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Beloved Dean Schatzki honored
Beloved Dean Schatzki honored
Assistant Dean Chris Baier presents the game ball to Dean of
Faculty George Schatzki at a retirement celebration in his honor.
Schatzki, a baseball fan, was named the MVP for his nearly nine
years of leadership and teaching at the Sandra Day O'Connor
College of Law.
A surprise retirement party for George Schatzki, Dean of Faculty and a professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, was punctuated by cheers and tears from the more than 100 faculty and staff members who celebrated his calm, reason and loyalty.
"He has made life better for all of us with his remarkable generosity of spirit and ineffable kindness," Dean Patricia White said during the annual staff appreciation event on Monday, April 28. "This man is a giant in legal education, he'd been the dean of two major law schools, and he steps up here, willing to be acting dean so that I could take the only sabbatical in my life, and then willing to serve as my chief deputy. He has meant an unbelievable amount to me as a person and an extraordinary amount to this school."
Schatzki, former dean of the law schools at the University of Washington and the University of Connecticut and a long-time law professor at the University of Texas, joined the ASU law faculty in 2000. A specialist in labor law and employment discrimination law, Schatzki also has chaired the College's Admissions Committee for years.
Shelli Soto, Dean of Admissions, said the College is lucky that White engineered a plan to enable Schatzki to end his legal-education career at ASU.
"I have been awed so many times by your lovely willingness, in fact, your instinct to interpret someone's words and actions and put them in the most flattering light," Soto told Schatzki tearfully. "I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with you, and I'm very lucky to call you friend."
Schatzki was showered with gifts, including gift certificates, a DVD bridge tutorial, and a baseball that was signed by senior staff members and presented by Chris Baier, Assistant Dean of Institutional Operations.
"You're our MVP," Baier said, "for putting up with us and providing the perspective to not let us take ourselves or our jobs too seriously. The bottom line is you are the glue that held our team together."
Guests erupted in laughter and applause when Schatzki opened a gift presented to him on behalf of the senior staff by Michael Bossone, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Development who, like Baier, is a diehard New York Yankees fan. The gift, a Yankees jersey, was quickly taken back by Bossone, who then presented Schatzki with another box; inside was an official jersey of the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees' arch rival and Schatzki's favorite team. It was personalized with Schatzki's name and `08, his retirement year, on the back.
Professor Michael Berch, a close friend of Schatzki, read a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.'s
Anonymity and Achievement
. "George, this is appropriate to you," Berch said.
"I think one of the best things an older man can do for younger men is to tell them the encouraging thoughts his experience has taught him. It is better still if he can lift up their hearts-if after many battles which were not all victories, the old soldier still feels that fire in him which will impart to them the leaven of his enthusiasm."
Surprise guests at the party included Schatzki's wife of 50 years, Lorraine, along with Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes, and Garry Hays, both members of the College of Law's Class of 2003. Hays pointed out Schatzki's dislike for rules, and Mayes said he had "the patience of a saint."
Professor Adam Chodorow said Schatzki taught the faculty many things, most notably it's possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Schatzki also brought a calming perspective to the group at the most frenetic times.
"George has been a marvelous teacher and a wonderful example for us all," Chodorow said. "Although he may ride into the sunset, his influence will be felt here for many, many years."
Schatzki said he plans to read more, sleep later, spend more time with his seven grandchildren, three of whom live in the area, and drop in on the law school now and again.
"I did not expect this," he said to his colleagues, who stood and applauded. "And I don't deserve any of it."