Thursday, September 16, 1999

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172, pharr@arches.uga.edu

CONTACT: Jill C. Birch, Alumni Programs Director, (706) 542-5190


ATHENS, Ga. -- A portrait honoring former University of Georgia School of Law Dean Edward D. (Ned) Spurgeon will be presented in a public ceremony in the law school's Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom Friday, October 1 at 5 p.m. The portrait, commissioned by the Law School Alumni Association (LSA) and painted by Jiaxian Hao, represents the seventh time a dean has been honored with an artist's rendering.

The portrait presentation program will include remarks from a former student and research fellow, Elizabeth R. Calhoun, a member of the class of '98; Associate Dean and Hosch Professor Paul M. Kurtz; and former Georgia Governor Carl E. Sanders, a 1948 graduate of the law school and chairman of the Atlanta law firm of Troutman Sanders. A reception in the law school rotunda will follow the unveiling of the portrait.

Spurgeon, now a professor of law and a member of the faculty of gerontology at UGA, served as dean of the law school for five years, from 1993-98. During his tenure, the law school's national reputation climbed as he worked to strengthen its faculty, educational program, facilities and base of support. Eight new faculty members were hired, six faculty were named to chaired positions - including the first woman - and the legal research and writing staff was expanded. The additions resulted in the creation of a civil clinic, a more diversified curriculum, a lower faculty/student ratio, and more time for professors to engage in scholarship and research. Faculty and staff salaries were also raised to a level on par with peer institutions.

Under Spurgeon's leadership, construction of Dean Rusk Hall was completed. The law library improved its automation, and the law school joined several international exchange programs. National championships were earned by both the law school's moot court and mock trial teams. Unrestricted giving grew by nearly 75 percent, several major gifts were received, and alumni support, evidenced both in fund raising and attendance at special events, reached an all-time high.

"I think Ned Spurgeon did an outstanding job," said Sanders. "The law school is getting better year after year, and a lot of the credit for that emanates from the leadership of the dean of the law school. We've been fortunate to have had Ned Spurgeon serve as dean and are fortunate that he has been succeeded by another outstanding leader, David Shipley. The future of the law school is bright."

Spurgeon practiced law for 16 years, as a partner with Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker in Los Angeles and as a consultant with two Salt Lake City law firms, before beginning his career in higher education. He taught as a member of the faculty of the Utah College of Law from 1980 to 1993, serving also as dean for seven years (1983-90) and as William H. Leary Professor of Law and Policy from 1990-93. A native of New Jersey, Spurgeon earned his undergraduate degree in English from Princeton University, his law degree from Stanford University Law School, and a master of laws degree from New York University Law School.

Spurgeon's specialty areas include law, public policy and aging; estate and gift tax; and estate planning. The third edition of his co-authored national treatise, Federal Taxation of Trusts, Grantors and Beneficiaries, was published in 1997. He currently serves as executive director of the Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging, a director of the National Senior Citizens Law Center, special adviser to the ABA Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly, and as an executive committee member of the Utah Legal Services Volunteer Senior Lawyers Project.