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Dear Alumni and Friends, The 2011–12 school year is one of transition for the College of Law. For the last 11 years, this space has contained a message from an outstanding dean — Symeon Symeonides. Now that Symeon has returned to teaching and scholarship, both the deans’ suite and this page have new inhabitants. In the last issue of this magazine, Symeon and President Lee Pelton graciously introduced me to you. I am honored by the confidence and trust they have placed in me and am excited to serve. I will strive during my term as dean to sustain and strengthen Symeon’s enviable legacy and position the College of Law for the future. But a law school is not a reflection of any one person; instead, it is a team effort. And I assume the position of dean with an exceptional team already in place. Dean Peter Letsou

The heart of any law school is its faculty, and like all great law schools the Willamette University College of Law boasts an outstanding faculty. Their expertise is broad and deep, and their national and international reputation is growing — along with their increasing, and increasingly prestigious publications. At the same time, our faculty remains committed to the traditional values that have long been a hallmark of the College of Law: exemplary teaching, diversity and public service.

I assume the position of dean with an exceptional team already in place.

I also benefit from an outstanding administrative team. Some have served for many years — and in exemplary fashion. Dick Breen, who has directed our library (and served in countless other roles) for 35 years, immediately comes to mind. But there are others who have served for many years and with great distinction, including the unsung heroes of our Student Services Office, Ann Abbott and Julie Fehrenbacher.

Other members of the administrative team are new, or at least new to the deans’ suite. Professor Jeffrey Standen, who joined the College of Law faculty in 1990 and is now among the nation’s leading experts on sports law, has generously agreed to serve as associate dean for faculty. And Daniel Santos, who after graduating from the College of Law in 1985 spent more than two decades serving four Oregon governors, has returned to the College of Law to serve as associate dean for student affairs and administration. Both Jeff and Danny bring a range of talents, decades of experience, and an enduring commitment to the College of Law to their new roles. It is the College of Law’s good fortune that such extraordinary candidates have agreed to serve. I would be remiss if I failed to note one other administrative change. On July 1, 2011, Stephen E. Thorsett, formerly the dean of Physical and Biological Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, became Willamette University’s 25th president. President Thorsett is a distinguished scholar and an accomplished academic administrator. His deep commitment to the highest standards of scholarship and teaching is certain to resonate at the College of Law. In the five years that I served as associate dean, I had the great pleasure of meeting many of the College of Law’s alumni and friends. I look forward to meeting many, many more in the months and years ahead. Cordially,

Peter V. Letsou Dean and Roderick & Carol Wendt Professor of Business Law

2 | Willamette Lawyer

Willamette Lawyer | Fall 2011 Vol. XI, No. 2  
Willamette Lawyer | Fall 2011 Vol. XI, No. 2  

A Toast to Our Endowed Professors: The story of Willamette’s four endowed professorships and the people behind them