Alumnus David Owens’ Address at the 2019 Philosophy Graduation Reception (video)

We were honored to have alumnus David Owens, BA 2004, address the 2019 Department of Philosophy graduating class at our annual graduation reception. David is a partner at Loevy & Loevy, a civil rights law firm in Chicago. David also teaches in the University of Chicago Law School’s wrongful conviction legal clinic, The Exoneration Project, working with law students to find justice for individuals.

After graduating from the University of Washington, David had planned on going directly to law school. However, upon learning that Teach for America was recruiting for new graduates to teach in low-income communities, David deferred his acceptance to Stanford. He taught sixth grade for two years in a Los Angeles school where every student qualified for free lunch, while also earning his MA in Elementary Education. He then continued to Stanford Law where he earned his JD and MA in Philosophy concurrently.

In his address, David encouraged our graduate students to continue to “choose philosophy”—to persist in asking challenging questions, framed in new and unexpected ways—for the rest of their lives. He encouraged them to continue to be radical thinkers and to keep questioning and challenging ideas, applying the skills they’ve learned in their philosophy classes to all aspects of life, in order to find solutions to today’s toughest challenges -- such as climate change.

Thank you David for coming to speak to our graduates! We are proud to count you as an alumnus of the UW Department of Philosophy. And we hope that all our alumni continue to choose philosophy in their lives.