McGeorge School of Law

Thomas, Powell Share Graduation Spotlight

May 19, 2010

Zachary Powell and Alice Thomas

Zachary Powell and Alice Thomas

Alice Thomas, age 79, became the oldest graduate in McGeorge's long history and Zachary Powell, age 19, became the youngest on May 15, 2010, at the commencement ceremony marking the end of the law school's 86th academic year.

Thomas and Powell crossed the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium stage minutes apart to thunderous applause from a crowd of more than 3,200 people and standing ovations from the law school faculty.

Powell hails from Rio Vista in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta. At age 9, he started taking classes at Solano County Community College. At age 13, he transferred to UC Berkeley after earning his associate degree. He commuted to Cal and graduated two years later with a B.A. in mathematics and environmental science. He plans to study this summer for the state bar exam, which he will take weeks before his 20th birthday.

Thomas, an Arizona native who has lived in Sacramento for more than a decade, has had her story chronicled in numerous national publications. She will study for the bar on campus for the next two months then take the exam the last week of July, just days after her 80th birthday.