Simpson University graduate returns to campus to speak to students

For Immediate Release


REDDING, Calif. – Hunter Starr, a 2009 graduate from Simpson University, returned to campus on Thursday to address students who are interested in law school.

Starr, who graduated with a B.A. in History and a minor in Bible & theology, is finishing his first year at Pacific McGeorge Law School in Sacramento. In addition to discussing the benefits of law school and answering questions about the application process, he shared his personal story with the students.

A resident of Bakersfield, Starr chose Simpson for its location, small class sizes and because he wanted to attend a private university. In 2004 he enrolled as a freshman, but by the end of his sophomore year, with his grades barely maintaining a C average, Starr dropped out of college.

In January 2007, Starr was riding with a friend from Bakersfield to Redding around midnight. Starr was already sleeping when the driver fell asleep and their car hit the back of a semi-truck and flipped several times. Starr was flown to Enloe Medical Center in Chico, where he endured a four-hour surgery. He suffered a collapsed lung and diaphragm, a nearly crushed heart, and several shattered bones in his hands.

Starr said his accident was an eye-opener, and it helped repair his relationship with his dad.

"My dad and I had an agreement – if I earned a college education, he would pay for my expenses. He always wanted me to earn my degree and he was really disappointed when I dropped out. After my accident, I wasn't the same person. The accident lit a fire within me," he said.

In September 2007, Starr returned to Simpson. Professors who had questioned why he had returned saw a difference in him.

"I went from being a C student to an A student," said Starr. "I had a change of heart—and diaphragm," Starr joked.

Starr became involved with several clubs on campus, including Simpson's student newspaper, The Slate.

Ann Miller, Starr's history professor, said, "Hunter has such an inquiring mind. In his classes at Simpson, he would probe and analyze the difficult problems. He always grappled with the hard questions and brought other students along in the process. It was such a pleasure to observe his intellectual and spiritual growth."

Starr is in his second semester of his first-year in law school. He is in the top 50 percent of his class and was recently awarded a scholarship for placing in the top three of a mock trial competition in which nearly 130 first year students competed.

n 2013 Starr will graduate with his juris doctorate. After the bar exam he plans to work in criminal or civil litigation.

Starr attributes a lot of his success to the education he received at Simpson.

"Simpson alumni are going to have an advantage," Starr said. "Smaller class sizes give them the constant ability to engage with professors, which is a staple for law school courses."

Simpson University's history department recently added a pre-law concentration to its major.


Simpson University is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate and teaching credential programs. Simpson's academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults in the north state. Simpson's recent curriculum expansion includes degrees in biology, nursing, outdoor leadership, and a master's degree in counseling psychology. For more information about the university, or to arrange a personalized visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737