Professor Michael Scherschligt joined Hamline University School of Law in 1976. After 32 years of hard work and dedication, he has decided to retire. Before he heads off to enjoy more time with his wife, Suzanne, and their five children and seven grandchildren, Hamline alumni, faculty and staff lauded Professor Scherschligt at a special retirement dinner earlier this month. The evening was punctuated by laughter, tears, poetry, prayer and a beautiful hymn sung by his children and grandchildren. Visibly moved by the tributes and warm wishes, Professor Scherschligt, who also holds a divinity degree, said, "The community that has been fostered here is rare. The number one feeling I have at this moment is thanksgiving and gratitude. This is the day the Lord has made. Let's rejoice in it and be glad."
Among Professor Scherschligt's accomplishments was the creation of Hamline's nationally noted Legal Research and Writing program. He personally hired Professor Cathy Deal to replace him when he was ready to move on to other challenges at the school. He also helped establish The Journal of Law and Religion, along with Professors Marie Failinger, Howard Vogel and David Cobin.
"It was an audacious idea to put together the disciplines of law and religion," noted Professor Failinger. "Michael did a lot of the difficult, often boring, work to get the Journal started. He helped give an amazing legacy, not just to Hamline but to the world. He selflessly put aside what he could have done for himself to help others who are now in his debt."
Dean Jon Garon thanked Professor Scherschligt for his leadership on the issue of establishing the Health Law Institute. "We have a very able director in Cindy Jesson, who has done a tremendous job in getting the Health Law Institute established, but I feel in my heart that Mike is the person who allowed us to get on this path thanks to his support for the program in its earliest stages."
Professor Peter Thompson also paid tribute to Professor Scherschligt and his close with connection with the entire faculty, noting, "Over the years we have spent a lot of time together. We have laughed together, cried together, worked and played together and a few of us have even prayed together. Yes, we have also, from time to time, gotten agitated together. But we have always stayed together. . . We will all miss Michael on the faculty, but fully expect to remain a part of his and Suzanne's life in retirement-if they can fit it in with all the music lessons, babysitting and volunteer commitments he is planning."
Alumni Board President Don McNeil '89 (above) led a toast to retiring Professor Scherschligt.