“It is my distinct joy and pleasure to open up this celebration of your tenure with us,” said Dean Linda L. Ammons
to Taishoff Professor of Law Thomas J. Reed
as he took his seat of honor at the front of the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom on the evening of Tuesday, April 20th. She noted that while Professor Reed will not be around quite as often, he will remain as the Taishoff Professor of Law for the next year.
Associate Professor Leslie A. Johnson
followed Dean Ammons to the podium and thanked those who helped put the program together, including Dean Ammons, Vice Dean Patrick Kelly
, Dottie Hemphill, Connie Sweeney, Nick Nichols
, Nancy Ravert-Ward, Russ Hakes
, and student Damiano del Pino. She then introduced Nathaniel C. Nichols, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Clinical Programs. Nichols spoke of the great influence that Professor Reed has had, particularly through the Veterans Law Clinic
. He related a story from the past weekend’s accepted applicants visit, stating, “Three applicants came up to me and said the reason they chose to come to Widener Law was the Veterans’ Law Clinic.”
Damiano del Pino, the outgoing President of the Military Law Society
and next year’s Delaware Student Bar Association
President, spoke next, observing, “Professor Reed taught me a lot about paying attention to detail.” He also touched on Professor Reed’s incredible memory and his knowledge of a broad range of subjects. General Frank Ianni of the Civil War Round Table of Wilmington, Inc. took the podium next. He spoke of Professor Reed’s passion for Civil War history, joking, “Tom knows the movement of every General every day of the war. He knows what they ate for breakfast . . .”
Several others spoke of their fond memories of Professor Reed as well, including two students participating in the Veterans Law Clinic. Clinic student Meryl M. Peterman called Professor Reed “a great advocate and teacher,” and described working with him as “one of the best parts of my law school career.” Susan Saidel, Esq., Supervising Attorney for the Veterans Law Clinic branch in Media, PA, and Gary Berg, Esq., a staff attorney for the Veterans Law Clinic both spoke of Professor Reed as a mentor and tireless advocate for veterans.
At the conclusion of the formal portion of the program, Professor Johnson quizzed Professor Reed, a longtime Notre Dame football fan, on the events of the “game of the century,” a 10 to 10 tie between Notre Dame and Michigan State played on November 19th, 1966. She then presented him with a retrospective on the greatest games in Big Ten football history and a Michigan State sweatshirt.
During her closing remarks, Dean Ammons asked Widener University President James T. Harris III for his remarks, and he said to Professor Reed, “The work that you’ve done with veterans is outstanding.” Longtime Harrisburg Professor John L. Gedid
also praised Professor Reed for the example he set to the Harrisburg campus in its early years. Dean Ammons closed by noting that Professor Reed’s status as the first Taishoff Professor of Law served as the measure of his legacy.
A reception followed the event and allowed individuals to share their memories and recollections of Professor Reed’s years of service to Widener Law.