May 20, 2014
Saloom family members gathered for the Tulane Law School graduation of Kaliste J. “Joseph” Saloom IV (center back) on May 17. Front row seated: Joseph Saloom’s grandparents, Judge Kaliste J. Saloom Jr. (L ’42), Yvonne Nassar Saloom (NC ’57), Marsha Lee Richardson and Robert Richardson. Standing: Christina and Brad Saloom (parents of Eli, in the stroller), Kaliste J. Saloom III (L ’84), Kaliste J. “Joseph” Saloom IV (L ’14), Scott Saloom, Alexandra Howell and Leanne Saloom Howell.
Tulane Law School Class of 2014 graduates listen to the diploma ceremony proceedings on May 17.
Graduates from Tulane Law School’s Payson Center for International Development wait for the exit processional after receiving
their degrees on May 17.
More than 250 families celebrated the accomplishments of their Tulane Law School graduates May 17, but perhaps only one group could boast three generations of Tulane heritage — all with the same name.
Judge Kaliste Joseph Saloom Jr. (L ’42), who turned 96 on May 15, sat with his son Kaliste III (a 1984 alumnus known as Kal) and other relatives to watch Kaliste IV (who goes by Joseph) receive his diploma. Baby Kaliste V, Joseph’s son who was born May 7, even made an appearance, cradled by mom Bridget.
Joseph Saloom was among 227 JDs in the Class of 2014. Also conferred at the May 17 diploma ceremony were 27 LLMs, two SJDs and 12 graduate degrees through the Payson Center for International Development.
“I’m glad to start our own wing of the relatives,” said Judge Saloom, a World War II veteran who served 40 years as a City Court Judge in Lafayette. He said he chose Tulane over several schools that offered him scholarships: “I always relish the thought that I made the right decision.”
His wife, Yvonne, graduated from Newcomb College in 1957. Two other sons also graduated from Tulane Law: Douglas (L ’85) a City Judge in Lafayette, and Gregory (L ’89), a Judge Advocate General and Major in the U.S. Army Reserve. Their sister, Leanne Saloom Howell, is a staff attorney for U.S. District Court in New Orleans and an adjunct faculty member with the Tulane School of Continuing Studies.
“It’s wonderful to see the tradition continued with all of our families,” said Kal Saloom, who is in-house counsel for an offshore survey company headquartered in Lafayette. Joseph said his immediate next step would be to study for the bar exam. “It’s a very special moment in my life and my family’s life to be another in the list of Tulane Law graduates and start my career in Louisiana and follow in my father’s and my grandfather’s footsteps,” he said.
The ceremony, which packed Devlin Fieldhouse with graduates’ family members and friends, included remarks from former U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston (L ’68), whose Livingston Group is one of the most respected, bipartisan government-relations firms in Washington.
Livingston, a U.S. Navy veteran, worked as a local, state and federal prosecutor in Louisiana then in 1977 became the first Republican to represent New Orleans in Congress since Reconstruction. He went on to win re-election 11 times and was chosen by his peers as Speaker-delegate of the 106th Congress before he left in 1999.
In his address, Livingston’s key message was about working hard, seizing opportunity, setting ego aside, having confidence, putting clients first, taking calculated risks and persevering through life’s rude surprises.
“You’re going to have to ignore those who push you against your instinct,” he said. “Conventional wisdom isn’t always right, so make your own way.” And, he urged graduates, “Don’t forget to help others: answering a question from a young lawyer, giving a hand to those who need it; and donating your time or money to those who really appreciate it.”