Law Professors Recognized for Teaching and Scholarship Excellence

Three College of Law professors were honored in mid-April at Willamette University’s Annual Faculty Awards Ceremony. Kathy T. Graham, Richard B. Hagedorn and Paul A. Diller were among the 10 professors who received awards for their scholarship, leadership, service and teaching excellence. Interim-President Larry Large presided over the event.

Graham and Hagedorn were co-recipients of the Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching, which celebrates distinguished teaching and leadership by a faculty member. Both professors will step down from full-time teaching in May, but will continue to teach part time for the next three years.

Graham, who joined the Willamette law faculty in 1977, also has served as associate dean for academic affairs since 1988. Graham teaches Domestic Relations and Torts.

“During the last 11 years, I have worked closely with Kathy and have had the opportunity to observe her dedication, hard work ethic, good judgment and unselfishness,” said College of Law Dean Symeon C. Symeonides. ̶ She has been a mainstay of our school for a very long time. Her service has been loyal, conscientious, efficient and effective.”

Hagedorn, a 1973 graduate of the College of Law, joined the law faculty in 1984. In 2003, he was appointed the Rosalind Van Winkle Melton Professor of Law in recognition of his excellence in teaching and scholarship. He was voted Outstanding Law Professor of the Year in 1994, and he received the United Methodist Award in 1996. Hagedorn teaches Secured Transactions, Payment Systems, Sales and Debtor-Creditor.

“Rich is a truly gifted teacher and a real treasure to Willamette,” Symeonides said. “Our law students, in their anonymous evaluations last semester, aptly described his talent, dedication and effectiveness as a teacher: ‘amazing,’ ‘outstanding,’ ‘the perfect professor,’ the ‘best professor I have had in all of my years of schooling,’ ‘a jewel.’”

Also honored was Associate Professor of Law Paul Diller, who received the Robert L. Misner Award. Named for former College of Law Dean and Professor Robert L. Misner, the award recognizes excellence in faculty scholarship.

During his five years at the College of Law, Diller has published five major law review articles in highly ranked legal journals. His most recent article will be published in the University of Chicago Law Review, one of the top-10 legal journals published in the United States. Diller’s research focuses on local government and national security law. He teaches Property, State and Local Government, Civil Procedure, and a National Security Law seminar.

“Publishing an article in such a journal is a remarkable accomplishment for any scholar,” noted Symeonides. “For this great achievement, Paul deserves both our recognition and encouragement for even greater accomplishments to come.”