Valedictorian Ben Throndson urges Class of 2020 to practise humility

Alberta Law Review board member and co-president of Runnymede Society selected by popular vote

Helen Metella - 18 March 2020

With humour and humility, University of Alberta law student Ben Throndson delivered the valedictory address at the Class of 2020's graduation banquet in March.

Throndson began by acknowledging that part of the law school experience is accepting that sometimes one will not understand what is happening but that perseverance and hard work are the antidotes.

He thanked the Faculty's professors for being keen to help students puzzle out not only the law but life in general.

He expressed gratitude to his classmates and colleagues in the Law Students' Association and in Law Show for helping to relieve tension and build fun into each academic term.

And he voiced special praise for Tim Young, IT advisor and exam and online course administrator, and Steve McDiarmid, proprietor of Hello My Friend Cafe in The Gavel, for individually saving students' sanity almost daily.

Throndson, who was an editorial board member of the Alberta Law Review, co-president of the Runnymede Society and chair of the City of St. Albert Youth Advisory Committee during law school, became valedictorian through a vote of his classmates.

In return, he congratulated them for having achieved something great by graduating law school and assured them that they have "both the brains and the heart to navigate all of life's trials, inside or outside the courtroom."

He concluded by presenting his peers with three simply stated thoughts to retain as they embark on practising all that they've learned.

"First, there is a place for kindness and compassion, even in the adversarial profession of law," he said.

"Second, ambition will take you far in life - but humility will set you apart," and finally, "find a way to give back to the community that invested in you."