite drink, a Mojito. I didn’t indulge as I had to drive back to my house, but we visited for a little while. Being able to spend time with Dr. Terrence Roberts is a time that I will never forget. He was so encouraging and helpful to me in thinking through some challenges of leadership. Besides who he is and his place in history, he is a wonderful person. I feel very, very blessed to have been able to spend quality time with him.