Marian Gallagher Society > Remarks by Joanne Roddis

Remarks Delivered by Joanne Roddis, October 27, 2009

Thank you for being here and sharing this exciting day with us. The day of thanking all of you donors, supporters, and friends of the Law School in a very special way.

This rainy day reminds me of a very rainy day in August 1968, where it rained 20 days straight!! For California people, who are where we were from, we wondered what we had gotten into rain in August. Unheard of.

Dick soon realized that for him—rain and all—it was the best choice he ever made, for his career. I wasn't so sure, and our five children thought we lost our marbles! We slowly began to realize we hadn't lost our marbles at all. Dick was challenged and thrilled to be teaching law again, I was happy teaching elementary school and being a mom, and the kids loved the outdoor activities from swimming to skiing. Actually, we liked Seattle!!

In all of this activity, we met Marian Gallagher the University of Washington Law School Librarian. All 7 of us loved her. She brightened up our holiday dinners in our home by sharing with us her wonderful sense of humor. At about the time when Dick became Dean of the Law School, Marian became a pioneer in her field of upgrading the status of Iaw libraries throughout the country. She became involved in upgrading the classes of Law Librarianship to be a part of the law school curriculum. She was successful in having law librarians earn law degrees.

When the Law School moved into the new Condon Hall she was instrumental in making the new library work for faculty and students alike. That, my friends, was a monumental job.

Both Marian and Dick had a great sense of humor. When the move to the new law school was finally completed, Dick called a meeting downstairs in the BASEMENT for the deans, librarians, and other staff members, to officially congratulate them for a job well done. He also proposed that a new organization should be formed called the Condon Hall Basement Society. He wanted to inaugurate that first meeting with a bit of spirit and good cheer. At last the Condon Hall Basement Society was formed—a VERY SELECT GROUP.

Condon Hall was one to remember, how could one forget that the walls were never finished? (Tell story) there were very few bathrooms for women faculty and staff. One could not go from one floor to another without a map or detailed directions.

How I wish Dick and Marian could see this beautiful school, with this amazing library, classrooms, and conference rooms lecture halls and last but not least, many bathrooms available for faculty and staff. I hope they are looking down and smiling.

I was asked why this Library is so important to me, my family, and to Dick. On a personal note, Dick and I started our life together at University of CA in Berkeley. He was going to Boalt School of Law and I was going to undergraduate school at UC Berkeley. He courted me right there in the Law Library while studying for our respective disciplines, he law, me education. During our study time, I would get these notes from him, for instance how about dinner tonight or do you have a date yet? Or he would ask when can I take you out? Well, you get the idea. So law school libraries have a very personal and romantic memory for me as they did for Dick.

When Dick was teaching here he would do his research at the library, knowing he could find new insights for teaching insurance law and other law courses. He found it helpful to discuss these ideas and other legal subjects with Marian, whom he considered a brilliant colleague and friend.

The question was asked why the Library is important to my family. One simple answer: Each of us has or in the process of developing a hard back book or a high tech library in our own home. We all love to read, explore, and research new ideas to make a better society. Our family also enjoyed fond memories of Marian, her friendship, and her great sense of humor at our Holiday Dinners. She had the ability to reach young and old with her friendly ways. Our children also had many fond memories of the law school faculty, students, and distinguished guests from other law schools that came to our home to exchange ideas over a meal.

As tragic as it was in losing Dick in February of 1999, it is thrilling to me that his memory has lived on by establishing a Dick Roddis Memorial Fund under the Marian Gallagher Society. It is so heart-warming that many gave generously to Dick's Memorial so that this fund could be a part of the Marian Gallagher Society. It is also wonderful to know that thru the Dick Roddis Memorial Fund books, periodicals, and papers have been purchased for the Library that has been used by students and faculty alike and will continue to be purchased as long as the funds are in the Dick Roddis Memorial Fund.

We are excited about the prospect of this Library keeping up with the new technology to enhance the abilities of law students, lawyers, and the public to learn the law, interpret the law, and be able to use the law in its finest terms. I want to see the Library become an integral part of the 21st century and a place where students can do research, discover ways to interpret the law thru law books, Kindle's, computers, internet, text messaging, and Twitter. In order to keep up with the times the Library has to practically sustain itself through the Marian Gallagher Society, the Library will be able to develop and grow into a fine nationally known institution with all the latest in technical tools. Dick would've liked that.

I could see Marian, Penny, Dick, and other colleagues thinking of new designs for the law. I have found many new friends here at the Library with Penny, Garrett, Hannah and Theresa. They have been so generous with their time, patience, creativity. I want to thank you for all of your hard work, from designing the invitations, Hannah; to sending out invitations, Garrett; planning the reception, Theresa and Hannah; and Penny for discussing, dreaming with me on the development of this wall as a permanent way to thank the donors of the library. And for Scott—for designing, constructing, installing, and listening to our ideas on the wall. It is truly beautiful.

This wall will be a reminder of the many great minds that have gone before us and their enthusiasm for the Library as a place where research and learning can take place continuously. To the donors, supporters, friends, and family, thank you for all the ways you have contributed to this renowned Library. I would like to turn this microphone over to our amazing law librarian and a person with many talents, Penny Hazelton.

top