LLS Community Gathers to Celebrate Centennial Day

Centennial Day Logo

Virtual toasts. Social media shout-outs. Memory sharing. Op-ed posts. Gift commitments. On Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, thousands of members of the greater LMU Loyola Law School community celebrated Centennial Day in myriad ways to reflect on the school’s impact over the last century – and what will define the next 100 years.

The centerpiece of the Centennial Day celebration was a constellation of 20 virtual themed parties that included:

  • The Centennial Ballroom featuring co-hosts Professor John Nockleby and Ibiere Seck '07 and special guest Brian Kabateck '89, chair, Board of Directors;
  • The Anne O’Keefe and Women Pioneers room honoring the first female graduate of LLS and co-hosted by Professors Shannon Treviño '06 and Therese Maynard along with alumna Calista Wu '12;
  • Last Call for a Good Time featuring the propagator of that catch phrase, Professor Laurie Levenson, and special guest Mark Geragos '82;
  • Trophy Case, a room focused on LLS’ trial team prowess and featuring co-hosts Professor Susan Poehls '89 and Chris (Pez) Ardalan '00;
  • The Black Alumni Chapter room with Professor Gary Williams and alumni Demetria Graves '04 and Jabari Willis '04, along with former and current members of the Black Law Students Association; and much more. See the full list of party rooms.

Dean Michael Waterstone provided the welcome in all 20 parties. In his remarks, he encouraged all to look back at the past while also looking forward to the future – expanding on the theme of his Centennial Day welcome video.

“It was Sept. 8, 1920. The temperature was 69 degrees, and there were southeast winds. The headlines in the Los Angeles Times that day: an earthquake in northern Italy, a new president in Mexico and controversy over campaign financing. But something else happened that day: at 7:30 p.m., a new law school first opened its doors in downtown Los Angeles,” said LMU Loyola Law School Dean Michael Waterstone in addressing members of the LLS community in virtual toast remarks. “Now, 100 years and 20,000 graduates later, here we are. Think of all the friendships made and lives transformed. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants. My favorite part of this job is and always has been connecting with our alumni.”

Many alumni returned the sentiment. Centennial Day chat rooms were littered with superlatives about the school and its accomplishments. After the event, members of the LLS community reflected on the momentousness of the occasion:

“This law school, at this time, during this pandemic, even in celebrating in its 100 year history, did what it does best: exceeds all expectations. It turned this event – which was supposed to be a substitute for the planned gala - into a spectacular, dizzying evening where we raced from virtual room to virtual room greeting our students, alumni and colleagues, wishing the night would never end. Loyola Law School and LMU are truly the best part of this city. I just want to do it all over again.”
Brian Kabateck '89, chair, LLS Board of Directors and founding partner, Kabateck LL

“The Centennial Celebration was so much fun, and having the party over Zoom meant I got to connect with other East Coast alumni whom I may not otherwise have met. I always take pride in my Loyola education, but hearing from alumni -- both new lawyers and more seasoned practitioners – from all over the country, and hearing about their career trajectories and accomplishments, reminded me just how vast the alumni network is and how successful Loyola alumni are. I'm so grateful to be a part of the Loyola community, and I can't wait to celebrate again, in person, in Los Angeles!”
Cameron Bell '15

“Centennial Day was a special day that brought our entire Loyola Law School community together to celebrate its 100th birthday. I have been part of the LLS community for the past 40 years which made the celebration especially meaningful to me. When I think of Loyola, I see beyond the beautiful campus. I think of the thousands of alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends who make Loyola the great law school that it is. Centennial Day allowed us to come together to celebrate Loyola’s rich history and toast its future. Cheers to Loyola!”
Carmen Ramirez, executive director, LLS Advancement

“Centennial Day was a great way to celebrate not only Loyola Law School, but also 15 years since my own graduation and admission to the bar, and 10 years of solo practice with many of the people who helped me achieve such milestones. The celebration was a great time to reminisce, reconnect and remind ourselves of what a fabulous community we joined from the moment we took our first steps (or first Zooms, for 2020 first years) onto campus. Here’s to the next 100 years!”
Shantel J. Doty-Kuntuzos '05, Law Offices of Shantel J. Kuntuzos

The Centennial Day Challenge to secure 500 gifts was met with more than 800 gifts totaling almost $830,000 -- and including eight challenge gifts. Want to make a gift? Click here. Miss the Centennial Day festivities or want to relive them? View social-media shout-outs and more at on the Centennial Day website or watch the Dean Waterstone’s welcome video. Craving more LLS Centennial content?

See the dedicated anniversary website, www.lls.edu/100, and mark your calendars for upcoming Centennial events such as the Dean’s Centennial Distinguished Speaker event, “Sports and the Law: Game Changers On and Off the Court,” to be held live on Zoom at 12 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25. The event will feature Stan Johnson, men’s basketball head coach, Loyola Marymount University; Joe Longo '90, president, Paragon Sports/partner, Glaser Weil; Bob Myers '03, president, Basketball Operations/General Manager, Golden State Warriors; and Amy Siegel '05, Managing Partner, Century City Office, O’Melveny & Myers.