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Professor John Weeks Retires after 35 Years of Outstanding Service


After 35 years of teaching and inspiring Hamline law students, Professor John Weeks is retiring. Professor Weeks has been an anchor for the Hamline law curriculum teaching Contract Law and International Law, including courses such as International Business Transactions and International Human Rights.

Dean Jon Garon called retiring Professor John Weeks "a man of few words and great wisdom," recalling how he observed one of Professor Weeks' classes when he first came to Hamline to watch him use the Socratic method. "That was the first time in my professional career that I saw it really work," Garon noted.

For his part, Professor Weeks said he has derived "tremendous satisfaction from watching his students achieve great success. . . It has been quite a journey. I've been associated with Hamline for more than half my life and it's been wonderful."

weeks_collage Professor Bill Martin provided a warm and moving tribute to Professor Weeks at his recent retirement dinner. He said "You give your best every day and always are completely honest with students. . . You drive students to improve themselves and have an infallible sense of whom to push, whom to tease and whom to help along the path of inquiry. Most of all, you always let students know that you respect them."

Alumnus Steve Kirsch also paid tribute, noting "You were then, and you are now, a superb person. You gave us inspiration...I honor your service to the Hamline Law School."

Both Professor John Weeks and Michael Scherschligt are retiring after more than three decades of service to the Law School. Hamline University has recognized the tremendous service provided by each of these two important professors by awarding each the title Emeritus Professor of Law.

Professors Weeks and Scherschligt spent some time reflecting on those years, (see story in April e-newsletter about Professor Scherschligt), during an informal lunch presentation to faculty and staff in April. Professor Weeks recalled that when he first came to Hamline students were just coming back from the Vietnam War and many were young civil rights activists. He also remembered "heavy teaching loads and serving on multiple committees," all while working in a "tin hut" during the first few years of the school's founding.

"We were younger then and less risk averse. It's amazing that we were all willing to take those risks. . . It is a consistent practice at Hamline to start a project with zero investment...a time honored tradition dating back to the Civil War," he said with a laugh in his voice.

Photo collage: Professor John Weeks (bottom right) listens appreciatively as President of the Law Alumni Association Board Don McNeil '89 (top left), alumnus Steve Kirsch '76 (top right) and current student Matt Resch (bottom left) paid warm tribute to Professor Weeks for his 35 years of service at Hamline.