A Message from the Dean

Posted: Fri, 12/21/2012 - 12:41

Given the fact that I am old, I have seen much national tragedy – the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the Oklahoma City Courthouse bombing, the 9-11 attacks to name a few. None of these compare to what happened in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday.  I still cannot fathom the horror of that incident.

It really makes whatever season’s greeting we send you at this time very hollow sounding. We can only hope that out of all of this will come a national dialogue on how we can prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

Last week, I met with Adam Sanders of the Cumberland Class of 2010. Adam and I share a special bond because we are both Marines. Adam served a combat tour in Iraq before he came to Cumberland. At graduation, he was named the recipient of the Daniel Austin Brewer Professionalism Award. That award was endowed by Governor Brewer in honor of his father and recognizes a member of the senior class who most exhibits the professionalism we expect of Cumberland lawyers. Following graduation, while most of his classmates were adjusting to their new lives as lawyers, Adam was leading Marines in combat in Afghanistan. Adam returned safely last year and is now a lawyer in the United States Army.

My meeting with Adam reminds me that there are Cumberland lawyers all over the world serving in our armed forces, many of them in harm’s way. Please keep them and their families and all of our men and women in uniform and their families in your thoughts and prayers as we celebrate this holiday season.

An old and dear friend of mine and Susan’s, Father Bill Skoneki, is the pastor of the Catholic Church in Auburn, Ala. Last year, he sent us a list of the best gifts you can give during the holidays. We again share that list with you. This list of gifts is even more meaningful given what happened last Friday.

To your friend, the gift of loyalty; to your enemy, the gift of forgiveness; to your boss, the gift of service; to your child, the gift of good example; to your parents, the gift of gratitude and devotion; to your mate, the gift of love and faithfulness; to all men and women, the gift of love; to God, the gift of your life.

Susan and I and all of us in the law school family wish you and yours a joyful and peaceful holiday season.