The 2017 Graduation ceremony

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© Christophe Rabinovici

This is a hard time for us: the exam period has begun and we certainly need motivation to end the semester. That is what I will do today through writing about what we, GED students, all dream about: graduate from an LLM.

On the evening of the 27th October, we had the pleasure to be reunited at the 27th floor of the Tour First in La Defense for a very special moment, which every GED student dreams to be part of. Indeed, more than just being in one of the most breathtaking sight of the capital (which is still extremely weird for young students which have just left high school), we were celebrating the graduation of the alumni who had just come back from their LLM.

First of all, I have to say that it was pretty awkward for the new promotion to attend the event since we did not know the graduates (exception put aside), although it made us proud to be there with them. It was a happy moment but I still felt that it was the end of their GED experience, that it was probably the last time they’d be reunited and that they’d be taking different paths.

Although the newly graduated promotions had started different masters throughout the Paris area, they still looked glad to see each other and tell the stories and experiences they had brought back from their LLM.

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© Christophe Rabinovici

Me and my fellow GED 1 sat in the back of the room in order to let the graduates and their families enjoy the front seats. We watched the ceremony with passion and admiration as we wished we were them. Even if the LLM is far, the graduates gave us the envy to succeed in our studies so we can have the opportunity to live what they lived during their year abroad.

The ceremony began by the welcome speech of Mr. Baller, a tradition when the GED is gathered in La Defense. Then, the graduates received some words from the professor Magnier who has supported them from the very beginning of their formation.

Tali and Mathis, our two hosts for the night made an amazing job to give their great great godfatheRDM Tali et Mathisrs and godmothers (of the GED family) the ceremony they deserved. With this kind of seriousness due to the importance mixed with humour, our two hosts let us discover the experience of those who have crossed the same hardships we are dealing with right now (it was just a great comfort to see people who have reached the end of the path we are travelling on).

We had the pleasure to hear Mrs. Harris’ speermdd-mme-harris.jpgch in French which was very sweet and touching. She gave a kind word to each of the graduates. It was a bit disturbing to listen to her speaking French since we are used to her speaking exclusively English in class.

© Christophe Rabinovici

To illustrate what was the Budapest promotion, a speech was delivered by two members of it. That gave us two different styles to show that the GED is composed of very different people united in a common purpose. I mean, this speech was very revealing of what we could consider being the GED spirit: a delicious combination of seriousness and fun. They shared with us every moment which has made their experience unforgettable.

It was very touching because they were one of the very first generations and it is thanks to them that we can live the GED experience as we do now: we are walking on the path they have paved for us, but yet they let us make our own experience.

The graduates transmitted us the feelings they have developed in 3 years together, the bounds which link them and the strong memories they have made. Stories of each year were told, a time of shared happiness before the moment they were all waiting for: the LLM. Even if they were far one from one another, they kept in touch, proving that the relationships we create in our formation help us to become the person we want to be.
Some of the graduates who had the opportunity to continue their studies abroad broadcast short but strongly emotional videos to share this moment with the others.

I believe that this touching speech has inspired every GED 1 and also the previous generations in the room at the moment.

The graduation happened between the different speeches. We had the chance to discover some of the most prestigious LLMs in the world, from Singapore to San Francisco with a stop in the UK and in Washington, DC. Each of the graduates was an invitation to outperform ourselves in order to ensure their work was being continued. It was stunning to see the diplomas they had received, even more for us newcomers who still see the LLM as a dream and not a reality. Diplomas were given by Professor Magnier. I think it is important to say it because it is a kind of accomplishment for her to see us graduating: that proves she accomplished her first mission which is to allow French student to graduate from the best law universities in the world in order to have the best masters and the best professional life we can imagine.

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© Christophe Rabinovici

RMDD PierreTo conclude this ceremony, we listened to the speech of our dear Pierre Delassis who knows the graduates quite well since he is 2 years older than them. He shared with us the difficulties to be part of the first years of the GED but also the great memories the alumni have created together. Short details were given and we realized how impressive our alumni were in the solar field. Every speech was more inspiring than the previous one and delighted, I thought we would be like them in a few years.

© Christophe Rabinovici

During the cocktail which followed the ceremony, we had the opportunity to talk with the graduates. It was a bit awkward to disturb the moment they shared with their families but they seemed pleased to talk to us.

Anyway, it was a chance to learn a bit more about themselves and the LLM they made. Such exchanges are a good way to help new generations define their own projects and reinforce the bounds between the different promotions.

It is now our task to write our own story so that one day, we are able to tell it during our very own graduation ceremony.

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Guillaume Huan