As we approach this season of Thanksgiving (and exams!), I hope that you will join me in reflecting on the many blessings we share, as individuals and as an LSU Law community.
As a community, we are bound together by a tradition that is more than a century “young”. Our tradition embraces LSU Law’s strong commitment to civil law teaching and scholarship. Our tradition continues to feature teachers who demand much in the classroom but take pride in being available and accessible to students outside of the classroom.
More subtle perhaps, but just as central to the LSU Law tradition, is our sense of community. Students here balance their studies with time for personal growth, family, and friends. An LSU Law degree is not just a certificate of academic achievement, but a symbol of lifelong membership in a community of shared values and experiences.
This holiday season, I also am happy and thankful to report that, with every passing year, our community grows more inclusive and more diverse. Our students increasingly come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds, locations, and cultures. This broadly realized diversity makes the student experience at LSU Law richer and more rewarding than ever.
Of course, Thanksgiving is also a time to remember those who are less fortunate and are in need of our thoughts and prayers, including some members of our own LSU Law community. We also must never forget the enormous sacrifices that members of our armed forces and their family members make every day to keep our nation safe and to make it possible for us to live and study as we do.
On a personal note, I remain deeply grateful for the opportunity to lead this extraordinary law school, even (or perhaps particularly) in these challenging times. Although LSU Law already has endured severe budget cuts and more loom in the future, we must not lose sight of the many achievements of our school and our talented graduates who provide leadership for our state and nation. LSU Law will endure the financial setbacks of the moment. Our storied history will continue, thanks to our superbly talented students, our inspirational faculty, our dedicated staff, and our committed alumni.
The commitment of our alumni and friends is readily apparent from the results of the Forever LSU Campaign, which will come to a close on December 31st. You have helped to endow the future by funding a new full faculty chair (only the second in the Law Center’s history), 30 new endowed faculty professorships, and 72 new endowed student scholarships. Through Forever LSU, we have built a strong foundation for private giving; now we must sustain and add to that foundation year by year if LSU Law is to continue to prosper.
Finally, I am thankful for the love, support and understanding of my own family—and for the birth of Louise Ewing Weiss, our first grandchild, on August 16, 2010!
With my best wishes to you and your families for a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday,
Jack M. Weiss