It’s that time of the semester when I feel like I’m in an episode of that old children’s television show, Zoom. There are so many events going on here at the School of Law! This week has been really fast-paced.

img_1252.JPGRight off the bat I left for Washington, D.C. to have our annual Washington, D.C. Alumni Reception with our alumni who live in and around the nation’s capitol. It was a very rainy and cool day so there was a bit of a lighter turnout, but the people in attendance were warm, welcoming and excited to hear about all the wonderful things occurring at the law school. Thanks to Jim Christian and Rodney Slater for hosing the event. I’m pleased that we were able to leave them with copies of Old Seeds in the New Land: History and Reminiscences of the Bar of Arkansas by our own Robert Ross Wright, Donaghey Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus from UALR, as a token of our appreciation.

After the reception, Secretary Slater was gracious enough to take Dean Kilpatrick, alumnae Stacie Walter and Tiffany Armstrong and me to the opening of the film Poverty in America. It was here we met Martin Luther King III, son of the late Martin Luther King. We were given copies of Martin Luther King’s autobiography, which his son autographed for us. After we chatted, Martin expressed interest in coming to visit with us at the law school—an opportunity we’re extremely excited about.

img_1257.JPGThe next day I had lunch at the Manor Country Club in Rockville, Maryland, with Ambassador Haley, one of our Six Pioneers. I had a wonderful little cup of cream of crab soup followed by a delicious salmon wrap. Ambassador Haley invited several guests to meet me—Walter J. Leonard, Lee Williams, David Lambert, Walter Price and, of course, Haley’s wife, Doris. We all sat and visited, and when Haley asked each of us to share our life stories, I realized what distinguished company I was in. Each person is a giant in his or her own right. The stories of their lives were very powerful and moving, and I was honored to have been invited to share a meal with them. The cool, rainy weather couldn’t put a damper on a fantastic lunch and even better company.

img_1263.JPGA little later on the itinerary was dinner with one of our alums, Remmel Dudley, who was a Chief Counsel for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. We dined at an Indian restaurant across from the Woodley Park Marriott, which is the conference hotel for the Association of American Law Schools Hiring Conference.  It was truly delightful. Through his stories, I learned a lot about both the history of the School of Law and many of our older alumni. We invited him to the 50 year reunion next year and presented him with his 50 year pin as well.

Friday was spent with the members of the Law School Appointments Committee—which includes Professors Killenbeck, Matthews, Circo and myself—interviewing prospective candidates for the School of Law, and I am thrilled. We saw a number of really good, very strong candidates for faculty positions. Throughout the day, we interviewed 11 candidates for slots in criminal law and business/upper-level business classes. Again, the candidates were just extremely impressive and strong, and I know we will have wonderful new additions to our faculty very soon.img_1265.JPG

Saturday saw me on a 6:50 a.m. flight home to arrive in time for our Law Alumni Society Rally, but those plans were derailed by my layover in Chicago. The plane was experiencing mechanical difficulties which were repaired, but the maintenance crew had accidentally left with the plane log. We couldn’t leave the ground until that was returned, so I arrived a little into the first quarter of the game, completely missing the rally. My sincerest apologies to those of you who attended. It was also homecoming for the Hogs against Florida International, which brought back beloved Dean Leonard Strickman. We were able to box hop together so he could visit with a number of alums during his time in town.

A reception for Dean Strickman and a number of his closest friends from northwest Arkansas was held Sunday, which was a chance to get together with folks I don’t often get to see around campus and also to fellowship with Len. Dean Rhonda Adams was gracious enough to open her home for a cocktail party and delightful evening. From there, I picked up a potential candidate for the law library director position, and we drove to Rogers for dinner at Bonefish Grill. Dinner was excellent, by the way. I had a fabulous Bonefish house salad of crisp chopped greens, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, heart of palm and pine nuts, topped with a citrus herb vinaigrette, followed immediately by grouper with a light ginger crab sauce. Add a side of sweet island rice (sweet wild rice with hints of almonds, raisins and red peppers) and a squash and carrot medley, and you’ve got a delicious meal.

Anyway, that gives you an idea of how things are starting to really heat up here as we head towards the end of the semester, and I’m sure I’ll have a lot to tell you about next week as well. Stay tuned!