Thursday, January 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Memorial edition

By Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian & College Archivist

Dean Garland Walker, 1980.

        Thirty years ago, on January 21, 1985, South Texas College of Law held a memorial service for Dean Garland Walker, who died December 2, 1984.
        Garland Walker was born on a farm in Limestone County, Texas, on October 2, 1920. Upon graduating high school, Walker decided that he wanted to be doctor. He attended Texas A&M University and, like many other students, he was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corp. Ten days after graduating from A&M in 1943, he reported for active duty in the United States Army. He volunteered for the Sixth Engineers Special Brigade, a unit made up of underwater and demolitions experts. After extensive training, his unit was sent to England to take part in the D-Day invasion. Walker was badly wounded on Omaha Beach, and spent the next 27 months recovering. His injuries were extensive and ended his dream of becoming a doctor. Instead, he enrolled in the University of Texas Law School, graduating in 1948.
        Garland Walker joined the faculty of South Texas College of Law in 1959.  He taught Torts, Contracts, and Professional Responsibility.  He assumed responsibility for developing the law library and served as the librarian from 1959 - 1961.  In 1968, at the recommendation of Judge Spurgeon E. Bell, Chairman of the Board of Trustee’s of South Texas College of Law, Walker was offered the position of Dean.   He served as Dean until he resigned due to illness in October of 1984. During that time he sought to increase the size and prestige of the school. The student body increased from 200 to over 1000 and the size of the building increased as well. Along with renovations to the existing building, he oversaw the addition of our 11-story tower, which was completed shortly before his death in 1984. Under his tenure our award winning Advocacy Program was established and we became the first law school in Texas to offer both a criminal and civil internship. 
        Today’s photo is of Garland Walker with the model of South Texas College of Law, or, as some of our alumni call us, the school that Walker built.